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LETTERS

A response to review from Westby's worker

I am an employee of Westby's Pub and Eatery and have been employed here since we opened last year. I am writing regarding your restaurant review published May 6 ("New restaurant's fare begins well but quickly goes south," by Niagara Restaurant Reviewer Mike Kurilovitch). As this is your job, to rate restaurants based on your experiences, I feel it is mine to speak up on behalf of my place of employment.

I would like to start off by thanking your daughter for her praise of the restaurant and am obviously extremely disappointed that you did not get to share that experience with her. Our goal is a family restaurant and I know that I personally look forward to spending time with my own family and friends there.

I also appreciate the positive feedback on the updates that have been done to the restaurant from prior owners. I cannot begin to describe to you the time and effort from the owners, their families and their friends that went into revamping this restaurant.

But the reason I am writing you is not about your critique of the food, which is obviously your job. When I read the article this morning, my father warned me before I had even seen it that it was "really rough." It didn't take long before customers were actually calling the restaurant to say how "horrible" and "extremely harsh" the article was. We received much positive feedback and praise from our customers to disregard the article and keep doing what we are doing.

Do we need to make some changes and improve? Absolutely. What restaurant doesn't need to constantly look to make positive changes to continue to grow?

I thank you for giving us that kick in the butt that we might have needed. But to go as far as comparing Westby's to "a trans-Atlantic romp on the Titanic" was described by our customers as "disgusting."

I do not know if you are aware of the history of Westby's; formerly J.T. Wheatfield's, which was constantly in the news being linked to things like drugs and underage drinking.

People that live in the neighborhood are happy that two owners decided to purchase a building knowing of that horrible reputation, and turn it into a positive, family-friendly atmosphere.

We have more than 20 staff members who have become our family, and have spent much of their time and energy into turning this restaurant and bar around, and making it into a place to come with your family, have a great meal, dance, enjoy live music and laugh. This is the livelihood of two amazing business owners, as well as their families, that have put everything they have into building this dream.

The result of your article has temporarily put a halt to this, and will take us time to recover from.

I personally do not think it was necessary to bash us to the degree and depth that you have and hurt our family the way that it has. But I would love nothing more than for you to come in one day and meet our owners, our chef and a few of our staff members.

I would like you to try a few different things on our menu, have a drink and really experience what Westby's is all about. I know you have given us two chances already, but as they say, the third times a charm. We hope to hear back from you.

Megan Lederhouse

Sanborn