Lawsuit asking the state to allow about 40 restaurants to reopen indoor dining moves forward; pre-hearing conference set for Jan. 4

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Rusty Nickel Brewing Company has been in business for about 5 years. They have locations in both Buffalo and West Seneca.

Since the start of the pandemic, the restaurant, like many others in Western New York, have been bending over backwards trying to comply with the ever changing regulations for Covid-19.

Now that much of Erie County is in the orange zone, restaurants and bars have reduced their businesses to just take out or outdoor dining. Jason Havens owner of Rusty Nickel Brewing Company says it’s because of that, that they’re struggling to make ends

“For people that don’t understand the business, they may not understand that this is tied to my house, my livelihood, everything I have. So if it fails, everything goes with it,” Havens said. “When you take our entire business model and we flip it upside down, yes we do adapt, but we can only do so much before we put ourselves in financial jeopardy.”

Rusty Nickel Brewing Company is one of about 40 local restaurants that have joined a lawsuit against the state. The lawsuit is asking the state to allow these restaurants to reopen indoor dining and with the previous covid restrictions in place. There was an appearance before Judge Henry Nowak on Monday.

“He’s aware of the fact that the state’s own information shows that the restaurants are not contributing to the covid19 pandemic, but he also suggested that maybe we can sit down and workout some kind of agreement with the state to see whether the restaurants on a voluntary basis could be opened,” said Cory Hogan of HoganWillig Attorneys at Law.

The pre-hearing conference set for January 4th.

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