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Restaurant Notes: The Dock Waterfront Bar & Grill, MidTown Kitchen, The Big Easy

The former Dock at the Bay, on the Lake Erie shore in Blasdell, plans to open by Memorial Day weekend.

Now called The Dock Waterfront Bar & Grill, the restaurant at 3800 Hoover Road has been touched up with interior work that included refinished floors, said Charles Barone, an owner.

The restaurant will be open for Memorial Day weekend, Barone said, possibly as soon as May 26.

Its tavern menu will be expanded to include more seafood, with a New England angle, including more fish, clams, oysters, he said, and possibly dishes like lobster rolls and chowder. There will be steak for surf-and-turf combinations, too.

The Dockside Bar & Grill in North Tonawanda provides a beautiful view of the Erie Canal. Ron Rich, left and Bill Drexler, have lunch. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

The Dockside Bar & Grill in North Tonawanda provides a beautiful view of the Erie Canal. Ron Rich, left and Bill Drexler, have lunch. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

The building, which is 211 years old, has 12,000 square feet of space, Barone said, including a banquet room upstairs with a separate kitchen. That could seat about 250 people, he said. Downstairs, there’s a 42-foot bar inside, and seats for about 80 people.

Outdoors, there’s a square bar and stage for live music. (Friday, ExIT; Saturday, Strictly Hip; Sunday, Zeis and the Muckrakers.) Volleyball teams are already lined up for its two courts.

The Dock is now owned by the same group as MidTown Kitchen, which opened Monday. Other owners include Thomas Cowan, Samantha Soltis, William Paladino and Scott Petch, Barone said.

“We want to pick it up a little bit,” he said, “add more consistency, and really showcase the style of that place and its character.”

Elmwood spot open: MidTown Kitchen, which expanded the former Nektar space on Elmwood Avenue, opened Monday.

“We don’t even have the phone turned on yet, and through word of mouth and people stopping by, you can tell people are excited,” Charles Barone, one of the owners of the restaurant, at 451 Elmwood Ave., said last week. “They like what we’re doing, and they want to hold some special live events in the place and we haven’t even opened yet, which feels pretty cool.”

Its mid-market New American menu from Chef Adrian Bylewski includes appetizers like farro salad with dried cherries and goat cheese, and a giant frico, or cheese crisp, with tomato-basil salsa (both $8). Entrees include beef short ribs with serrano chimichurri and jicama-radish salad and Arctic char with fennel and grapefruit (both $22).

Adrian Bylewski, formerly of Hutch's and Tabree, will be the chef at MidTown Kitchen. (Photo: MidTown Kitchen)

Adrian Bylewski, formerly of Hutch's and Tabree, will be the chef at MidTown Kitchen. (Photo: MidTown Kitchen)

A January fire set plans back by several months, but the finished restaurant will give a offer a fresh look for Elmwood Avenue diners. The new design has opened up the interior of the building. Windows facing Elmwood Avenue can open up from floor to ceiling, and windows facing Bryant Street can slide open in temperate weather.

The restaurant has about 120 seats, with about 72 seats in the dining room, including an expansion into the former parking lot on the Bryant Street side.

It will open serving seven days a week. The restaurant aims to start serving brunch by the end of June, and lunch in July, Barone said.

Niagara Falls lunch spot: Rocco’s Sandwiches and Catering has opened at 10065 Niagara Falls Blvd., the site of the former Calabria Bakery.

In an area of Niagara Falls dominated by chain restaurants, Rocco’s opens for lunch daily, serving sandwiches on bread from Four Seasons Bakery in Niagara Falls, Ont. Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during the week, until 5:30 p.m. Saturdays. Phone: 297-7248. (Hat tip: Mike Kurilovitch)

Gumbo coming: The Big Easy, a casual restaurant at 1335 Main St. with a New Orleans-style menu, aims to open at lunchtime Saturday.

Fried fish and shrimp po-boys, chicken and sausage or seafood gumbo, boudin balls, “debris” fries topped with a roast beef gravy, and more will be on the menu, said Chef Taralyn Stephens. The restaurant plans to open for lunch at 11 a.m.

Stephens is from Donaldsonville, about an hour west of New Orleans. She’s a graduate of Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge, she said, where her experience included Bistro Byronz, Bonnano’s Fine Catering, and her own catering company. The restaurant’s owner is attorney Sam Davis.

The 32-seat restaurant will have customers order at the counter, with table service. Plans are to open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. except for Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. No alcohol, at first, Stephens said. Phone: 884-3279.

Send restaurant news to agalarneau@buffnews.com

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