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New life on the Dunkirk Pier

New businesses and things to do line the Dunkirk Pier this summer
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 12:10:22-04

DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WKBW) — When you come down here to the Dunkirk pier, you’ll see many improvements the city has invested in, the beautiful waterfront here and, new this summer, businesses are popping up everywhere.

Business owners say this is the beginning of a big summer for Dunkirk..

“Coming down central before, it was just blah. There was nothing here and now you have a variety of different places you can stop," said Jessenia Gerena.

Places to eat, drink, shop and more.

"On the pier, we just added a brand new kayak launch, we have a new Mexican restaurant, Taqueria Mexicana and that gentleman opened an ice cream shop," said Jill Meaux, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Dunkirk.

Julie’s fish market is a 7-week-old business, already seeing success.

"Business has been amazing. We started very basic, shrimps and scallops or whatever and customers started requesting and that’s why we have such a variety," said Julie Hughes, Partner.

They’re one of the only fish markets in the area, now selling and smoking all kinds of fish and eventually opening up a kitchen. As they continue to grow, they’re leaning on their neighbors.

"We’re out of sugar, let’s go next door, so there is a community feeling," said Hughes.

Including with the owners up the street at 64 on the Pier, which opened just four weeks ago, a spinoff restaurant to 64 on the Rocks.

"[The] area's amazing, it’s its own little vibe, own little place now, we’re happy to be part of it," said Jake Lilly, Bar Manager.

Here they have food, live music on Sundays, and an beautiful view of the water.

"I think Dunkirk has the best waterfront on the lake, I really just think we have the most beautiful waterfront with the most things to do, it’s all family oriented, there’s something for everybody here at the pier," said Meaux.

They have the businesses and they have the customers, they’re just missing one thing.

"It’s just difficult finding people to work,” said Hughes.

City officials say they’re hearing the same thing from a lot of business owners, but they’re still optimistic.

"While it’s a challenge to hire people, they’re coming to Dunkirk because there’s so many good things happening here," said Meaux.

Here's a list of all the new and well-known places to check out:

  • Demetri's
    • Hours: 8am-8pm daily
    • Where: 6-8 Lake Shore Drive West
  • A&R Ice Cream Shop
    • Hours: Open at 11am
    • Where: Between Captain Ale's and Crosby's
  • 64 on the Pier
    • Live Music on Sundays
    • Hours: 11am-8pm (kitchen closes, bar open later)
    • Where: Right next to the Dunkirk Pier sign
  • Off the Hook (Just re-opened)
    • Hours: Monday, Tuesday 3-9; Wednesday, Thursday 11-9pm; Friday, Saturday, 11-10pm, Sunday 11-8pm
    • Where: 16 Central Ave
  • Taqueria Mexicana
    • Hours: 10-7, Monday-Saturday
    • Where: 135 Central Ave
  • Campi's Pizza
    • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11-8pm, Friday, Saturday 11-9pm
    • Where: 8 Central Ave
  • Julie's Fish Market
    • Hiring: Later this month, call (716) 363-2020
    • Where: 127 Central Ave
    • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 11-7pm; Saturday 9-5pm
  • Captain Ale's
    • Live music
    • Where: 19 Lake Shore Drive East
    • Hours: 2pm-12am
  • Kayak Launch on the pier
  • Watercraft rentals at Point Gratiot Park
  • ADA compliant playground at Wright Park