BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thousands will be gathered under the Electric Tower in Buffalo on New Year’s Eve, and nearby establishments are getting ready to join in the festivities.
Across the way from the location of the ball drop is the Streetlight Brasserie, which opened earlier this year, making Sunday their first time ringing in the new year inside the heart of the party.
“Honestly, I’m from Buffalo, and I’ve never seen the ball drop here, so I’m excited for that,” said Tyler Hinaman, a bartender at Streetlight Brasserie.
Expecting big crowds for the ball drop, parts of East Huron Street, Genesee Street, Main Street and Washington Street will be closed starting at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
The Buffalo Police Department released a statement earlier this week encouraging residents to act responsibly — a sentiment that Hinaman says makes him less nervous for a night of first for him and Streetlight.
“I feel safe about it,” Hinaman said. “Anytime you do go to an event like this, anywhere in the world, you still got to be vigilant, but Buffalo is going to do a good job about taking care of everyone.”
Jay Manno, the owner of both Soho and Frankie Primos +39 on Chippewa Street — which will also be closed from Delaware Avenue to Pearl Street starting 1 p.m. on New Year’s Eve — says more security on the streets is good for business.
“I think they got it down to a science and they figured out a long time ago that closing the street off to traffic with the bike racks keeps any extracurricular activities from happening,” Manno said.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said there will also be DWI details all throughout the weekend, with several law enforcement agencies patrolling the streets.
House of Charm co-owner Peter Terlecky said he would focus on limiting the number of people who enter his establishment so he can keep an eye on those who may have had too much to drink.
“We’re going to have security as we do on the weekend, but we’re going to beef that up a little bit,” Terlecky said. “We’re going to make sure that we’re not overfull and that it’s comfortable for everybody and it’s safe for everybody. So, we’re going to be keeping a good eye on our patrons and make sure everyone has a good experience.”
Manno says he is also making a point to prepare his staff, putting all hands on deck for a full book of reservations on Sunday evening.
“The way the reservations fell, people book reservations later because they’re hoping to stay out and make it to the actual ball drop and the fireworks,” Manno said. “So, I think it’s just going to be busier than usual.”