BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The construction to open Main Street in Buffalo back up to traffic is moving along right on schedule. And, in anticipation of the construction ending, new businesses are opening up.
"A lot of excitement. A lot of hype behind the launch of Perfetto Restaurant," says Perfetto Owner Jay Haynes.
Haynes opened his Italian steakhouse in January. At first, the place was packed because show season attracted customers.
But now, construction on the 600 Block of Main Street to open it back up to cars means his profits have taken a hit.
"Construction it is what it is, and there's a price to pay for anybody. You know? Whatever that may be measured in. For us, unfortunately, it's measured in a little bit absenteeism on our customer base," says Haynes.
Haynes had to lay off 60-percent of his workforce. He is hoping he can rehire many employees soon.
Mayor Byron Brown tells us that construction on the 600 Block will be done sometime this fall, and as that wraps up, work will begin on the 500 Block.
The projects total more than $29-million, and the hope is that they will pump that, and more, back into the economy.
"Essentially, when the light rail rapid transit went in in the early 80s, it killed business in downtown Buffalo. It killed retail in downtown Buffalo. We want to breathe new life into retail in downtown Buffalo," says Brown.
Mayor Brown says making the 700 Block of Main a two-way street has already added millions of dollars to downtown's economy.
"We are making good progress. We are hitting all the timelines that we have set for ourselves," says Brown.
"There is progress. We can certainly see out the front windows of our beautiful restaurant all of the progress and the construction that's taking place. Ultimately, it is no doubt going to take us in the direction that we want to be at," says Haynes.
For now though, Haynes says plans for a front patio are on hold until the construction is over.
"We know that once this construction is completed, that we're going to be a viable part of the landscape of downtown Buffalo, and I'm proud to say that the people that are working here are committed to that," he says.
Brown tells us construction on Main Street will continue even through winter.