By Michael J. Billoni
Casey's Cabana, a seasonal summer restaurant at 1437 Ferry Road on the shores of the Niagara River, was founded by three Grand Island High School students. It will open its third season at 11 a.m. Monday, May 11, for takeout and free delivery to local residents.
Luke Hess and Gabby Bergstrom, current GIHS seniors and two of the three founders, decided to open two weeks earlier because students are no longer required to attend school during regular hours. The students also have flexibility in completing their daily distance learning.
“We are opening early, because we know everyone wants to experience summer as early as possible in light of this COVID-19 quarantine,” explained Bergstrom, who is completing her year as president of the New York State DECA program.
“We have been in direct contact with the Erie County Health Department and other officials to ensure we are kept abreast of all updated information as soon as it is released. Our staff of fellow students will all be following the updated safety recommendations to ensure both our customers and employees are safe,” said Hess, who served as co-president of the Rotary Club of Grand Island’s Interact Club at GIHS.
Casey’s Cabana will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week from May 11-25. It will then reevaluate business before announcing a future schedule.
The success of this student-run business in its first two seasons has given the operators an opportunity to implement a point-of-sale (POS) system, which enables them to take online orders and improve efficiencies. It also gives them the opportunity to sell gift cards, which they will promote for graduation and summer birthday gifts. Orders may be placed at www.caseyscabana.com, on their Facebook page, or by calling 716-431-6639.
Following social distancing guidelines, they will welcome walk-up customers. Once the bans are lifted, outside seating will open. They are also looking to add new menu items this season.