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Griffon Gastropub to open new location in East Aurora

Griffon Gastropub will make East Aurora its third location, offering 70 draft beers and a diverse menu of ambitious tavern food in the former Medici House space.

After renovations the restaurant will extend the Griffon brand from Niagara Falls and Clarence to 634 Main St., East Aurora. It’s expected to open in mid-July if all goes well, said owner Ken Scibetta.

The Clarence Griffon has 100 taps; 70 would give the East Aurora location the largest draft beer menu in the Southtowns. The beer selections will be mostly craft beer, from around the world, and Western New York, and there will also be a full bar. There will be televisions in the bar, but not the dining room.

“The inside is gorgeous, except that everything’s painted black,” Scibetta said of the 130-seat space. “Our job is to lighten it up, and put a little bit of our spin on everything.”

The food menu will have many Griffon favorites, like diverse burgers, chicken and waffle sandwich, and smoked Gouda mac and cheese, but more game, Scibetta said. The menu is in development, and he’s trying to figure out how to use the best East Aurora ingredients for real homegrown flavor, he said.

There will be new floors, and the dining room will be mostly booth seating. The patio will be cleaned up, he said, and possibly expanded where landscaping is now.

The East Aurora space was previously Tantalus, then Medici House and Theas. It closed in February, with owners John Rooney and Laurie Kutas concentrating on The Yelling Goat in Lancaster.

Greek dinner: Greek food expert and chef Peter Minaki will offer a dinner May 22 at Milos, 5877 Main St., Williamsville. His Greek Supper Club menu will include tomatoes stuffed with feta and caper leaves, grilled octopus on Santorini fava, rack of lamb with Greek chimichurri, and galakaboureko, a phyllo-encased custard. Seats are $83 all inclusive, with wine, and dinner starts at 6 p.m. Tickets available through milosonmain.com.

Buffalo Proper in Manhattan: Buffalo Proper Chef Edward Forster and Beverage Manager Jon Karel have been invited to present a showcase dinner at the James Beard House in Manhattan.

The June 15 dinner starts at 7 p.m., and $170 tickets are available to the public; go to jamesbeard.org/events/buffalo-proper to purchase. The Beard House, once the home of the famed chef and celebrator of American regional cuisine, now showcases regional cuisine from visiting chefs.

An invitation to present at the Beard House is a milestone in any chef’s career, said Forster. “The history, the chefs that have cooked there, and the man himself, Mr. James Beard, are the legacy of American cookery.” He’s excited to sharing the experience with Nate Washburn and Nathan Beardsley of the Proper kitchen squad, Forster said.

“Presenting at the James Beard Foundation means Buffalo Proper is being recognized for excellence, and now has the privilege to expand upon that recognition,” said Karel. “Not only will we be showcasing WNY’s exceptional terroir in the cuisine itself, but also the world class level of warmth and hospitality we feel is synonymous with Buffalo, N.Y.”

Drinks will include three custom cocktails and “an abundance of wine from the old world and new,” Karel said. Hors d’oeuvres will include rabbit tartines with cognac-scented apricot mostarda, and T-Meadow Farm pig’s head croquettes with smoked aïoli and fermented vegetables.

The six-course dinner will include beef tartare with Oles Family Farm asparagus, shallots, and caramelized whey gelato; roasted Oles kohlrabi with black vanilla tahini, cilantro–yuzu kosho yogurt, shaved apples, and gomasio; and aged duck breast with pine nuts, spruce, and orange essence.

Theodore’s won’t reopen: Three Theodore’s Red Hots restaurants that were seized for back taxes will not reopen.

The company was unable to pay four outstanding sales tax warrants totalling $123,333 and couldn’t secure a payment plan with the state tax and finance department, according to Ted Liaros, the company’s owner. He paid 25 percent of the bill in December, he said, and wanted to work out a plan to pay off the rest.

“We hit roadblocks every time we thought we had the answer,” Liaros said in an email.

The company employed more than 70 people.

Liaros hinted on the Theodore’s Facebook page that he might reopen in Florida and said he would not give up on the business he grew up in.

“This is all I’ve ever done, and I do it well,” he wrote on Facebook. “I don’t believe I am ready to give up on my grandfather’s dream quite yet.”

Theodore and Beth Liaros started the Theodore’s chain in 2011 after being ousted from their positions at their family’s business, Ted’s Hot Dogs. – Samantha Christmann

Closed Thai: Taste of Thai, 1460 Hertel Ave., has closed. Open since 2007, the restaurant shared ownership with Taste of Siam, 810 Elmwood Ave., which opened in 2013 and remains open, serving the same menu during the same hours. “We’ve been telling customers for the last few months,” said manager Mimi Sysomboune. “Pretty much everything is exactly the same as Taste of Thai.”

Send restaurant news to agalarneau@buffnews.com