Teaming up to offer a free ride to upcoming Art of Beer

Michele DeLuca/staffOwners of the Marketside Restaurant, Matt Poletti, left, and Tony Poletti, stand in front of The 755 Restaurant with its owners, Nader Merhi and his mother, Basma Merhi. They are providing a free limo service back and forth to the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center for its upcoming event the Art of Beer. There will also be an afterparty at The 755 Restaurant.

NIAGARA FALLS — Parking can be challenging at the annual Art of Beer, which is one of the most successful fundraisers held annually at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center on Pine Avenue.

Hundreds of people attend the event to sample offerings from about 60 beer, wine and food vendors and listen to live music from local bands. 

This year, for the March 6 event, the owners of two City Market restaurants want to make sure that everyone who would like to attend can do so.

Those concerned about limited parking can take a free limousine ride from the City Market, where there is ample lighted parking, back and forth to the NACC just down the street.

The owners of the Marketside Restaurant, including Mike Poletti and his two sons, Tony Poletti and Matt Poletti, have joined with the owners of 755 Restaurant and Lounge, to provide the free service.

Nader said the point of the free rides was "to make sure people have a place to park and get to their cars safely," he said, adding that those who participate will also have a place to go to after the Art of Beer, which begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m.

The 755 Restaurant, which specializes in Italian and Lebanese food, is holding an afterparty.

"We're having good food, some specials for beer, appetizers and lots of space. And it's nice and warm," Nadar said while standing outside in the market for a photo shoot on a chilly winter day.

The limo rides are the idea of Tony Poletti, who is president of the Pine Avenue Development Project and vice president on the board of the nonprofit NACC.

Kelly Lang Buckley, a spokesperson for the NACC, lauded the restaurant owners for taking the reins and helping to solve the parking problem for the fundraiser.

"The recent successful development efforts around the art center have made it harder and harder to find parking during large events that can attract over 1,000 people," she said. "So Tony developed a solution to welcome tourists and patrons to the NACC in style!"

The limo shuttle service will run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and will bring all patrons back to their cars for the The 755 restaurant afterparty, which will run from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Advance tickets for the Art of Beer are $40 general admission and $30 for NACC members and are available at both The Marketside and The 755 or online at www.thenacc.org.

The event features more than 100 menu items from our local brewers, cider-makers, mead-makers and distillers as well as culinary delights from local chefs and restaurants.

The NACC is located at 1201 Pine Ave. For more information about the Art of Beer, call the NACC at 282-7530 or visit online at www.thenacc.org.

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