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Dockside Bar launches expansion

When summer finally returns to North Tonawanda, house-made ice cream will be on the menu at Dockside Bar & Grill.

The restaurant at 153 Sweeney St. is in the midst of a major renovation that will expand the canal-side North Tonawanda restaurant, and enable it to remain open year-round.

“We dug up the patio and will put in a basement,” said Dunbar Berdine, the restaurant’s chef. “We’re putting in two floors of convertible space. And we’re tripling the size of the kitchen.” It’s a three-story addition, if you count the new basement.

The new place will add about 100 seats, to offer summer seating for 250, counting the side patio, and 200 in winter.

The kitchen will be expanded to serve the new space. “I was working with half a walk-in (cooler), and now I have three times that much,” Berdine said. “I’m getting a whole bunch of goodies that will let us do things we couldn’t do before, like make our own ice cream. All sorts of fun stuff.”

Traditionally, Dockside has been a summer-only place, closed from roughly Labor Day to St. Patrick’s Day, Berdine said.

Now “it’ll be usable in the winter as well,” he said. “The party room upstairs will be for when we’re super busy in in the summer, and also we’ll be able to section it off for private parties and bigger events in the winter.”

The place closed Feb. 1. Plans are to reopen by early May. (Hat tip: Scott Brown)

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