Restaurateur Mark Hutchinson is buying Papa Jake’s.
The yet-to-be-renamed restaurant at 1672 Elmwood Ave. will be freshened up but still feel like an old-time tavern, Hutchinson said, a place you’d go to watch a game.
Fish fries, wings, burgers and other made-fresh dishes will be on the menu, along with a chalkboard listing nightly chef’s specials.
“We’re going to remodel somewhat, change the tables and chairs, and make it a food destination, as well as a bar,” Hutchinson said. The goal is to open by mid-October, but that could get pushed back, he said.
The process of purchasing the restaurant has taken longer than he expected. “We expect to close this week,” he said Monday.
The North Buffalo tavern closed last month while owner Scott Leary works on The Jake, his new property in Kenmore, which began bar service last month.
Hutchinson already operates the fine dining restaurant Hutch’s, with partner Mike Haefner, and they will operate the restaurant formerly known as Papa Jake’s. (It is as yet unnamed; Hutchinson dismissed the suggestion of “Papa Hutch’s.”)
Hutchinson also operates the fine dining spot Tempo and North Tonawanda’s upscale casual Remington Tavern with partner Paul Jenkins.
Haefner will be in charge of the kitchen, while it gets up to speed, at least, Hutchinson said. Longtime Hutch’s staffer Tony Shareno will be the front-of-house manager.
The 50-seat restaurant is expected to be open seven days a week, for lunch and dinner.
La Tee Da closes: La Tee Da Cafe, the cozy Allentown dining spot with a popular back patio that opened nearly a decade ago, closed Aug. 29.
La Tee Da employee Lindsay Quick described the closure as “a family decision” and said there may be a new project in the works, but declined to get more specific.
“We’ve been doing it for a long time,” Quick said. “Basically, we’re ready to do something else.”
A Facebook message written by Quick’s sister and fellow La Tee Da employee Emily Nugent was widely shared in foodie circles:
“La Tee Da Restaurant has been a part of the Allentown community for almost 10 amazing years. Thank you to all of the friends and family that have worked at La Tee Da over the years, we truly appreciate you,” Nugent wrote.
“To all of our amazing customers, La Tee Da would not be the same place without all of you. And we thank you for your love and support. I love you all, this is a positive change for our family and we are excited to embark on new adventures! Be on the lookout for what we do next!”
The restaurant’s closure follows the departure of next-door neighbor Rust Belt Books, which left its longtime Allentown home for new digs on Grant Street last year. - Colin Dabkowski
Lancaster Thai open: A Thai food truck owner has opened Water Lily Café in Bowmansville.
Kim Suphankomut, owner of the Thai Me Up truck, started selling food from the restaurant, 5354 Genesee St., in August.
The 35-seat restaurant offers a small menu of Thai dishes, like papaya salad, and Vietnamese specialties like pho, or noodle soup.
The restaurant’s menu is online at waterlilycafewny.com.
Washington Market for sale: The Washington Market on Ellicott Street is for sale.
Mona Khoury said that after seven years, “we’d like to semi-retire,” she said. “We’re grandparents now, and it’s time to enjoy the grandkids.”
The business, located at 461 Ellicott St., includes a deli and salad bar that draws a lunch crowd, and a solid catering roster, Khoury said.
The business is for sale, not the real estate. The 6,400-square-foot space is in a building is owned by Rocco Termini.
Interested parties should contact John Ticco at Pyramid Brokerage, she said.
Send restaurant news to firstname.lastname@example.org