SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)– Businesses in downtown Syracuse are bracing for longer wait times and more profit with the upcoming Christmas Tree Lighting in Clinton Square on Friday, Nov. 26.
Funk ‘n Waffles barista Aiden Hawkins started working at the restaurant during the pandemic and said since they reopened it has blossomed into a different space.
“It’s really gratifying to see so many people coming here enjoying themselves,” Hawkins said.
He said events like the tree lighting give a nice sense of community in the area.
“It’s always great to see so many people hopefully wearing masks coming in and out maybe here for the first time,” Hawkins said.
Funk ‘n Waffles is kicking off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving waffle as one of its featured items.
Hawkins predicted it will be a top seller the evening of the Christmas Tree Lighting.
“It’s a stuffing waffle with mashed potatoes, smoked turkey and gravy and cranberry sauce,” Hawkins said. “It’s really good.”
Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant Co-Owner Pedro Alonzo said they are decorating their store for the tree lighting and upcoming holiday season.
“We are excited about the Christmas spirit,” Alonzo said.
Alonzo said they hope customers will feel welcome with the decorations, and he said the restaurant expects people will stop by before and after the tree lighting.
“We like to think most likely people are going to stop by,” Alonzo said. “We are really close by [to Clinton Square] and especially with this weather, it’s as I say ‘the Christmas spirit’ with the snow coming in so people will probably want to warm up and walk into the store and get something to eat.”