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Buffalo Common Council approves street and sidewalk dining

Posted at 11:06 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 08:34:07-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — More than halfway through Phase 2 of New York's reopen plan, Chippewa Street restaurants are doing what they can to make money. Restaurants can now serve customers in outdoor spaces, as long as they are 6 feet apart.

Downtown Buffalo restaurant owners are hoping to have even more outdoor space, soon.

“I think realistically, July 1st, if it's going to happen,” said Jay Manno, the owner of Frankie Primo’s and Soho.

There's a plan in place to close portions of Chippewa Street to traffic to allow for more outdoor seating.

“It's not a festival, but people would be able to come out have a good time and enjoy their food,” said Stephanie Smith, the owner of Tap House Pub and Grill.

The Buffalo Common Council passed a resolution on Tuesday that will create a board that reviews applications for restaurants wanting to expand into nearby sidewalks and streets.

Common Councilman Joel Feroleto said, restaurant owners should get a response to their applications within ten days.

The city did not respond to our specific questions about a Chippewa Street closure to traffic.

“We're looking to have it just open to emergency traffic, so we can all extend our patios and have extra patios outside that's safe,” said Smith.

Some restaurants have already sent in their applications to expand to the street. You can find the application here.

Mayor Byron Brown released this statement about the resolution:

“Thanks to the members of the Common Council for our shared vision of getting the Buffalo economy moving again, safely and quickly. We must do everything we can to assist our small businesses and restaurants, and today’s action will enable our restaurants to enhance the number of diners they will be able to seat, while complying with the New York Forward Phase 2 physical distancing requirements that are in place to promote public health and keep guests and staff safe.”