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New restaurant planned for former Carvel site

A local restaurateur is cooking up a new look and menu for a former ice cream store in the Town of Tonawanda.

Jon DiBernardo, who owns Water Street Landing in Lewiston and founded the former Le Metro in Buffalo, plans to open a restaurant by this fall at Delaware and Kenview avenues, where Carvel had a franchise for more than 50 years.

"It's going to be a casual atmosphere, with anything from burgers to steaks," DiBernardo said. "It's going to be a little bit of everything . . . but it's going to be priced casually."

DiBernardo said he wants the place to appeal to a wide range of diners, from denim-clad sports fans who want to grab a beer and a burger while watching a game on television, to the suit-and-tie crowd stopping for a bite to eat before attending the theater downtown.

"I'm not interested in being a fad," he said. "I want a long-term relationship here."

Changes also are planned for the building itself. This week, the Tonawanda Town Board unanimously approved a resolution related to a proposed expansion.

Councilman John A. Bargnesi Jr. described it as "a very nice project for Delaware Avenue."

A glass extension dating from the 1960s will be razed to make room for a two-story addition that will house a 498-square-foot banquet room on the second floor. There also will be a private dining room on the first floor for smaller gatherings, DiBernardo said.

"There's going to be a lot of different seating arrangements," he said.

Site plans on file at the town's Building Department also indicate a 480-square-foot patio facing Delaware Avenue and parking for a total of 26 vehicles on the three other sides of the building.

The site plan has been approved by the town's Planning Board. Some minor changes are in the works for interior plans, including additional restrooms.

As far as getting to work on the building, DiBernardo said: "I'm not sure when we're really going to hit the ground hard, but hopefully it will be in the next two or three weeks."

The venture is expected to create six full-time jobs and up to 10 part-time jobs.


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