Operator sought for former Sonoma Grille restaurant in Amherst - The Buffalo News
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Operator sought for former Sonoma Grille restaurant in Amherst

Iskalo Development Corp., the Williamsville-based developer that is building a new Hyatt Place Hotel and renovating the former Lord Amherst Hotel along the Youngmann Expressway in Amherst, is seeking out a new restaurant operator for the former Sonoma Grille space on the combined property.

The existing restaurant building consists of 16,500 square feet, with 9,200 square feet on the first floor and 7,300 on the lower level. Iskalo plans to renovate it and add 1,225 square feet to the event space, and expand the patio.

The former Sonoma Grille had been run by Michael Militello, but closed as part of Iskalo’s redevelopment of the entire property into a “hospitality campus.” The firm said it is now reaching out to a list of operators locally, regionally and nationally, “in addition to responding to parties that have expressed interest directly,” to solicit proposals for a new restaurant to serve the two hotels. Officials hope to select the restaurant by late summer, with an opening slated for late spring of next year.

The new 137-room Hyatt Place is now framed in concrete, and renovation work has started on what will be an 88-room upscale boutique hotel in the neighboring former Lord Amherst. The Hyatt will open in February 2015, with the yet-to-be-named boutique inn to follow soon after.

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