A new privately-run restaurant and bar is open for business inside the Marcy Casino in Buffalo's Delaware Park. The restaurant's partners, along with the mayor and leader of the Olmsted park system's administration gathered to celebrate the public-private partnership.
The Terrace at Delaware Park, a year-round restaurant and bar, welcomed its first guests Thursday evening inside the upper level of Marcy Casino. It will host its first lunches next week.
The menu includes many ingredients that, according to co-owner Jason Davidson, will be locally sourced, as much as possible.
He also addressed one of the concerns that some raised during the planning process, parking. Davidson announced Thursday that an agreement was reached with neighboring Albright Knox Art Gallery to use their parking spaces after the latter closes for the evening. Tickets acquired at that lot, he explained, will be validated at the restaurant.
"That opens up another 135 spots, I believe," Davidson said. "That'll definitely help ease the congestion for parking, so we're grateful for that."
Davidson, along with partner Mike Shatzel, invested their own money to renovate the upper level of Marcy Casino, which features updated woodword, a large canoe hanging over the corridor near the bar, and a working hearth in one of the dining rooms. The lower level is also updated and will remain available for private functions.
"They have privately spent over $300,000 on the rehabilitation of this upstairs space," said Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy executive director Stephanie Crockatt. "And they are sharing a percentage of the revenue from this restaurant as a contribution to the Conservancy in order to help us sustain our maintenance practices."
There were critics of this project during the planning stages. A series of articles published by The Public questioned the bidding process and the level of public input.
Mayor Byron Brown, during the ceremonial launch of the restaurant Thursday, said there was plenty of public participation and it was mostly positive.