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Nye Park Tavern, replacing Papa Jake's, sets opening

[Update: According to a Facebook post, Nye Park Tavern will open at 5 p.m. March 14]

The Nye Park Tavern will open March 15 in the building that formerly held Papa Jake’s.

“We’re looking to open Tuesday, with a little soft opening over the weekend,” said owner Mark Hutchinson.

The interior of 1672 Elmwood Ave. has been redone, with floors refinished, booths removed and several windows uncovered to allow more light into the back room, he said. The goal was to create a new tavern that feels like it’s been there all along, he said. It will have about 60 dining seats.

“We’re going to have blackboard specials, lunch and dinner, plus a menu of standard tavern fare,” Hutchinson said. “Salads, wings, nice big salads, things like that.” The draft beer system has been replaced, and will sport 16 taps, he said.

The name is a reference to the neighborhood’s original name. Nye Park, which stretched north from Nottingham Terrace, was developed after the Pan-American Exhibition. “There were Nye Park signs up until a few years ago,” he said, and a Nye Park Cleaners remains near the corner of Great Arrow Avenue.

Hutchinson also operates the fine-dining restaurant Hutch’s, with partner Mike Haefner, and they will operate the new place. Haefner will be in charge while Nye Park Tavern staff gets settled in, Hutchinson said. Hutchinson also operates the fine-dining spot Tempo and North Tonawanda’s upscale-casual Remington Tavern with partner Paul Jenkins.

“This is more of an everyday place,” he said. “Come after a game, before a game, any time.”

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