City Hall is working to make sure the Erie Basin Marina is fully operational this summer with new operators for some popular attractions.
The former operator of both The Hatch restaurant and the marina facilities was fired by the city over claims Brand-On Services had underpaid the city $515,000. Then, the decision was made to split the operation into a marina contract, already awarded to Smith Boys of North Tonawanda, and The Hatch.
On Tuesday, the Common Council approved awarding the operation of The Hatch to a group of local restaurateurs, led by the owners of Acqua Restaurant. The city is also expanding the building. Councilmember Richard Fontana says it's a good deal for the city.
"This is a good contract for the City of Buffalo. [For] $60,000 a year they are going to be responsible for a lot of the maintenance and upkeep around The Hatch. $5,000 a month rent for any restaurant is high in the City of Buffalo. It's about the top dollar that you are going to get. That's what we are getting here. They are also paying for utilities. There's no free lunch here for the operators," Fontana said.
The Hatch is being expanded to allow more business. During the short debate on the contract, Council President Darius Pridgen says he wants some diversity in the staff of the restaurant from top to bottom.
The new operators of both the restaurant and the marina are being told to have city-wide job fairs to look for workers.