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Samantha Christmann

I cover retail for the Buffalo News and write the Discount Diva column each Monday.


Business

Seating at the Amherst Theatre is getting an upgrade.The theater is installing new luxury seats in all three of its screening rooms. Its traditional seats will be replaced with soft, motorized reclining seats with footrests.Dipson Theatres, which owns the Amherst Theatre, has already rolled out the luxury seating at its McKinley Mall and Chautauqua Mall locations.During pe…

Business

Seating at the Amherst Theatre is getting an upgrade.The theater is installing new luxury seats in all three of its screening rooms. Its traditional seats will be replaced with soft, motorized reclining seats with footrests.Dipson Theatres, which owns the Amherst Theatre, has already rolled out the luxury seating at its McKinley Mall and Chautauqua Mall locations.During pe…

Business

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Discount Diva columnist Samantha Christmann will showcase some of Western New York's best shopping districts. The series begins today with the Tonawanda-North Tonawanda shopping district.If you haven't been to the Gateway Cities in a while – run, don't walk.North Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda have seen a mini-rebirth in their dow…

First Niagara Center will not become Key Bank Arena. Not yet, anyway.KeyCorp’s offer to purchase First Niagara Financial Group on Friday has Western New Yorkers wondering whether the Sabres’ home arena will get a name change.Key said it will not immediately change the name, but added that any talk about the matter is “premature.”“KeyBank will honor First Niagara’s contract…

Business

Hooters, the originator of the so-called “breastaurant” genre of eateries, is looking to return to Western New York.The fast-casual chain is looking for local franchisees as it moves to accelerate its growth and tap select markets.It’s part of a major brand revamp for the Atlanta-based company. It is in the process of remodeling all of its restaurants, it has ramped up fra…

Dick’s Sporting Goods will open its newly-built store at the Boulevard Mall Nov. 7.The sporting goods retailer relocated to the mall from its current location a few blocks away at 281 Meyer Road in Amherst. The Boulevard Mall location adds a women’s studio apparel department, as well as soccer, lacrosse and baseball shops. There is also an expanded footwear department and …

Tops Friendly Markets has completed a $1.1 million remodel of its store in Big Flats, near Elmira.The 42,000-square-foot store has an expanded product selection, including added natural and organic items. It has added freshly-fried donuts to its bakery department and configured a Tops Brew Market with an expanded selection of local and national craft beers.The store now sp…

Tops Friendly Markets has promoted five of its executives to new titles.Ron Ferri, formerly the company’s senior vice president of distribution, has been named executive vice president of operations. He’ll be in charge of long-term strategies and in-store operations. He has been with the company for 26 years.Dave Langless has been promoted to executive vice president. He i…

Niagara Falls will get a new boutique and cafe along the Little River next month.Confetti Cottage will open Nov. 1 at 7917 Buffalo Avenue.The store will feature a mix merchandise including handbags, jewelry, scarves, home decor as well as other gifts and accessories. The cafe will feature coffees, teas and homemade desserts.Confetti Cottage is located on the Little River, …

Business

Forget Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. Do you know what will really have you hiding under the covers? These money statistics from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. They’ll have you sleeping with the lights on.One in three adults don’t have an emergency fund. Think about the last two people you got roped into a group text message with. Chances…

Business

Dale Wettlaufer was a rocket scientist, which made him perfectly suited for a job building military defense equipment. But the aerospace engineer was uneasy about contributing to the war industry and wanted to devote his talents to something more positive.So, in 1976, he walked away from his stable, well-paying career and retreated to his home in the woods of East Aurora. …

Business

A class-action lawsuit against the owners of Sherkston Shores Resort and Campground has been dismissed.The suit was brought by more than 120 homeowners against the owners of the Ontario property, Arizona-based Carefree Communities. It was dismissed by the Landlord and Tenant Board in a ruling announced this week.The lawsuit hinged on whether the Residential Tenancies Act o…

A Fredonia-based catering service is expanding into Erie County with a new facility in Hamburg on Nov. 14.The Catering Company will open its fifth location at 43 Buffalo Street in the former Jimmie’s Pizza Co. It has three in sites in Fredonia and one in Dunkirk. The full-service caterer will also take over food operations for the Braymiller Lanes bowling alley next door.T…

It may be a discount movie theater, but the accommodations are anything but second rate.Dipson Theatres has completed renovations at its McKinley Mall location, and the traditional, folding, crushed-velvet seats are gone. All seats in the six-screen theater have been upgraded to reclining armchairs, complete with footrests and cupholders.Ticket prices for the second-run th…

Gusto

If czarnina is the only Polish soup you can name, a trip to Zupapalooza may be in order.The second annual Zupapalooza Polish Soup festival will offer up a dozen fresh, ethnic soups as prepared by some of Western New York’s premier Polish cultural groups.On the menu are:• Ogorkowa, a dill pickle soup traditionally made with potatoes and sour, salted cucumbers. It will be se…