For eight years, Bryan Mecozzi worked on 3648 South Park Ave. with family and friends, aiming to turn the building into a bistro honoring the steel mills that once overshadowed the neighborhood.
Last Tuesday, Mecozzi opened his own place there, called Black Iron Bystro (blackironbystro.com, 240-9830). “We gutted the entire storefront, which used to be my great uncle’s print shop,” said Mecozzi, who is also the chef. It’s dinner only, closed Sunday and Monday, with about 40 seats.
Mecozzi has worked in food service since he was a teenager dishwasher, most recently as Vera Pizzeria’s sous chef for about two years.
“We basically decked it out industrial style, building my own light fixtures,” he said. Turn-of-the-century Buffalo was his inspiration for decoration, with images of Bethlehem Steel and the Erie Railroad, he said. Artist Christopher Kameck helped design interior and exterior features, he said. There are no televisions, and Mecozzi expects it to stay that way.
There’s beer and wine, no hard alcohol, and a small menu aimed at upgrading tavern food. Frites, arancini, grilled cheese, a grilled pork banh mi (pictured above) and scallops are on the current menu. It should change with the seasons, with about four dinner specials a night, he said. Prices range from $7 frites to the $18 scallop entree.