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Current manager, bartender to buy Taboo restaurant in Ulrich Center

Taboo, one of Lockport's most popular restaurants, is being sold and will change its name to Lock 34 Bar & Grill.

Thursday, the Greater Lockport Development Corp., the city's development agency, approved the transfer of the balance of a 2007 loan to the new owners: Taboo's current manager, Chris Bell, and the assistant manager and bartender, Brian Junke.

Doing business as CBJ Enterprise, they are buying Taboo from David L. Ulrich.

Bell said the restaurant, which now operates Wednesday through Saturday, will be open seven days a week under the new management. It will open at 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon on Sunday.

R. Charles Bell, the city's economic development director, said the balance on the city's loan is $115,000. He said CBJ will have the option of paying it off over four years at 2 percent interest or over six years at 4 percent interest.

R. Charles Bell said he is not related to Chris Bell.

Ulrich owns Ulrich City Centre on Main Street, where Taboo is located. He said he will continue as the restaurant's landlord. He declined to disclose the purchase price, but said the transfer will probably be finalized within 30 days.

"Taboo is extremely successful and we do appreciate all the support we've had," Ulrich said. The restaurant is jammed every Friday night during the summer, because it faces the City Centre courtyard, where the Molson Canal Concert Series is held. That series begins tonight with Steven Page, former lead singer of the Barenaked Ladies.

Chris Bell said he and Junke plan to expand the menu with more seafood and gourmet pizza choices, while reducing bar prices slightly and making some decor changes, such as installing some booths.

In other action Thursday, the development corporation granted permission for a co-op market at 51 Canal St. on Saturdays in July, during the new community market to be held on the sidewalk outside. The corporation owns the building.

Heather Peck, program manager for Lockport Main Street Inc., said several established businesses will supply Lockport-themed merchandise for the co-op store, to be staffed by a Lockport Main Street intern.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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