Menlo Park: Tailgate party, Friday night movies at pop-up park


By Kate Bradshaw | Special to the Almanac

Visitors to downtown Menlo Park have likely noticed the colorful array of astroturf, colorful chairs, and young families at play in the new "Pop-Up Paseo" on Chestnut Street between Santa Cruz and Menlo avenues.

A pilot initiative of the city Menlo Park to draw more people downtown, the paseo will be home to the Menlo Movie Series, which offers free screenings of family-friendly films each Friday during September.

This is the lineup:

● Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m.: "Guardians of the Galaxy."

● Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.: "Planes Fire and Rescue."

● Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.: "Big Hero 6."

● Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.: "Cinderella."

Before the Sept. 4 screening of "Guardians of the Galaxy," Menlo Park patrol officers will host a Friday Night Lights tailgate party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The party will offer pizza, popcorn, soft drinks, and memorabilia giveaways.

Jim Cogan, the city's economic development manager, said he is working with downtown furniture stores to gauge interest in using the space to showcase their outdoor furniture collections.

Mr. Cogan said that creating open and fun public spaces is an important next step for Menlo Park's downtown development. For Menlo Park's downtown area to stay competitive in the age of online shopping, he said, going downtown needs to feel more like an "experience."

Citing examples like free Wi-Fi in cafes, farmers' markets and food trucks, and the addition of active spaces such as bocce ball courts in local shopping centers like the Hillsdale Mall, Mr. Cogan said people go to these spaces for the things they can't get online.

"The more we provide an experiential element downtown, the more likely we are to help those businesses," he said.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 3, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Good progressive move in the right direction for Menlo Park.

3 people like this
Posted by Discouraged shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm

If the goal is to draw people to downtown, then the city shouldn't block a street and add more stop signs on Santa Cruz Avenue thus making it even more of a nuisance and deterring shoppers during the daytime when the stores are actually open for business.

3 people like this
Posted by Rob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2015 at 7:26 am

Our whole family had a great time last night, there must have been 200+ people there. Lots of kids. Lots of vibe.

2 people like this
Posted by Define success
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 7, 2015 at 7:58 am

How will success of this very short trial be measured?
A novelty during the best weather of the year might be evaluated differently if examined during a long period
Why is this trial shorter than that on ravenswood?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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