Walton Street closes as expanded outdoor dining starts in Syracuse

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The City of Syracuse is taking a new step to help get people to downtown restaurants and businesses.

The city closed Walton Street on Friday morning between South Clinton Street and West Fayette Street.

Now, local business owners are trying to get used to all the new guidelines and regulations.

Isaac Rubenstein is keeping up with new guidelines one quarter at a time.

When New York State said that food must be served with alcohol, he found a simple fix.

He is selling a 25 cent bag of chips with each order of a beer at Middle Ages.

This is the latest in a long list of regulations that businesses have been following for months.

“It has been very stressful to adapt to what’s going on here, but it is what it is,” said Rubenstein. “We understand we are in totally new territory here and it kind of comes with what it is.”

Other places are doing the same thing, with some people calling these Cuomo Chips.

Jake Hafner’s Bar and Restaurant has come out with a compliance menu. It’s owner acknowledged that safety is important, but wants to make sure that people can still enjoy themselves.

But, these simple chips and menus may not be enough for everyone. Rubenstein said that because Middle Ages is a brewery, it doesn’t have the same requirements as a bar and restaurant.

He said that chips are compliant here, but the bar is raised for places with full kitchens.

If the extended dining area goes well, the city hopes to do it for the rest of the summer and maybe expand it to other parts of the city.

“I think it’ll benefit everybody a lot,” said Kyle Mastropietro, the owner of Kasai Ramen. “It’s something really, really creative and really exciting to see the city get behind us small business owners. Put something outside not only for us, but for the community as well. I think this gives diners an option where they feel a little more safe.”

Businesses are even opening earlier this weekend to take full advantage of the expanded area.

If you head out this weekend, expect to have at least a snack with your drink.


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