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Empire Grill closed, owner expects sale of Hertel Avenue restaurant this week

Empire grill

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Empire Grill served its last meal Sunday. Owner Nick Kotrides said he expects to sign a sale contract this week.

He declined to name the buyer. After a 2004 groundbreaking, the two-story restaurant at 1435 Hertel Ave. led a new wave of restaurant openings on the street.

The 25-year veteran of Buffalo restaurants and bars put his three properties up for sale a few months ago. They include Toro Tapas Bar, 492 Elmwood Ave., and Faherty’s, the bar next door where Kotrides started in 1989. “I was shocked at the amount of interest Hertel got as opposed to Elmwood,” he said. “I would have definitely thought it was the other way around.”

He’s trying to sell Toro and Faherty’s together, which explains part of the difference, he said.

While he works on the sale, he’s planning to remodel Faherty’s. It’ll stay a bar, and get some freshening up, without losing its character. “There’s a difference between cleaning it up and changing the personality of the bar,” he said. “The floor can be redone, the stools reupholstered,” he said. “I’m not saying we’re going to turn it into a swanky place. Our motto is. ‘We’re not fancy, we’re Faherty’s,’ and I can’t change that.”

Photo: Buffalo News file


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