Updated: June 10, 2021 11:36 PM
Created: June 10, 2021 10:51 PM
WEBSTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Bay Side Pub in Webster will be torn down this winter. Town officials made the decision so crews can raise the road to prevent future flooding.
Town Supervisor Tom Flaherty says it’s an unfortunate situation, but if they flood again, it could be the worst they've ever seen. So many people are devastated that Bay Side's days are numbered. To prevent future flooding, construction has to be done, which makes the pub collateral damage.
"A bunch of people are going to be losing their jobs because of what's happening," Marc Szuba," a longtime patron of the pub said. "Bay Side is what we look forward to."
Many are overwhelmed by the news their favorite place to go will soon be just a memory. Lifelong employees don’t want to believe it’s true.
"I cried for two days, and I still well up," Connie Heid, who has been a server for Bay Side for over 18 years, told News10NBC. "This place has heart and soul. We see customers. We see children that grow up over the years."
The pub sits on Lake Road where major flooding has hit more than once. With government funding waiting in the wings to raise the road and build flood walls, Flaherty says they have to use it or they lose it.
"We're building the break walls to withstand 252," Flaherty said. "if you've ever seen a computer rendition of where the water would be at the base of the pub and Lake Road, it would be completely underwater and based on the age of the structure, you would have to take it down after that."
A new building will be put in its place, but anyone will be able to bid on it. Robert Buono has kept the Bay Side grills running for over a decade. He says it’s crazy to think they beat the COVID-19 pandemic but are being taken out by this.
"After 25 years of fighting to stay here and keep myself and others employed, now we have to fight to stay in the same building again," Buono said. "It’s tough.”
Flaherty says the town owns the property where the pub sits. The new building will have to go through a strict proposal process. He says he wishes he could give Buono the new keys, but his hands are tied at this point.
"You would like to think that the current owners that have run it for over 20 years would have the fast track on this, but we can't prioritize them over someone else,” Flaherty said.
Buono says they hope a compromise can be made not only to satisfy the bulk of the community, but so they can go back to what they call home.
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