By Kevin Collison
Phillippe Lechevin, like other downtown restaurant owners, is improvising to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
The owner of Buffalo State Pizza at 1815 Wyandotte, formerly Papa Keno’s, recently received city permission to open a temporary, 20-person patio in the parking lane of Wyandotte in front and his introduced live music on Friday nights on his back patio.
The federal Paycheck Protection Program coupled with an already-strong take-out and delivery business has helped him keep going.
“We were already set up for carry-out and delivery and that was our savior,” Lechevin said. “About 60 percent of our business is carry-out.”
Buffalo State, the name comes from the state animal of Kansas, specializes in New York-style, hand-tossed pizza. The pizzeria offers 17 speciality pizzas along with slices, sandwiches and salads. Beer and wine also are served.
Having plenty of outdoor seating with patios now in front and back have helped during the pandemic. The city permit for the Wyandotte patio runs through the end of the year.
The back patio is a permanent fixture by the alley. Friday nights feature live music from 7- to 9 p.m., usually a solo artist.
“We play a bit of everything, from honky tonk to blues,” Lechevin said.
He ultimately plans to open a patio bar that will serve ice cream and beer.
The hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
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