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Chippewa St. to open for outdoor reservations during Bills game

Chippewa Street
Posted at 5:51 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 17:52:29-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As the Bills take the field Saturday afternoon, fans will take to Chippewa Street to cheer on the team.

"We're going to count on the adults to be responsible and take direction," Jay Manno, owner of Soho said.

The plan is to block off Chippewa Street from Franklin Street to the Buffalo Tap House, right near Delaware Avenue. In that zone will be dining tables, chairs, and two 15-foot LED screens to show the Bills playoff game. Every single seat has already sold out.

"So in less than 24 hours we have sold out 67 tables that have anywhere from two to four people sitting at them," Chris Ring, owner of the Rec Room said.

Chippewa Street will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 9am until 8pm, with patrons allowed in starting at 11am. Each table has to spend 200$ with food and drinks coming from the owners of Soho and Rec Room, providing a small boost to the businesses.

"Us serving 250 people isn't going to make or break our business but at the end of the day we have been closed and shuttered in theory since march," Ring said.

The idea comes from the Village of Williamsville, who had received a plan for a viewing party but declined it.

"The village believes the proposed event is neither a feasible nor a healthy decision for our community due to a combination of several reasons. Among the rationale is the pandemic and the current orange-zone status that has been placed on our zip code by the Governor's Office. In an orange zone, public events or parties within a specific area – even in an outdoor space – are limited to a maximum of 10 people," The Village said in a statement.

The City of Buffalo decided they could go ahead with it, as Mayor Byron Brown stresses that this is not supposed to lead to crowd watching.

"This is not a block party, not a tailgating event," (D) Mayor Brown said.

Security will be moving people who do not have reservations to avoid crowding. The hope is this will be successful and used in future weeks in more areas of the city.

"This is the litmus test for other parts of Chippewa and the City so Hertel, Allen could do this in the future," Jay Manno said.