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Restaurant notes: Rachel's Mediterranean, Camellia Garden, CoreLife Eatery

Rachel's Mediterranean has signed a lease to open a "signature store" in downtown Buffalo, at the corner of South Elmwood Avenue and Chippewa Street.

The new outlet, at 235 South Elmwood Ave., will be a block from its current downtown store at Delaware and Chippewa.

Scheduled to open in November, it will be about twice as big and will offer customer seating and retail delivery, options not available at the current site, said Joseph Khoury, Rachel's president. "We simply outgrew the space," he said.

The corner site, on the first floor beneath a parking garage in the Uniland Development building, faces Ted's Hot Dogs across Chippewa Street and Hutch-Tech High School across Elmwood Avenue.  It will have room for 40 to 50 seats, Khoury said. Its fast-casual Greek and Lebanese menu, of souvlaki, falafel, salads and more served from a Chipotle-style meal assembly line, will remain the same.

The current downtown Rachel's had offered delivery and pickup, but suspended those options because of delays to walk-in customers, Khoury said. In the new store, expanded kitchen facilities will mean "we'll be able to take care of delivery and meet the much appreciated high demand coming our way."

Depew sushi and more: The Depew building long home to Italian-American family restaurant La Castelana has become Camellia Garden Sushi & Thai.

The restaurant opened in June at 5176 Transit Road, offering a broad menu of sushi, Thai and Burmese cuisine. Beer and wine are available.

Appetizers include a spicy chicken spring roll ($4.99), with vegetables and grilled chicken in soft rice paper; fried shrimp tempura ($6.99) and chicken satay skewers ($6.99).

Salads include Burmese classics ginger and tea leaf salads (both $5.99), the sour-spicy-crunchy papaya salad ($7.99), built on fresh shredded green papaya, and Thai seafood salad ($11.99), with scallops, shrimp and squid in a spicy lemongrass-lime-chile dressing.

Larger dishes include sushi rolls ($8.99-$12.99), crispy roast duck ($21.95), and Burmese chicken and potato curry ($11.99). See the full menu at

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 601-7217.

CoreLife in Clarence: CoreLife Eatery, a fast-casual health food chain, will open in Clarence next week.

The bulk of the restaurant's menu uses green vegetables, grains or broth. Menu items do not contain trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, artificial additives or GMOs. Its sustainably raised meat is free of antibiotics and hormones. The concept serves a growing segment of health-conscious consumers who seek out fresh, unprocessed foods.

The restaurant will offer a preview of its food from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 13 with a pay-what-you-choose event. All proceeds will be donated to the Buffalo City Mission.

CoreLife is located at 5175 Transit Road in Clarence. It will open July 14.

This is the first CoreLife in Western New York. Another location is planned for Amherst this winter. Until now, the closest CoreLife was near Rochester. The first location opened in Syracuse in 2015. The company also has stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan and Utah. It plans to expand to 300 franchised and corporate locations over the next five years.

Scott Davis, CoreLife's CEO, was formerly chief concept officer at Panera Bread.

-- Samantha Christmann  

Twilight Room goes dark: The Roaring Twenties-themed restaurant The Twilight Room has closed.

The restaurant, 26 Virginia Place, opened in November.

A hidden door led to a dining room decorated in a speakeasy theme and live jazz on weekends. Before the end of June, it was dark.

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