Local businesses worried about lack of Taste of Syracuse this summer

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taste of syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A second straight summer with no Taste of Syracuse. It was a tough decision to make and even tougher to swallow for area restaurants.

“Well, unfortunately, it wasn’t a surprise,” said Kevin Speciale, Director of Operations of Dinosaur BBQ. “We were all hoping we would have one, but we are slowly getting to the other side of this pandemic, and now is not the time to have it.”

Dinosaur BBQ is a pillar of downtown and is always there for the festival. But the chance to earn back revenue isn’t totally lost. The Taste of Syracuse team will host Picnics at the Park, 13 Thursday afternoons from June to August at Onondaga Lake Park. Spaces on the lawn can be reserved to enjoy scaled-down music favorites from the main event and food trucks will sell samples for a dollar. 

It sounds like a great opportunity, but what a lot of restaurants, including Dinosaur, are struggling with now is having enough people to participate. 

“The biggest thing is how are we going to staff this? Everything comes down to staffing right now,” Speciale said. “Man, we are turning down events left and right and we want to stay open later with the restrictions being lifted, but this is the thing we have to realize: Is it worth it? Are we going to burn our staff out? So these are all questions that are in the air right now.”

Staffing is certainly an issue. One each establishment will have to navigate.

As we look ahead to 2022, the Taste of Syracuse team says it can’t wait to have people back enjoying all Syracuse has to offer. 

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