SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —The streets of downtown Syracuse are packed with tables, live music and people every weekend, but, as colder weather approaches, restaurant owners are becoming more fearful of what will happen to their businesses.
The co-owners of some downtown restaurants are worried about how colder temperatures will affect the restaurants’ bottom lines.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, business slowed down to almost nothing for some restaurants, and outdoor dining became a compromise for some people. With the weather getting colder, many customers might not want to eat out if eating inside is their only option.
To help increase business, on weekends, the city shuts down Walton Street to traffic and restaurants set up tables in the street. Alexandro Gonzales is the co-owner of Margaritas Mexican Cantina. He says the city’s “Weekend on Walton” events have helped increase his sales during the pandemic.
“It has been a big boost, since we have been able to do the outdoor patio, and the street patio so when the winter comes, it will be less revenue for us without the patio and street patio,” Gonzales said.
He said he predicts that the winter will cause his business to drop another 20% to 30%.
Ryan Benz is the owner of the Oh My Darling Restaurant. He said his restaurant is also being hit hard by the pandemic.
“Every business has suffered losses,” Benz said. “I think conservatively we are down 30% to 40% right now. That is a reality based on reduced seating capacity.”
Gonzales plans to expand next door to make up for the business he will lose.
“I just leased the place next to us which is a much bigger spot,” Gonzales said. “It is going to be another 20-25 tables, and it is going to be another bar. Remodeling should be done in a couple months, and that should give us what we are losing outside on the patio.”
Gonzales said he plans to have the expansion done by the end of the year.