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Restaurant notes: Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen, Black Water Tavern, Aro Bar de Tapas

A new restaurant offering coal-fired pizza is coming to a historic site in Lewiston.

The site, 800 Center St., Lewiston, was last an automobile repair business. Now Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen is underway there. Its owners are Michael Hibbard and David Murphy, who are opening their first restaurant.

Hibbard, whose family owns Hibbard Custard, runs his own specialty ice cream company, M. Hibbard Super Premium Ice Cream, providing custom flavors to restaurants and stores. Until recently Murphy was the sous chef at Carmelo’s fine dining restaurant, down the street.

A new foundation for kitchen expansion and new bathrooms has been poured, as work continues, Hibbard said. The owners hope to open in late spring or early summer.

Pizza will be a menu mainstay, produced with an anthracite-fired oven designed to cook pies at 900-1,200 degrees, hotter than wood-fired ovens. “It produces a pizza faster, and you have a different flavor,” Hibbard said. “The best way to describe it is toasted – it’s not burnt, but has that toasty taste and texture.”

Housemade pastas and craft cocktails also will be on the menu, which is in early draft stage, Hibbard said.

The restaurant’s name is a nod to the site’s history, Hibbard said. In the early 1800s, the location was once Hustler’s Tavern, where the term “cocktail” was reputedly coined, from the use of a tail feather to stir or decorate an alcoholic concoction. “Gallo” is Italian for rooster.

Alden opening: Alden has a new restaurant choice with the opening of Black Water Tavern & Tap in the former MaGavin’s building.

Its first day of business at 12443 Broadway was Monday. The new owners, Joel Barry, Dragi Jolevski and Michael Jolevski, have renovated the place, while keeping the wood-lined dining room, with two communal tables and a fireplace. It’s the first restaurant there since MaGavin’s closed three or four years ago, Barry said. Before that, the place was called the Cricket Club.

There’s a gastropub menu with sandwiches and wings, plus a few larger plates like chicken marsala and a strip steak. “I love the Buffalo bar scene, and am trying to bring the city feel to the suburbs,” Barry said. The phone number is 902-4317.

Barry and Dragi Jolevski also own Alden’s Town & Country Family Restaurant, 12701 Broadway, Barry said.

Spanish opening: Aro Bar de Tapas plans to open March 1, giving Western New York its first Spanish restaurant in modern memory.

The restaurant, at 5415 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, has been shaped by owners determined to re-create the classic Spanish tapas bar experience, right down to the type of nails used on the long bar. Located in the Williamsville Place plaza, it will start out opening for dinner six days a week, closed Mondays. Lunch service will follow.

One of Monica Kollig's desserts, which will be one of Aro Bar de Tapas' specialties. (via Aro Bar de Tapas)

One of Monica Kollig's desserts, which will be one of Aro Bar de Tapas' specialties. (via Aro Bar de Tapas)

At dinner on March 1, diners who miss Barcelona can see how it worked out. Owners Jeremy Horwitz, and husband-and-wife chef team Scott and Monica Kollig, are presenting a menu loaded with classics. The door opens at 5 p.m. for limited walk-in seating, and OpenTable reservations.

Iberico ham and Spanish cheeses, and small plates like potato tortilla and salt cod fritters, lead off the menu. Medium plates include patatas bravas (fried potatoes with garlic mayonnaise and chile) and crispy eggplant with honey; large plates include arroz con pollo (crispy chicken confit, rice, saffron aioli) and seared bass with wine and apples.

The drinks menu includes custom cocktails and a selection of Spanish-style gin and tonics.

Warhol returns: Chef Ross Warhol has returned to Buffalo to take over the kitchen at the Mansion on Delaware.

The Hamburg native, who started his culinary career at Daniels, was the Athenaeum Hotel’s chef before leaving the Chautauqua Institution landmark in 2013. He took over the kitchen at the Pelican Club, in Galveston, Texas, where he worked until earlier this year.

Warhol took over the kitchen at the boutique hotel, 414 Delaware Ave., three weeks ago. He’ll be developing menus for the more than 200 events the Mansion hosts annually, said owner Gino Principe.

Ross Warhol has taken over the kitchen at the Mansion On Delaware. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

Ross Warhol has taken over the kitchen at the Mansion On Delaware. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

“I am extremely excited to finally call Buffalo my home again, at such an exciting time to be back,” Warhol said in a press release. “I have watched my fellow comrades opening new restaurants and really making a mark in the food scene here, and now I get to join them and continue to do my part in elevating what Buffalo has to offer.”

Qdoba in Niagara Falls: Qdoba Mexican Eats, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant, will open its first Western New York location Thursday.

The eatery will open in the LaSalle Center near Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls at 1520 Military Road in Niagara Falls.

Qdoba is known for its three-cheese queso and free guacamole. During its opening day on Thursday, it will give away one free order of chips and queso per customer.

Another location is planned for Cabela’s Crossing, 2013 Walden Ave., in Cheektowaga. The company said it plans to open “several” corporate-owned stores in the area.

Qdoba opened in Denver in 1995. It is a subsidiary of Jack in the Box and has more than 600 restaurants across the United States and Canada. – Samantha Christmann

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