BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- A new restaurant unveiled at Buffalo Harbor State Park Friday.
Charlie’s Boat Yard replaced Dug’s Dive; the new place is renovated with a modern nautical theme, and a 1,800 square foot patio and outdoor bar have been added.
It’s owned by local couple Chuck and Mary Goodspeed, and sits along the Outer Harbor marina, which the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and the state chose to be developed by Tennessee company, Safe Harbor Development.
Safe Harbor has invested $10 million into the marina to redesign slip layouts and improve the docks.
Most people are excited about the new investments into the area, and feel the new restaurant will bring in even more revenue.
“It’s going to bring in a different clientele which is going to boost the economy for the immediate area,” said Robert Farrell of South Buffalo.
He’s not a slip holder, but told News 4 he enjoys taking his boat around the Outer Harbor, and looks forward to checking out Charlie’s.
The breakwall and revetment are also getting a $3.76 million face-lift, which is phase two of the $15 million in capital improvements provided through the Buffalo Billion and the New York Parks 2020 initiative.
When plans were first announced to replace Dug’s, some feared it would cater too much to slip holders.
Most people News 4 spoke with Friday had warmed up to the idea, but admit, they’re cautiously optimistic.
“Everybody comes down here, so I’d like to see everybody come and use it,” said Norman Freiert of Buffalo.
There was some concern early on that non-slip-holders might need to pay for parking, but Parks officials told News 4 that option was tossed out.
“Certainly the pricing would be a thing too. If they make it too pricey people aren’t going to go there as much,” Freiert said.
News 4 checked out the menu at Charlie’s Boat Yard; the fare and pricing is comparable to Dug’s Dive.
Lawmakers in support of Outer Harbor development applauded efforts to turn the land over to the public.
“We knew for a while that, for a generation, when NFTA owned this land that they were a mismatch of a steward,” said Assemblyman Sean Ryan.
“Thankfully the folks who believed in the vision of maintaining public ownership of waterfront land won out the argument. And we see what we can do with that by looking around today,” he continued.
Also in the mix for the Outer Harbor are two new ways to access the water, a paddle to and from Canalside, Outer Harbor kayaking and a membership boating club.
“What we’ve seen at Canalside, we’re attempting to develop out here on the Outer Harbor, and that is a desired place to recreate on the water, to bring people, to picnic, to bring your family,” said Region President of Empire State Development, Sam Hoyt.
Kayaking at the Outer Harbor kicks off May 21 and Charlie’s Boat Yard is open now.