Number of Springfield restaurants receive American Rescue Plan funding

Number of Springfield restaurants receive American Rescue Plan funding
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 8:09 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - A number of restaurants in Springfield are the latest recipients of American Rescue Plan funding and the money will be used to improve the city’s outdoor dining scene.

Western Mass News is getting answers on what people can expect.

As temperatures start to rise, people in Springfield may want to take their meal outside of the restaurant this summer. Mayor Sarno announced that millions of dollars will go to restaurants  across the city to expand outdoor dining.

More specifically, 17 restaurants will be splitting $2 million dollars in American Rescue Plan funds.

Springfield mayor, Domenic Sarno says the funding will help make the city’s downtown a more vibrant and foot traffic-filled destination.

“When I’m out and about and I see people at the outdoor dining people absolutely love it from near and far coming to the city of Springfield. Now,to be able to expand it to more neighborhood staple areas, it warms my heart,” Sarno explained.

Western Mass News was there on Tuesday as he addressed a group of some of the restaurant owners with outdoor dining dreams.

The owner of White Lion Brewing Company, Ray Berry already has plans for a new location in Steiger Park.

“It’s going to drive new business development. We’re going to have a container that is going to warehouse 2 kitchens. It’s going to be a street food concept that will not only enhance the downtown food conversation but also complement the existing food establishments,” Berry told us.

Owners say the outdoor dining model which became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic is now a new avenue of business to explore and in some cases is helping them take their businesses to more successful heights.

“We went Bankrupt during COVID and due to the members and the community we were able to get back on our feet again…We found out that with outdoor dining we had never done it before, but due to COVID, we tried it and it really worked. So, we’re excited about the opportunity to expand that,” noted Rich Devine with the John Boyle O’Reilly Club.