The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s latest Pop Up project began Monday with rain splashing off vacant patio furniture, but the nonprofit believes the seats will soon be filled during lunch hours.
With its brightly colored bistro tables and chairs, the Pop Up Patio fills downtown's Strawberry Way from Smithfield Street to Montour Way.
Jeremy Waldrup, partnership president and CEO, said he hopes the month-long pilot program will encourage people to not only hang out downtown but also frequent nearby businesses.
"Outdoor seating during lunchtime in downtown Pittsburgh is at a premium," he said. "We thought this would be a great amenity for folks to get out and enjoy throughout the summer.”
Ray Auslander, owner of nearby Weiner World, hopes the pop up retreat will provide a boost in foot traffic.
"We don’t have seating in here; this is all stand up," Auslander said. "So it’s really convenient for the people to get their lunch here, go out and sit at a table and enjoy the outside."
Other Pop Up projects include five Night Markets with food and artists, Pop Up: Bocce and Project Pop Up: Urban Forest, which brought trees, shrubs, tables and chairs to a downtown sidewalk.
Pittsburghers can enjoy Pop Up Patio from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until mid-August. Waldrup said if the public likes the seating, the partnership will talk with the city about a more permanent installation.