Call Ahead: Making Reservations for a Spot at Dolores Park Has Bay Area Scratching Their Heads

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And no, this isn’t a joke. A two-month pilot program enacted by the SF Parks and Rec department now allows people to book a space in advance at SF’s noteworthy watering hole — and let’s just say, the internet isn’t so happy.

And before you ask, yes it costs money to reserve. According to the Rec and Parks website, in order to reserve your own little piece of Dolores heaven, now all you have to do is apply and pay the fee of $33 to $260 (depending on group size, and not including the $200 security deposit). “All requests for Mission Dolores must complete an online Picnic Application,” the site explains. 

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Local publication SFist reached out Rec and Parks’ spokesperson Joey Kahn and simply replied “To reserve a space, visit [the reservation website].” And to those who don’t have access to the internet, he stresses that calling over the phone is fine too — you can call the Parks Department and they will “find a way to get it done.”

Kahn furthered explained that “[on] the weekends, we have staff on-site to make this a seamless process including a system to ensure groups clean up after themselves.” If this doesn’t sound like recess all over again then we don’t know what does.

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From this map obtained from the SF Rec and Park’s website, the spaces coded in green are eligible to be rented out but again stresses that spaces are subject to change from situation to situation.

According to Kahn, the pilot program started at the beginning of May, and spots are already booked through mid-July. And it looks like this system is here to stay.

“After a two-month period, we may make minor tweaks to ensure that the system works for the public and the Department,” he explained. “However, our intention is to continue a picnic reservation process at Dolores Park.”

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Soon after however, District 6 supervisor Jane Kim spoke out briefly on Twitter about the matter (even though the zone is not in her jurisdiction.)

Would you rent out a space for those fab Saturday afternoons or would you throw the signs into the urinals? Let’s be real.

UPDATE: Rec and Parks spokesperson Joey Kahn emailed out a statement confirming that the pilot program would be allowed to expire in July.

“Given the recent debate regarding the reservation of specified lawn areas for large group picnic, wedding and birthday parties in our beloved Dolores Park, the Recreation and Park Department, in consultation with Supervisor Scott Wiener, is suspending the issuance of permits for this use,” reads the statement in part. “We want to take a step back to have more open public dialogue regarding our long-standing reservation policies at Dolores Park that are designed to provide accountability for the use of our public parks by larger gatherings. The picnic table areas at Dolores park primarily used for children and family parties will continue to be permitted during this time.”


Written by Anthony RogersGet cultured and be in the know.

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