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CRAWDADDY'S REOPENING BEING PUT ON HOLD

Crawdaddy's, the popular lakefront restaurant closed this month after losing its liquor license for 30 days, will not open as scheduled tomorrow

A source at Specialty Restaurants Corp., the Anaheim, Calif.-based owner of Crawdaddy's and the Flying Tigers restaurant at Greater Buffalo International Airport, said Crawdaddy's will be closed for three months for remodeling.

Another source said that the corporation's plan is to sell the restaurant, lease it to another operator or, as a last resort, reopen it at a later date.

Crawdaddy's liquor license was suspended because of a 1988 charge of racial discrimination. During Memorial Day weekend, black state trooper Elton L. Smith said that he was stopped at the door and asked for identification, even though several white couples were allowed to enter.

Smith testified before the state Liquor Authority last March that he showed his trooper's badge and identification, which does not contain a birth date. A Crawdaddy's employee insisted on a driver's license with photo identification.

The SLA ruled last October that the restaurant would lose its license for 60 days, 30 days to be served almost immediately, and the other 30 days deferred. The deferred suspension would be dismissed if Crawdaddy's violated no alcoholic beverage control laws for one year.

In November, restaurant general manager Louis Cercone said the SLA ruling would not be appealed and that the facility would close during January rather than remain open and serve food only. Business at that time was down 50 percent and 20 employees had been laid off.

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