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There were classic meatballs made with secret combinations of meats and spices and simmered in a rich red sauce. There were "freestyle" meatballs made of smoked pork and bacon in a Carolina barbecue sauce, from This Little Pig, and chicken wing meatballs from Bada Bing. There was laughter and some dancing in the jovial crowd that filled the closed block of West Moha…

Rob O'Connor was happy chopping fruit and making guacamole at his job at Whole Foods in Rhode Island, but Western New York still tugged on his heart. So, when he heard his employer would open its first store in the Buffalo region, he jumped at the chance to transfer back home. He's not alone. When Whole Foods opened its first local store to much fanfare in Amherst on Fr…

Site work could begin by November on the restaurant connected to the Reikart House hotel in Snyder, after the Amherst Planning Board on Thursday approved the site plan and found the project would not harm the environment. Iskalo Development plans to submit design drawings for the Jazzboline restaurant to the town for building permits in the next few weeks, said David C…

Following is a weekly listing of upcoming public events for those interested in health, fitness, nutrition and family support. The Buffalo News is now accepting more community events than ever for an expanded online calendar. If you would like your event included, submit the information two weeks in advance online at BuffaloNews.com/submit. Mail, fax and email submission…

Public Espresso is launching a new restaurant in the corner storefront of Hotel @ the Lafayette. The space at 391 Washington St., formerly Woyshner's Flower Shop, will offer much more than coffee from Public Espresso's custom-roasted beans. Cocktails and a food menu from a full-service kitchen are also part of a planned menu to debut in the fall, the company announce…

Raise a glass, Hofbrauhaus fans. The German-style beer hall has secured its required number of investors for the new downtown location and is on track for a spring opening, according to franchise owner Kevin Townsell. There are a "handful" of shares still available for accredited investors, running $50,000 apiece. But enough have been secured that the company can move f…

The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is famous for its view. And rightly so. The roar, the colored lights, the wide-eyed tourists from all over the world -- where do you find words for it? How do you describe Clifton Hill? On this famed tourist promenade, people from all over the world gather to goof off. Arcade games abound. Carnival barkers bawl from the funhouses. "…

Egyptian restaurateur Jack Adly is opening a branch of his Mediterranean restaurant in a Maple Road plaza behind Red Robin. The new Venus, 4110 Maple Road in Amherst, will offer a similar menu as his restaurant in University Plaza. Souvlaki, falafel, and beef or chicken shawarma are popular dishes, along with Greek fries, with feta, tomato, garlic sauce and onion. Wi…

1) Resurgence Brewing Oktoberfest, noon to 11:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at 1250 Niagara St. Free to attend. Commentary: One of the best parts of fall? No, not pumpkin spice or apple cider, but stein-hoisting competitions! All those forearm squeezes can pay off. Resurgence's Oktoberfest holds challenges for both men and women on Saturday, plus $10 steins (as you can see from t…

Restaurants spring to life from a variety of circumstances, sometimes strictly business, sometimes more personal. A permitted kitchen on the bank of a mighty river of automobile traffic never goes dark for long. Other restaurants happen because someone was struck by a particular hunger, and had the wherewithal to make it stop. Sam Marabella, a musician who loves sushi, …

West Mohawk Street will be closed Sept. 17 to make room for Buffalo's ultimate test of spherical deliciousness, the Meatball Street Brawl. Eighteen restaurants will woo eaters, their bids 1-ounce meatballs, usually with sauce. Some restaurants will offer two meatballs, said organizer Nick Pitillo, of Osteria 166. "We started talking about 2-ounce balls but when you d…

A public hearing Tuesday night before the Cheektowaga Town Board reviewed the special use permit for an accessory drive-thru window at the area's first Chick-Fil-A on Walden Avenue. The fast-food chain "put a ton" of landscaping and greenery into the site at 1753 Walden Ave., a representative from Bohler Engineering told the board. "Chick-Fil-A takes pride in…

The bar inside the new Whole Foods Market in Amherst has a pool table and, for those daring enough to try it, a sponge candy-flavored milkshake that can be boosted with a shot of alcohol. There's a gas fireplace, rustic chandeliers and beer taps topped with old billiards balls. The bar boasts a rotation of local brews, and the menu showcases local touches, such as a bur…

Kevin O'Connell Jr. has opened Greystone, a fine-dining restaurant that the chef calls his "last hurrah." Opened late August at 445 Delaware Ave., the former Snooty Fox space, Greystone will showcase what he's learned over his culinary career, O'Connell said. The menu features entrees from crispy cauliflower steak with Flat 12 mushrooms ($21) to rack of lamb with min…

Lackawanna restaurant The Mess Hall has a new owner – one of its servers. Sue Staniszewski, one of the original servers at Mulberry Italian Ristorante when Joe Jerge and partners opened the place in 2004. She worked there for about eight years, and when Jerge and others opened the Mess Hall in 2014, she worked for him again. In July, with Jerge and partners working…