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Restaurant Notes by Andrew Z. Galarneau: Eddie Brady’s expands amid neighborhood renewal

Eddie Brady’s was serving burgers in downtown Buffalo before serving burgers in downtown Buffalo was cool.

Eddie Brady opened the place in 1990, and kept the lights on and the beer cold while buildings down the block crumbled. Now, following about $200,000 in renovations and a kitchen expansion, the tavern at 97 Genesee St. is offering an expanded menu for lunch and dinner.

There are even salads ($7). That comes as the tavern – long an outpost on a block nearly devoid of commercial life – finds itself amid a host of new restaurants within blocks, like Dog e Style, Marco’s, Marble + Rye, Toutant and more.

“There was an alley on the backside, that’s our kitchen now,” said Pat Brady, Eddie’s brother and the other owner. “I think we did a good job, we cleaned it up, brought back the tin ceiling.”

The new setup went into effect last month, Brady said. “We used to have four sandwiches. It’s comfort food, but we’ve got nine sandwiches, wraps, daily specials. Check out what we’ve done.”

Hamburg Chinese changes hands: Ginger & Garlic, a small Chinese restaurant in Hamburg, is changing hands as its original owners retire.

The restaurant, 5685 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, has been sold to new owners who plan to keep it a Chinese restaurant, and keep the name, said Carl Lam, son of the original owners, Kenny and May Lam.

The Lams are from Hong Kong originally, and Kenny Lam journeyed to the United States in 1969. He’s been working in Chinese restaurants since then, with a few breaks, Carl Lam said.

In 1980, Kenny Lam opened his first restaurant, Manchurian House in Hamburg. Subsequent restaurants in Woodlawn and Cheektowaga were shortlived. In 2008, Kenny Lam opened Ginger & Garlic. The small building had previously been Mike’s Subs and Elizabeth’s Tea Shoppe.

His parents are retiring, Carl Lam said. “They have no future restaurant in the cards.”

Lam said it was his understanding the new owners should reopen soon, after the usual licensure steps.

Closed on Elmwood: The Black Swan Lounge has closed, and the owners are seeking to sell the business.

The lounge and restaurant at 153 Elmwood Ave. opened in March, with an eclectic food menu and a cocktails list chockablock with science fiction references.

“We’re looking into selling the business,” said Monique Fortunato-Lester, who opened the Black Swan with husband Bryan Lester. “We recently had a baby, and decided to dedicate our efforts to family.”

Prior to the Black Swan, the building last housed Cozumel.

Closing on Hertel: The Nortel Grill plans to close on Sept. 30.

There will be a farewell party Sept. 25, according to the tavern’s Facebook page.

“We will be having a going away party for our valued customers and close friends,” it says. “Please stop by and wish Barb well in her retirement.”

The family-owned tavern at 732 Hertel Ave. was one of a shrinking number of Buffalo places opened and run by a single family for decades.

Here’s what Jana Eisenberg wrote after she dropped in a decade ago:

“The Strzyz family founded the Nortel (so named for being on the corner of Norris and Hertel, of course) many, many years ago. ... The current owner, Barbara Strzyz, literally grew up in this building. Though she doesn’t live here anymore, she always comes to close up.”

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