A Cheektowaga plaza with several vacancies may get two new restaurants and a jewelry store.
Smokey Bones BBQ, Fuddruckers and Jared's Galleria of Jewelry all want to move into the plaza on Walden Avenue across from the Walden Galleria mall that is anchored by Wegmans and Burlington Coat Factory and home to the Olive Garden. The town's planning board has not yet given Wegmans, the property owner, approval for the projects.
Smokey Bones is taking the space vacated by PetCo and will open next summer. This will be the third Smokey Bones in New York State and among 75 others on the East Coast. The first Smokey Bones in the state opened in a suburb of Albany and a second is opening in a suburb of Syracuse early next year.
The restaurant features barbecue and other American favorites with a rustic, mountain lodge decor. The restaurants have 20 to 30 televisions with sound control at each table. Entrees range from $5 to $21. Guests spend $14 each, on average.
Darden Restaurants owns Smokey Bones, Red Lobster and the Olive Garden.
"We've found communities that strongly support Red Lobster and Olive Garden are great locations for Smokey Bones, too," said spokesman Joe Chabus. "Our Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants in the area have been very successful over the years."
Fuddruckers will open its restaurant in the former Payless Shoe store some time next year. Fuddruckers, known for its giant hamburgers, will have a 1950s and 1960s theme with bric-a-brac and memorabilia decorating the walls.
Fuddruckers has had a restaurant at 4300 Maple Road, near Sweet Home Road, in Amherst since 1986. It closed briefly and reopened in February 2003 with a new franchise owner and a brighter look.
Jared the Galleria of Jewelry is the final new tenant for the plaza. It will take the space previously occupied by Pier 1 Imports.
Jared is part of the Signet Group, which is based in London and one of the world's largest specialty retailers and the parent company of Kay Jewelers.