New membership boat club and kayak rentals will be available this summer
The State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today announced the opening of Charlie's Boat Yard Restaurant at Buffalo Harbor State Park. The newly renovated restaurant will give the public a tasteful way to enjoy Buffalo's waterfront. Local owners Chuck and Mary Goodspeed have invested nearly $180,000 in renovations and plan to employ a staff of 60 people.
"This will be a wonderful year for Buffalo Harbor State Park as we work to build on the success we have already seen with the nautical-themed playground and other activities," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "We invite the Western New York community to take advantage of the new restaurant, get out on the water with a rental boat and be a part of this growing waterfront destination."
"We are pouring our heart, soul and resources into the Boat Yard restaurant, because we see it as our way of investing in the future success of Buffalo's waterfront," Mary Goodspeed said. "Gov. Cuomo made the brilliant decision to create the Buffalo Harbor State Park, now we are capitalizing on the unique location by providing amenities the public will absolutely love."
The inside of the 2,800-square-foot restaurant has been redone with a modern nautical theme. An 1,800-square-foot patio, as well as an outdoor bar, have been added as a unique place to dine alfresco and enjoy the sunsets.
Charlie's Boat Yard will offer lunch and dinner seven days a week with breakfast also served on the weekends. Boaters can take advantage of dockside service with a delivery boat bringing food right to their bow.
In addition to the restaurant, park visitors will have two new ways to get out on the water this summer.
The Freedom Boat Club, a membership-based boating club, will be setting up a locally owned franchise at Safe Harbor Marina. FBC members will receive unlimited access to a new fleet of fishing boats, deck boats and pontoon boats, which are owned and maintained by the club. Although membership boat clubs are new to Buffalo, FBC has been in business since 1989 and has over 10,000 members nationwide.
Members reserve the boat, show up at the dock and take off. Another unique aspect about FBC is its 100 locations with more than 1,000 boats around the U.S., which can be accessed on a reciprocal basis at no extra cost. Members heading to Florida, Boston, San Diego or many spots in between can reserve a boat and enjoy the water at their favorite destination. Like most clubs, there will be social events and boating-related seminars. More information can be found at www.freedomboatclub.com.
For boaters who would rather be self-propelled, there is the new Outer Harbor Kayaks (716-445-5881) rental service open at the Gallagher Pier. Kayaks will be available to rent on an hourly basis. As Buffalo's waterfront continues to be developed, people are eager to explore the shoreline. A paddle from the Buffalo Harbor State Park to Canalside at the Inner Harbor is sure to be a popular excursion.
"Safe Harbor is committed to offering new and diverse ways to get Western New Yorkers out on the water. We are pleased to partner with the Freedom Boat Club and Outer Harbor Kayaks for those who enjoy actively being out there," said Darby Campbell, owner of Safe Harbor Development. "And, of course, for those who just enjoy watching water, we know that Charlie's Boat Yard will become a very popular destination. Safe Harbor is thrilled to be a part of Buffalo's waterfront renaissance."
Work has begun on the $3.76-million rehabilitation of the breakwall and revetment. This project is phase two of the $15 million in capital improvements provided through the NY Parks 2020 plan to completely reinvigorate the Buffalo Harbor waterfront. The rehabilitated breakwall is being stabilized and will include paved walking and bike paths, shaded seating areas, the introduction of a fishing platform and lighting. The southern revetment will also be rehabilitated and, like the breakwall, will be stabilized and feature increased fishing access. The southern revetment is expected to be completed by the summer and the breakwall by September. View the newest improvements here.
Robert Gioia, chairman of ECHDC and the Buffalo waterfront development advisory committee and president of the Oishei Foundation, said, "Access to the waterfront is what drives all of our decisions at ECHDC. We are happy to see a new restaurant that provides a way to relax at the water's edge, and rental boats that give people an opportunity to spend time on the lake. Buffalo's Outer Harbor is the place to be this summer."
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 65 million people annually. A recent study found State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.