Outdoor seating now available at participating restaurants across WNY

Posted at 4:54 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 17:25:01-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — It's a new normal, restaurant tables filled with customers who are eating somewhere other than their home.

"We were out on the water and we saw that The Silo was open," customers Jacob and Mike said. "So we decided to come by, check it out and grab a burger."

After an announcement made Wednesday, restaurants in Western New York were allowed to open up their outdoor seating to paying customers. Here are the rules: customers must wear a mask when walking around, they can take it off while seated at their individual tables, servers and restaurant workers must wear a mask at all times, and tables must be spaced out to adhere to social distancing.

The Silo in Lewiston has also added social distancing markers on the ground, has expanded outdoor seating onto their lawn to space things out even more, and has adopted a new cleaning system.

"They arrive to the table and there's a little sign that says safe to sit at. When they're done eating, they flip this sign over to prevent others from sitting down so that we can sanitize it," general manager Lexi Alfiere said.

It's been going well for The Silo, where staff were ready and waiting. It's a different story for places like Riverworks in Buffalo.

"We were not anticipating a quick re-opening like we are now," general manager Bill Casale said.

That's because Riverworks wasn't planning to open for another few weeks. They're now working all day Thursday to get things ready by Friday afternoon.

They plan on turning their "Medusa Front Porch" into an additional dining area and have spaced all of their tables on their outdoor patios further apart. Customers will order at the concession stand and will bring the food back out to the table of their choice. All they hope is that customers adhere to the safety guidelines.

"This is a glorious time. We're now entering dining again in Western New York and people can leave their homes and do something," Casale said. "And the weather is supposed to be great this weekend."