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NO, NO, NO
MASIELLO SHOULD NOT ENTER INTO ANY MORE DEALS WITH SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS

A THOUSAND TIMES- no. That's the one and only word that should be coming out of the mouth of Mayor Anthony Masiello in response to David Tallichet.

Tallichet is the founder of Specialty Restaurants and he is also the same man who owns the site of the former Crawdaddy's restaurant at the Erie Basin Marina. Since that restaurant went down the tubes a few years ago, Tallichet has strung along Buffalo officials -- breaking promise after promise to renovate the restaurant and bring it back to life.

His promises are empty. Yet the mayor said he is willing to listen to yet another proposal from Tallichet for a $4.2 million restaurant and banquet complex to be built on the vacant Crawdaddy's parcel at the marina entrance.

Just think of Masiello as Charlie Brown and Tallichet as Lucy. For the umpteenth time, Charlie Brown, er, Masiello, is going to take a kick at the football being held by Tallichet. How many times does hizzoner have to fall on his mayoral keister before he realizes something isn't quite right here?

We would love to see a popular restaurant on the waterfront where Crawdaddy's used to be. It was one of the nicest spots in the city, especially on a warm summer night. The view was spectacular.

But Tallichet's ideas and promises to resurrect the restaurant have continually gone up in smoke. This time, he said, is different. He's willing to back his plans with financial guarantees. We'll believe it when we see it. Even then, buyer beware. Why would the mayor want to do business with someone who has consistently failed to keep his promises?

Tallichet first floated plans to remodel the Crawdaddy's building, which served its last meal in the summer of 1998. Then, following months of inactivity after the restaurant was razed, Specialty Restaurants announced that a completely new $3 million-plus structure was on the drawing board. That's where it stayed.

In November 2001, Masiello said, "What is there to talk about? I don't want any more discussions." He should have trusted his instincts.

The mayor can try putting as many restrictions on this proposed deal as he wants. The fact remains, Tallichet snatched the ball away from the City of Buffalo far too many times to be given yet another chance. The answer should be a firm "No!"

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