BUFFALO, N.Y. — The City of Buffalo, city officials, and businesses took some hard hits during 2022 from tragic events to severe weather. So now there is hope for some celebration, but also reflection, as they approach the new year. You do see some of that ugly gray urban slush downtown on some sidewalks as a lot of the snow has either melted or got trucked away for the New Year's celebration.
So some restaurants and bars hope to brighten or lighten things up a bit. For example, at Fattey Beer Company in Buffalo, they are re-supplying for their New Year's Eve party near the Electric Tower ball drop. The event is sold out, which is good news, and maybe the lift we all need after storms and tragedies in 2022.
They also have a location in the Southtowns. The owner, Nik Fattey, told 2 on Your Side, "It was tough losing Thanksgiving. We had some tough weather around there. Then we had some tough weather around Christmas.
The day before Christmas Eve is usually one of the biggest days of the year, and most small businesses around here lost that, something that hurt. But coming up, I think, this last few days when then weather warmed up, it's been great." He added: "I think all the towns, all the small businesses are really looking forward to it. We were just shopping for supplies and stuff like that to be ready for it.
You know everything was busy, which is great to see because it's been a long time since we've had that." Then also downtown, the Grotto Bar and Restaurant was finally back in business on Niagara Street on Friday after a holiday week from last Thursday to Wednesday of lost business due to the storm. They pulled in a good lunch crowd on Friday after a hectic few days of trying to order food supplies from wholesale dealers, which were also closed for a while. Now owner/manager Justin Puleo is also contemplating a new business year. "I hope everybody comes back in here even though we were on a little break," he said.
"We had great food to go. We miss our customers. The whole week we didn't see them." Conversely from City Hall, we saw a lot of Mayor Byron Brown and other city officials in recent days.
And as emergency services and plows got stuck, he was roundly criticized by some for the city's storm response. Even national media and another local government leader threw darts at him. So 2 on Your Side asked how he is approaching 2023.
"Doing well. Still operating on little sleep," Mayor Brown said. "One thing we see with our frontline first responders and our city services managers is that if they don't get enough sleep, they may not make the best decisions." And now some reflection from Brown on the events of this past year.
"There are families in this community who have lost loved ones, and as mayor of the City of Buffalo that always weighs very heavily on me," he said. 2 On Your Side asked him: Do you think this community took another hit again because of this and all the comparisons back to the 1977 blizzard and people around the country thinking, "I don't want to go to Buffalo, it's like Siberia"? He replied: "I think generally this is not necessarily a hit to the this community because of the way Buffalonians come together, because of the way we help each other, the way we lift each other up."