Mayor Brown: Buffalo restaurants, businesses can soon apply to use outside area for social distancing

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Mayor Byron Brown announced Tuesday that restaurants and small businesses in Buffalo can soon apply to use city sidewalks around their buildings to keep customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brown says the city wants to help businesses as much as it can through the reopening process and says although Western New York is still in phase one, it’s not too early to plan ahead.

“This particular plan assists restaurants and small businesses with their social distancing needs as they work on plans to reopen,” Brown said. “Right now, small businesses are struggling the sooner small businesses are able to ramp up operations the better it is for those businesses being able to survive”

Nick Pitillo, owner of Osteria 166, says he plans on using the sidewalk surrounding his restaurant to follow those social distancing guidelines. 

He says he’s considering having tables on the sidewalk of no more than 6 people and possibly even putting up dividers.

“The reality is we know this is a short term fix, we live in Buffalo the summer yes it gives us a fighting chance it’s 85 degrees right now, what happens in the fall this is just kicking the can down the road and figuring it out a little bit and giving us a fighting chance right now.”

The application to apply will go live on ReOpen Buffalo June 1.

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