Niagara Falls clearing some red tape for outdoor dining at city restaurants

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The expedited permit process for expanding outdoor seating in Niagara Falls started last year to help restaurants with social distancing and the city is continuing the practice this year.

City officials say, even though capacity restrictions will be lifted in restaurants, measures like this are still needed to help businesses.

“While it’s true that capacity will change, table set up, all of those things that might still lend itself to a reduction from full capacity will be in place for good public health reasons,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino. “We think that by extending this opportunity, restaurants will be able to expand their footprint.”

Power City Eatery was able to use their patio for outdoor seating, so they don’t need the expedited process. The owner says the expedited process, along with the lifting of restaurant restrictions, is a step in the right direction

“It makes you realize what you were missing taking on all those restrictions. So we’re really blessed and happy to be where we are now,” said Joseph Hotchkiss, owner of Power City Eatery.

Any business interested in expanding their outdoor seating is asked to call the city’s department of planning at (716) 286-4470.

Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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