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Getting cold for outdoor dining? Buffalo Common Council seeks guidance on heat lamps from the city

Posted at 11:21 PM, Sep 28, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Weather will soon be the latest obstacle for restaurants.

Buffalo Common Council member Joel Feroleto put forward a resolution requesting the Department of Permits and Inspections issue guidance on outdoor heat lamps by October 6th. He said it's an opportunity to help the food industry.

Jay McCarty is the owner-operator at The Place and ordered heat lamps months ago, but he never used them. He was told by the city that propane lamps are not allowed.

“Back in July, I knew it was going to be an issue with the cold setting in, outdoor dining, what we’re doing to stay open right now,” he said.

He sold the lamps, and is now looking to buy them again, but said many are on backorder.

“So now the next hurdle amongst all the other hurdles, is now finding outdoor heaters as well," McCarthy said.

He's already noticed customers don't want to sit outside on the colder nights. He has 13 tables in his outdoor area.

Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio approved the use of electric, propane, and natural gas heaters for outdoor dining. The heaters were not previously allowed.

Earlier this month, Mayor Byron Brown extended the Chippewa open streets program through October 12th. The program allows restaurants on the block of Chippewa between Franklin and Delaware to expand their tables into the street.