Now that word "snow" is appearing less and less in the weather forecast, and it might be safe to finally put away your shovel, it's time to consider the next obvious question: When is my favorite seasonal restaurant going to open?
Here are 14 answers.
1) Dug’s Dive, 1111 Fuhrmann Blvd.
NOW OPEN. But this will be the last year the Small Boat Harbor spot will be at this location (through Oct. 15); owner Tucker Curtin is looking for a different waterfront location. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., menu here.
2) Liberty Hound, 1 Naval Park Cove
Opening April 27. One of the newer seasonal restaurants in Western New York and a popular Canalside destination will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
3) The Silo, 115 N. Water St., Lewiston
Tentative opening May 1. The popular spot on the Lower Niagara River near Artpark is almost ready, according to a post on its Facebook page: "Our usual opening day is May 1st, we will be working hard to get things up and running for you in the meantime. If you see is out front feel free to come up and say hello and check on our progress."
4) Mississippi Mudds, 313 Niagara St., Tonawanda
NOW OPEN. The restaurant with the rooftop seating providing a view of the Niagara River is open at 11 a.m. daily.
5) Old Man River, 375 Niagara St., Tonawanda
Tentative opening April 24 or 25. Did someone say sweet potato fries? If the weather holds, this Niagara Riverfront institution famous for them should be open this weekend.
6) Louie’s Foot Long Hot Dogs, 69 Grand Island Blvd., Tonawanda
NOW OPEN. Listen? Do you smell something? That would be the heavenly aroma of foot-long hot dogs cooking at the western end of Sheridan Drive. Open for business at 10 a.m. daily.
7) The Hatch, 1 Harbor Line Road in Erie Basin Marina
The Hatch will open at 11 a.m May 1. Salads, grilled chicken sandwiches, dressed-up hot dogs and more, plus an ice cream selection.
8) Clinton’s Dish, 44 Prime St. at Canalside
Clinton's Dish will open May 23. The Canalside site serves upgraded hot-dog-shack menu, including vegetarian sandwiches, fried pickles and beer.
9) Dockside Bar & Grill, 153 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda
Will try to open by Mother's Day but isn't sure yet. The 19th century building that has been converted into a casual dining spot on the Erie Canal is undergoing substantial renovations, but is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday; noon to 3 a.m. Saturday; and noon to 2 a.m. Sunday.
10) Wild Bill Hickory, 9840 County Road, Clarence Center
This roadside barbecue stand has a following that is devoted and growing - and hungry. There is good news for you, according to his Facebook page: "Hoping to open for the 2015 season April 21st!"
11) Hanna's Frosty Treats, 140 Taunton Place
NOW OPEN. North Buffalo's favorite place to wait in line outside - because you end up with some of the best frozen custard in the region - opened for the season earlier this month.
12) Monte Alban taco stand, 507 E. Center St., Medina
The weekend-only taco stand next to Monte Alban, the Mexican grocery in Medina, won't open before Friday, May 1. Call (585) 798-9767 before you head out, if you want to make sure. Once it's open, it's noon-6 p.m. or so, Friday through Sunday. (UPDATED.)
13) Pam’s Custard Corner, 2190 South Park Ave.
Opened in early April. This corner ice cream stand in South Buffalo serves creamy custard, hard ice cream, shakes, sundaes and Arctic Swirls. “Fuze” your selection with your choice of 32 flavors including apple pie, banana and cotton candy. Hours are from noon until 10 p.m. through September.
14) Tappo Restaurant, 338 Ellicott St.
Rooftop dining begins April 28, weather permitting. The Mike Andrzejewski-owned eatery features traditional Italian dishes and affordable bottles of wine.
Did we leave any of your favorite seasonal stops off the list? If so, please comment on the article, and we'll do our best to track down details.
Story topics: canalside/ Clinton's Dish/ dockside grill/ Hanna's Frosty Treats/ Liberty Hound/ Medina/ Mississippi Mudds/ monte alban/ Old Man River/ outdoor eating/ Pam's Custard Corner/ patios/ restaurants/ Tappo Restaurant/ The Hatch/ tonawanda