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At The Place, sweeping renovations bring opening closer

The Place’s reconstruction continues, after new owners found the building required more work than expected.

“There wasn’t one right angle in the whole building, so construction has been very laborious and challenging,” said Jay McCarthy. The Buffalo School Board member owns the popular neighborhood restaurant at 229 Lexington Ave., along with Elizabeth Brinkworth.

“There wasn’t one thing we didn’t have to touch, between plumbing, electrical, walls, insulation, roof, everything,” McCarthy said. With new heating and air conditioning plants, that added up to a near-complete renovation.

Now the plan is to try for St. Patrick’s Day week. “That’s what we’re pushing for, with all our power,” said McCarthy. “The footnote to that is that we want to open right, not do it in haste. That’s most important.”

“It’s been quite a project to bring it back to where it should be, to make it functional for the next 20 or 30 years,” said McCarthy. “It’s so important to the neighborhood, and the rebirth of the city. It’s such an institution, with so many people connected to it.”

He’s reminded of that daily, he said. “When are we opening? I probably get that question, 30 times a day, everywhere we go.”

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