Patio parties were a hit for struggling businesses to give them a few hours relief this past weekend during the Buffalo Bills game.
However, they can’t repeat that success this weekend, unless changes are made.
Currently under the orange micro cluster category, dining is allowed outdoors, with no more than 4 people per table. They also must close dining by 10pm.
The Bills are scheduled to play the Baltimore Ravens at 8:15pm. Essentially meaning that without change from the State, it wouldn’t be allowed after the first half of the game.
Many bars and restaurants made thousands of dollars in modifications and expansions to be allowed to see some revenue come through the doors. Something they’ve been struggling to do since March.
This past weekend, Buffalo Mayor Brown even gave the nod and stamp of approval for the success and execution of “Playoffs On The Patio” that took place on Chippewa.
Playoffs on the Patios a SUCCESS! Very happy to see people supporting the Buffalo Bills and small businesses while also…Posted by Mayor Byron W. Brown on Saturday, January 9, 2021
Despite his expression of approval, they won’t be allowed this weekend, without change.
For some, that change may come in the form of a court order for 91 establishments suing the state. Supreme Court Judge Henry Nowak is supposed to rule by Wednesday if those establishments can allow indoor dining and dining past 10pm. They would still be required to maintain social distancing and normal mask protocols, while not seated.
One local restaurant, Neat, in Williamsville, announced on their social media already that they are forced to cancel. As a result, they will take a hit of several thousands of dollars as well as cutting shifts for their employees.
The post read” Sorry but unfortunately we will have to cancel our Patio Party next weekend. Since we are still in the orange zone we have to close at 10pm. 😢”
“It’s crazy that you can go to any other state and enjoy a Bills game more than you can in the state the team is from.” said one Bills fan who attended a Bills Party at a Bills Backers bar in Arizona this past weekend.
Other fans posted to social media showing Bills Backer Bars packed all across the country both indoor and outdoor dining.
Without patio and outdoor dining, Bills fans will be forced once again to gather at home. The place that accounts for the number one spread of COVID-19 cases. According to the State report, home and private gatherings accounted for over 73% of cases, compared to just 1.43% came from bars and restaurants.
It is unknown if fans will be allowed at the stadium again this weekend, or if they will they be allowed to eat there after 10pm.
Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has called on the Erie County Health Department to relax closures.
You can read his full press release here, which was sent to Erie County Health Department, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Mychajliw is one of the few local elected officials who continues to fight to save the local bar and restaurant industry.