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English-inspired crepes-and-coffee shop to replace Sweet ness 7 on Parkside

Five years after opening, Sweet_ness 7 on Parkside Avenue is becoming an English-inspired neighborhood restaurant.

Owner Prish Moran is turning her crepes-and-coffee spot at 301 Parkside Ave. into a casual place centered around English-style pies and sharing plates.

Sweet_ness 7 Parkside closed Monday. It will reopen, hopefully before Valentine’s Day weekend, as P. Moran’s, Moran said. Her Sweet_ness 7 restaurant on Grant Street will remain open.

The menu isn’t set yet, but expect pies based on organic ingredients in flavors like Guinness beef, ratatouille, and Gruyere and cheddar mac and cheese pie, Moran said. Not to mention cheese boards, vegetable boards with dips, salads, stews and more, she said. Figgy pudding will be among sweets.

Beer and wine will include sustainable wines from around the world under $30 a bottle, she said. P. Moran’s will be evenings-only at first, she noted. She’s aiming for a “crusty, cozy candlelit den atmosphere” that reminds her of the neighborhood pubs she enjoyed during a recent trip to England.

“It is the place that I want to go to and can’t find in my neighborhood,” said Moran. “I’m getting into my English roots.”

Restaurant in the park: The Valley Community Association is working on adding a restaurant and event space to River Fest Park, the new park along the Buffalo River.

The facility would be located in the park, at 249 Ohio St. The single-floor facility would primarily be a banquet space, but open to the public for Friday dinner, and buffet brunch Saturday and Sunday, said Kristin Rose, restaurant manager.

“As the summer goes, we’ll see if there’s a demand for lunch,” Rose said.

The building will also offer public bathrooms on its exterior that can be used by crowds drawn to the park by weekly summertime concerts, and its location on the bike path along the river.

Currently the goal is to open the facility by St. Patrick’s Day. Organizers expect to apply for a full liquor license once permits for the building are obtained, she said.

The facility’s name, linked to the area’s history, will be revealed at a grand opening later this year, Rose said.

Nickel City Chef: Tickets for the eighth season of Buffalo’s live cooking competition, featuring local chefs exploiting local ingredients in an Iron-Chef-style format, went on sale Jan. 1.

The lineup of Nickel City Chefs, the “home team” in the contests, now includes Victor Parra Gonzalez, whose Mexican-inflected fine dining has drawn customers to his Youngstown restaurant, Jaguar at the Bistro. He replaces J.J. Richert, chef-owner of Smoke on the Water in the City of Tonawanda.

Scheduled bouts include Gonzalez versus challenger Joseph Fenush, chef de cuisine at Toutant, Feb. 21; Jennifer Boye of Elm Street Bakery versus challenger Chaz Bulera, of Grand Island’s the Riverstone Grill, March 6; and Adam Goetz of Craving versus challenger Phil Limina of Tappo, March 13. Prominent Buffalo Chef Mike Andrzejewski, who has provided color commentary at Nickel City Chef events for years, will challenge Edward Forster of Buffalo Proper in a sold-out April 3 match.

Artisan Kitchen & Baths, 200 Amherst St., hosts the events. The $45 entry fee includes snacks.

For complete details, coverage of prior seasons and a link to buy tickets online, go to nickelcitychef.com.

Arepas arrive: The Latin American stuffed corn cakes known as arepas, one of the world’s great snacks, are now available in a Buffalo-area restaurant.

Ranchos Latin Food, 1516 Niagara St., is a casual Venezuelan restaurant that opened Dec. 26. Owner Joel Perez is from Aragua, Venezuela.

Arepas stuffed with pork, beef or chicken are on the menu, as well as Venezuelan sandwiches like patacon pisao, shredded beef with garlic-cilantro sauce between fried plantain “bread,” and sancocho, a weekend-only soup with beef, chicken and corn. The phone number is 882-1800.

Send your restaurant news to agalarneau@buffnews.com

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