Galleria food court eateries open, but not seating

Walden Galleria

Cheektowaga, NY (WBEN) 'We're open!'  Sort of.

The Walden Galleria is back open.  And while the food court restaurants are open,  seating is still closed off.

Food court operators say that's unfair and are calling for answers from Erie County and New York State. 

"They're either sitting on the floor, taking their food and eating while walking around, and some are eating off surfaces like garbage cans. It's a big problem right now," says Nicolletta Cammilleri, whose family is the Burger King franchisee at Walden Galleria and several other malls.

She says a petition was sent to county and state leaders, but that fell on deaf ears. "We were already frustrated in the fact that we were all excited about getting the word out, but never getting a response at all, so that was disappointing," says Cammilleri. "I think what people don't realize is we are small businesses operating in small towns, and the fact we are not allowed to seat anyone at any capacity where other free standing restaurants can seat at 50 percent capcity is unfair." She says the mall can do social distancing at the food court effectively. "We could put signs on tables where you can't sit, and we could put directions of the floor to help people and keep this a safe environment for people to eat," notes Cammilleri.