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Third Griffon Gastropub sets opening date in East Aurora

Griffon Gastropub’s East Aurora location, featuring 72 taps of draft beer and cider, will open Dec. 16 for drinks.

Diners will have to wait until 4 p.m. Dec. 19 to try the upgraded pub menu, said Ken Scibetta, an owner.

The restaurant, at 634 Main St., East Aurora, was formerly Medici House and Tantalus. It’s the third Griffon, following locations on Military Road in Niagara Falls, and Transit Road in Clarence.

At 72 taps, he said, the East Aurora Griffon will probably offer the broadest tap array in the Southtowns.

A new 40-foot bar will seat 25. (Photo: Griffon Gastropub)

A new 40-foot bar will seat 25, and pour 70 beers and ciders. (Photo: Griffon Gastropub)

After taking over the space in May, “we lightened the whole place up, added wood accents, and have added booths,” Scibetta said. “We put new 40-foot bar in, with seating for 25, and tore down walls to make the bar space bigger.” Restrooms, floor and kitchen are new as well, he said. It’ll offer 170 seats.

The menu will continue the Griffon model of pub food with a twist, burgers, share plates and bigger entrees. About 35 percent of the menu is different than the other Griffons, Scibetta said. Here, the fried calamari is marinated in ginger beer and served with ginger hoisin ($12), nachos include "banh mi" style with pulled pork and pickled radish-carrot slaw. Entrees include kangaroo meatloaf and a smoked pork chop with Brussels sprouts and apples.

Originally hoping for an August opening, “we were very optimistic with the time frame,” said Scibetta. But in the long run, “we’d rather make sure everything was perfect than open up too soon,” he said. “Besides plumbing, electrical and flooring, we did the work ourselves.”

He’s no skilled carpenter, he said, but “It’s a labor of love that gives us that personal connection with the building we like to have.”

The restaurant will be open seven days a week, serving its main menu 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. The bar will remain open later. Phone: 714-9301.

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