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City officials at odds over waterfront restaurant

By Mark Scott and Michael Mroziak

Buffalo, NY – With a blazing sun and the beginning of a holiday weekend, Buffalo's waterfront was the place to be Friday afternoon.

Hundreds of people were milling about, touring the visiting "Pride of Baltimore" or enjoying a cold drink from the new "food shack" at the Central Wharf. A 400-foot extension of the wharf and the new food stand were dedicated during an early afternoon ceremony.

It was held amid some controversy.

Mayor Byron Brown is being criticized for putting a roadblock in front of plans to develop a restaurant inside the nearby Naval Park museum. Brown is making no apologies.

He said the city owns the museum building and should have been consulted on the restaurant plans.

Earlier in the day, Common Council Member Richard Fontana offered his assistance to kick-start the restaurant project.

Fontana told reporters he and his colleagues want to actively get the project moving so that it might be available to people visiting the waterfront during the summer months.

Mayor Brown said he supports a restaurant but that a final agreement to develop it must be in the best interests of city taxpayers. Brown said he has been told Naval Park officials will be responding soon so that negotiations can move forward.