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Restaurant notes: The Mahony, Namaste, Nye Park Tavern

A former Seneca Allegany Casino chef is opening a restaurant in the Fairmont Creamery building, a few blocks from HarborCenter.

Brian Mahony is calling his place The Mahony at the Fairmont, “a great American eatery,” he said. It’s on the first floor of the eight-story Fairmont building, at 199 Scott St. With tenants like Pegula Sports and Entertainment in the building, plus apartments, the restaurant could have a built-in clientele.

With a dining room plus a large bar, it’ll have about 190 seats in the 5,300-square-foot place, Mahony said. “It’s a unique space, with some pub overtones, with some of the industrial look kept in there.”

It’ll open serving lunch and dinner, every day but Sunday. Mahony said his menu will be a melting pot of American influences, including Italian, Asian and Mexican cuisine.

Mahony, a Williamsville native, has spent more than 20 years working in hotel kitchens, including the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. Most recently, he was executive culinary director for the Seneca Allegany Casino.

Awaiting final inspections, Mahony hopes to be able to open by the end of the month.

New Amherst Indian: A restaurateur who operated an Indian restaurant in Rochester is working on opening Namaste, a new Indian restaurant in Amherst.

The restaurant will replace Aman’s Restaurant, 224 Plaza Drive, Amherst, in the Dash’s plaza near the intersection of Hopkins and Klein roads. It seats about 80 diners.

Jasvik Grewal, the owner, previously operated Royal India in Rochester, said Jaspreet Kaur, his daughter. The owners have applied for permits including one to sell beer and wine, Kaur said.

Early plans are to have a buffet and dosas at lunch, and a la carte dinner service, Kaur said. Hopefully the restaurant can open in April, she said.

Elmwood tavern redone: The Nye Park Tavern opened March 15 in the building that formerly held Papa Jake’s.

The interior of 1672 Elmwood Ave. has been redone, with floors refinished, booths removed and several windows uncovered to allow more light into the back room, said owner Mark Hutchinson. The goal was to create a new tavern that feels like it’s been there all along, he said. It will have about 60 dining seats.

“We’re going to have blackboard specials, lunch and dinner, plus a menu of standard tavern fare,” Hutchinson said. “Salads, wings, nice big salads, things like that.” The draft beer system has been replaced, and will sport 16 taps, he said.

The name is a reference to the neighborhood’s original name. Nye Park, which stretched north from Nottingham Terrace, was developed after the Pan-American Exhibition. “There were Nye Park signs up until a few years ago,” he said, and a Nye Park Cleaners remains near the corner of Great Arrow Avenue.

Hutchinson also operates the fine-dining restaurant Hutch’s, with partner Mike Haefner, and they will operate the new place. Haefner will be in charge while Nye Park Tavern staff gets settled in, Hutchinson said. Hutchinson also operates the fine-dining spot Tempo and North Tonawanda’s upscale-casual Remington Tavern with partner Paul Jenkins.

“This is more of an everyday place,” he said. “Come after a game, before a game, any time.”

Tandoori’s bankruptcy: Tandoori’s Royal Indian Cuisine has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but plans to remain open during the reorganization process.

“Tandoori’s has filed a Chapter 11 reorganization case because this will allow us to repay some of our long term business debts over a longer period of time than would be possible outside of bankruptcy,” said Ravi Sabharwal, Tandoori’s vice president. “Other than that, we will be continuing our business as usual. No employees are being let go.”

The restaurant, at 7740 Transit Road, Amherst, estimated in its bankruptcy filing that it has $50,000 to $100,000 in assets, and about $200,000 owed to outside parties. The asset listing does not include the restaurant’s Transit Road real estate, which is held by a separate corporation, according to Sabharwal.

Tandoori's Royal Indian Cuisine, at 7740 Transit Road in Amherst, has been in business for 25 years, but now it's struggling financially. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Tandoori's Royal Indian Cuisine, at 7740 Transit Road in Amherst, has been in business for 25 years, but now it's struggling financially. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

The corporation’s total debts are about $2.2 million, according to the filing. Of that, $2 million is owed to Ravi and Rita Sabharwal themselves. That’s money that the owners put into the corporation personally, which shows their dedication to keeping the restaurant viable, Tandoori’s spokeswoman Puja Raman said.

Among listed debts was $174,401 in sales taxes and interest owed to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. A 2014 Tandoori’s tax return included in the filing listed gross receipts of $762,161.

Also filing personal Chapter 11 bankruptcy was Sabharwal, husband of Tandoori’s owner Rita Sabharwal. In 2014, Ravi Sabharwal pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to filing a false tax return. In that case, the U.S. government alleged Sabharwal had told undercover IRS agents that he was underreporting restaurant receipts to lower tax payments.

“Tandoori’s has been our labor of love for almost 25 years,” said Sabharwal. “While we have had our challenges over the last couple of years, we have every intention of continuing to provide a fine dining experience to our beloved community.  We feel that this reorganization will put us in the best position to serve our customers for years to come.”

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