Here's the latest news on the fate of the late, beloved Tsunami. Chef Mike Andrzejewski has closed the popular Kenmore Avenue place and tells us that it will be taken over by J.J. (James Joseph) Richert and his brother, Kevin Richert. Both men, still in their 20s, have had much experience in the local restaurant world. J.J. is the present chef of Prime 490 on Rhode Island Street; Kevin is the chef at Nektar on Elmwood Avenue.
The new restaurant, which will open by March 1, is to be called Torches to symbolize, J.J. says, the torch that's carried on from Andrzejewski. Both men helped staff Tsunami during Andrzejewski's last hospital stay.
"We're not going to label ourselves as any sort of restaurant; we both have a love for barbecue as well as fine dining," J.J. says. "We want to feature fine dining at casual prices." The men plan to add a sushi bar and a brand-new,S-shaped cocktail bar.
As for Andrzejewski, he will enter the hospital this month for more surgery to correct injuries suffered after his motorcycle accident. After extensive therapy, he plans to teach at Erie Community College. He will help plan the menu at the new Torches, as well.
If you have news of the local restaurant world, write to Restaurants, The Buffalo News, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Janice Okun