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Fish Fry Friday in 2021: What's different and what this means for local restaurants

Fish Fry Friday is back! Wiechec's is ecstatic to welcome people back for the tradition
Posted at 12:07 PM, Feb 19, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Lenten season is always such a big time for WNY restaurants. In years past, you’d see a line of people wrapped around Wiechec's Lounge on Clinton Street in Buffalo waiting to get their fish fry order, but we can't exactly be shoulder to shoulder this year, so things are changing.

"We're feeling good just because we're back to business," said Matthew Klopfer, who works at Wiechec's.

Between St. Patrick's Day and Lent, those months make up 75% of their business. They’re now back open for indoor dining just in time for Lent.

You’ll see barriers up at the bar and between booths and tables are socially distanced. They expect it will be busy and because they’re at 50% capacity it’s possible you could have to wait in your car to get a table.

They’re just asking customers to be patient.

"If everyone could just get on the same page and have a little bit of patience and understand that we're doing our job as well as trying to enforce these guidelines and rules that New York State has put upon us and it's just a very hard thing to do while you're working and while it's Lent," said Klopfer.

These next few months could save some of your favorite places. The New York Restaurant Association says this could be the beginning of better days.

"Getting restaurant employees included in the ability to get a vaccine, watching numbers come down, watching some of the restrictions be lifted, all those things combined is starting to provide hope for the industry."

Wiechec's is open Monday-Saturday from 11-10pm. Last call for fish is 8:45.