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Batavia City Council has unanimously approved the sale of a small downtown park area to local restaurant owner Ken Mistler, in the hope that another outdoor dining area will further revive business in Downtown Batavia.
Current city park where new South Beach patio will be located
The final price of the 1,900 sq. ft. parcel adjacent to South Beach Restaurant will be about $1,000. Mistler will reportedly close on the property within the next few weeks.

Mistler has said he plans to install a patio area on the parcel as early as this summer, for outdoor dining and entertainment. That’s music to the ears of Councilwoman Kathy Briggs, whose fifth city ward includes the area of South Beach.

"I think it's going to enhance Downtown, and bring more people to Downtown. I'm excited about it," said Briggs.

"He's got the restaurant, and now he wants to expand it and have something outside – it's going to 'piggy-back,'" she said. "Because now you have Larry's that has the patio; Main Street Pizza, people are sitting out there. So I really think it's going to bring more (to the area)."

Ken Mistler tells WBTA he envisions a drive-up outdoor grille for the site. He expects the new patio to create 3 new jobs at South Beach, for one cook and two servers.

"We want to cook outside, a barbecue," Mistler says. "It'll be closest to Main Street, so cars driving by can stop, pull up and get a burger or a hot dog.

"People dining on the patio will be able to order off the grille menu, and then watch their food being cooked."

Mistler says he hasn't yet decided whether he'll knock out part of the outer wall to extend his bar area outdoors. If he does not remove part of the wall, he'll need to purchase a new liquor license to operate a separate cash bar outdoors.

Other upgrades would include an awning over the area Mistler owns, which will extend about eight feet out from the restaurant.

The park is currently maintained by Batavia's Kiwanis Club, and it is a memorial to the club
's deceased members. Mistler plans to protect that heritage.

"I've asked the city to allow me to be the one to maintain the park," he says. "I'm going to install about a six-foot wide sidewalk that will be a memorial for the Kiwanis Club."

That sidewalk will be laid with engraved memorial ricks, which Mistler plans to sell to locals and park patrons. He'll donate all of th money to the Kiwanians. Mistler says he'll even pay for the installation of each brick, out-of-pocket.

All work is tentatively expected to be completed by the early part of this summer.

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