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Busters: Good or Bad for Canton?

Written by Milena Kozyra

The opening of a new restaurant may seem inapplicable to any big college town, but to a small village like Canton, the addition of a dining option is critical. Busters Sports Café opened May 29, 2015 in the desolate region of upstate NY.
“Drinks were better than food in my opinion,” said Brielle Finer, a sophomore at St. Lawrence. She then stated how Busters was sporty, and that their salad bar seemed out of place.
Located in the same complex as Busters, there are two other dining options, the Blackbird Café and the Bagelry. Both now have to cope with a new business.
“I noticed less business when Busters opened but now it is not as evident anymore,” said Michelle, a manager at Blackbird. More alarming, in addition to Busters opening, it appears that the Blackbird Café is on sale. Some speculate it could be due to sudden decrease in customer traffic, but the owners are looking to get out of town for personal reasons.
As it turns out, there is only one other Busters location in the North Country. Busters Sports Café in Ogdensburg, NY., has been open for 20 years. “Each business [Blackbird Café, The Bagelry, Busters] is different and not one necessarily hurts the other,” said Lorrie, the owner of the Canton location. Weekends are the busiest for the restaurant. Crowds of college students enter during tournaments and town-sponsored events in the park.
“When people come to a college town and see three businesses open right next to each other, then that looks really good,” Lorrie added later on when asked about competition in the area.
Meryl Motika, an economics professor at SLU, is very passionate about the economic growth of the village. “We need more local economic activity instead of people relying on amazon for everything,” she said. In her opinion, the opening of Busters doesn’t add much diversity to the existing list of commerce.
Canton’s general economy has experienced a downturn in the last decade. “Canton is here because of St. Lawrence and SUNY Canton and St. Lawrence and SUNY Canton are here because of Canton,” said Carol Pynchol, a local town candidate. The candidate believes that more businesses are appropriate for Canton, as well as the general region because they provide options. It isn’t just college students that crave alternatives; there are local residents to keep in mind as well.

About the author

Milena Kozyra

  • swamptrotter

    “Desolate region of Upstate New York”????? First of all, Milena, this is the North Country. You came out of Upstate New York long before you hit Watertown! Desolate???? To you maybe. To those of us who love our region, this is “rural” and we like it that way. Bars don’t make for economic growth or culture. They make for drunken students and drivers and we really don’t need anymore of those. I just love it when people come to live or study among us and want to “help” us improve our region by changing it to be more like the places they came from. I love it so much I want to scream. Many of us shop Amazon or other sites because most of the business here either sell poor quality merchandise, don’t have what we need, or charge far more than we pay using Amazon. Finish your education and go home. Oh, and take Motika with you. She’s one of those people who wants to change this region to be more like where she came from. We have our problems but we don’t need more stores or bars. We need jobs.