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Hertel's Public House working on Root Five deal

A Hertel Avenue tavern and restaurant is working on a deal to take over the Root Five site in Hamburg.

Frank and Sara Testa, owners of The Public House of Buffalo, 1206 Hertel Ave., are aiming to open the Hamburg restaurant by April 1. “We’re looking at taking over in the very near future, and opening as soon as permits and legalese will allow us to,” Frank Testa said. Lou Milazzo will partner with the Testas on the Hamburg location, at 4914 Lake Shore Road.

“Dave Root built a great place,” Milazzo said. “You couldn’t ask for a better setup or a more amazing location than we’re looking at.” They’re working on a lease with a purchase option, Milazzo said. The Public House opened last summer.

"We’re going to take the menu we’ve used at the Public House, and stay pretty true to that,” Testa said. “But that location dictates that you have to add a lot more to it, and that’s the intention.” The plan is to add more seafood, like oysters, mussels, clams and more, he said, and perhaps a ceviche-style lobster cocktail.

The partners are aiming to open by April 1. “If we get it done sooner, we’d like to open sooner, but things take time,” Milazzo said.

The partners are planning to make catering and banquets another mainstay of the business going forward, Testa said. “There’s nothing on the waterfront like Root Five.”

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