WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Town of Webster is looking to expand and revitalize a park between Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario, Sandbar Park.
The project would be done using recent grant money from the state to help with flooding. It would involve sidewalks for pedestrians, public areas to fish, and a pavilion overlooking the lake.
If these plans go through, one key staple in the area would be seriously affected.
The Bayside Pub lies right in the middle of the town’s plans. Meaning, it would have to go, with a new building take it’s place.
Not just that, but any bar or restaurant can bid on it, leaving current operator Robert Buono upset.
“We have to compete to stay here now when we’ve been operating here for so long successfully,” said Buono.
“I just don’t think Webster needs another park they need restaurants,” said Chris Rittenhouse, customer.
Town Supervisor Tom Flaherty says since the building is owned by the town, they can’t just hand it back over to the current owners. It needs to be bid on, by with a formal request for proposal.
“We can’t just hand it to the incumbent you have to put it out to bid,” he said.
But Flaherty says, he knows the kind of restaurant they’d be looking for, and Bayside meets all those qualities.
“You know what we want? We want the Bayside, we know the model, that type of food, that ambiance,” he said.
Flaherty says the building would have to go at some point anyways, as it’s in danger of major damage if high water levels return again.
In the meantime, Buono says business has been great. He loves how the restaurant makes people feel, and wants to continue as best he can.
“Its not the building, gravel parking lot, its not the rickety dock, it’s the charm and personality from the people that work here”
There will be an open house for the Sandbar Park Project Saturday June 12, at the Webster Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market, from 9am to noon.