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New owner of Vizzi's restaurant promises to change nothing

Practically everyone has the same question for Sean Honan, the new owner of Vizzi's, home of one of Buffalo's greatest burgers.

Here's his answer: "We're not changing anything," Honan said.

The neighborhood tavern at 967 Kenmore Ave., Kenmore, was opened by Joe and Mindy Vizzi 24 years ago.

Joe ran the bar and Mindy, "the heart and soul of the whole business," ran the kitchen, Joe Vizzi said. In 2008, Vizzi's was named the best burger in Western New York by The Buffalo News, and its "monster burger" has won praise from many critics and burger fans.

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The Vizzis wanted to sell the place and retire two years ago, but it was harder than usual finding a buyer, because the Vizzis had more than money on their minds.

Asked if he wanted to say anything to the customers who sustained the business over the years, Joe Vizzi said: "I had a chance to sell it previously, but I refused to do it unless the purchaser kept it the same, and do it the way we've done it for the last 24 years." He's 72, and he and Mindy are moving to Ft. Myers, Fla.

Honan took over Dec. 11. The new owner was already running a legacy business, Sullivan's Hot Dogs, a seasonal ice cream and burger outlet at 501 Cayuga Drive, Niagara Falls. "That was an established business when I took over five years ago, and I watched how they did things."

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The cheeseburgers, employees and Friday night live music will stay the same, said Honan of Vizzi's.

"My plan is literally not to change anything. I've had a lot of success in Western New York going with a proven winner and not messing with things. Just keep the tradition going."

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