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Restaurant notes: Pastry By Camille, Charlie the Butcher, Imperial

Life for Hertel Avenue eaters is going to get more complicated on June 21, when Pastry by Camille starts presenting its French sweets, bread and comfort food.

Should they choose the buckwheat crepes with ham, egg and Gruyere cheese, French style, or the version filled with sausage from Cheektowaga? Will the chocolate-topped éclair suffice for dessert, or must they obtain an éclair Paris-Brest as well, to see how its crumble topping and praline cream compares?

Two weeks from opening at 1416 Hertel Ave., Camille Le Caer and his crew are preparing to unleash a dizzying diversity of classic French pastry and bread on Buffalo.

Croissants, baguettes and brioche will be offered, as well as the two eclairs. Macarons, and a seasonal tart built on a buttery Brittany biscuit – strawberry rhubarb to start – are on the way.

Yogurt-granola parfait with citrus, croque madames and monsieurs, ham sandwiches with Gruyere sauce, lead off the lunch menu. Other crepes include a Buffalo chicken version that, Le Caer is careful to note, uses the whole chicken, not just breast. A weekly salad, and sandwiches on crackling housemade baguettes – including a beef on weck baguette – will be standards as well.

If things go well, Le Caer said, more pastries like kouign amann and dishes like quiche Lorraine will be coming as the operation matures.

He plans to have the place open by 11 a.m. June 21, in time for the France-Peru World Cup soccer match. A projector will be showing all the France games in his store, he said.

Le Caer emphasized that although his name is on the shop, co-workers Jamie Lee Dunne, sous chef, and Cara Harzell, baker, will be just as important to the operation's efforts. "This isn't just me," he said. "We are like a team, a band."

French pastry chef gets Planning Board OK for Hertel Avenue bakery


Charlie carving on Elmwood: Beef-on-weck star Charlie the Butcher will be opening a restaurant in the city of its birth.

The carvery, in the first floor of 770 Elmwood Ave., will occupy a space that was previously Jimmy John's. In the city, Charlie the Butcher sandwiches are available from stands in the Ellicott Square Building and at Coca-Cola Field during Bisons games.

Besides sandwiches, the 1,200-square-foot restaurant will serve up grab-and-go meals, and whole meal replacements, said Charles Roesch, the third-generation owner.

That means fresh-carved turkey and beef every day, and a special carved sandwich daily, including prime rib Thursdays and Saturdays.

Given the build-out required, it'll probably be October before it's open, said Roesch, whose father was a Broadway Market butcher, and grandfather the mayor of Buffalo. "We've been involved in the city for over 100 years, so we thought Elmwood would be a good fit for those two meal periods."

For Charlie the Butcher, plenty of reasons to give thanks

Don't expect fries and burgers, as served at the Wehrle Drive location.

"Because it's in a residential building, we can't have fryers or grills or any of that, so our carving concept fits perfectly," he said. There will be some seating for eat-in, as well.

The place will be open seven days a week, lunch and dinner.

The company's NOCO Express locations have developed a solid following, Roesch said. The company has wanted to open a location in the area for a few years, and couldn't secure the first site they identified.

But 770 Elmwood Ave. looks like it might be better, between Buffalo State College and the former Children's Hospital site. "Patience sometimes pays off."


Imperial adding bar: Before summer fades, Imperial Pizza fans should be able to sit down and enjoy a frosty beer with their slices in the expanded South Buffalo pizza destination.

Work on the takeout pizzeria's 4,800-square-foot addition is underway, and should be done by the end of August, said David Powers, who has owned Imperial with Jim Bouris since 1992.

Imperial is adding table service and a bar serving beer and wine at its new sit-down establishment, Powers said. The existing pizzeria, at 1035 Abbott Road, has been going full speed throughout, even though its former parking lot has been fenced off for construction.

The finished restaurant will hold about 150 people, including about 35 seats in the bar, and more in a covered patio.

Imperial Pizza's new sit-down restaurant is under construction. (Toni Ruberto/Buffalo News)

The bar will serve beer and wine. "We'll have 16 taps, so we'll be tapping into the new wave."

Two years ago, Imperial turned two former house lots into a parking lot. Much of that space will become the new restaurant.

"Now it's fenced off and under construction, we lost a lot of that parking, but business hasn't dropped off," Powers said. "We're seeing that people will find room to park."

This September will be three years since the partners started talking about the project, Powers said. "We ran into a few bumps in the road, but since we started, people want to know when it'll be finished," he said.

The partners have been hearing the same things from lots of folks: "We can't wait for the new expansion."

Imperial Pizza in South Buffalo plans expansion


Garlock's closed: Garlock's Restaurant, overlooking the Erie Canal in Lockport, has closed, ending 72 years of service.

"It is with a very heavy heart that effective today June 5, 2018 we will be closed," its Facebook page said. "We would like to thank all of our customers both near and far that we will truly miss.

"Thank you for all of the support throughout the years. The love and appreciation to our employees for the past 72 years, we became family and life long friends. Thank you all for the great memories!!"

Stories to tell Garlock's is filled with character, history

The restaurant opened in a historic building at 35 S. Transit Road in 1962, as Garlock's Fireside.

That was its second location. The first Garlock's was opened by Harold "Gig" Garlock on Gooding Street in 1946.


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