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Water Street Landing owner plans new restaurant on Elmwood

A longtime Western New York restaurant owner and operator is opening a restaurant and outdoor patio on Elmwood Avenue with his wife.

Jon and Jacqueline DiBernardo are planning to start a restaurant at 802 Elmwood, which they are tentatively calling Iron Tail Tavern. The new restaurant - formerly a White Rabbit frozen yogurt store and previously the Dolci bakery and Delish! - has 72 table seats and eight bar seats. It will offer an "eclectic" mix of "some sandwiches, great dinner plates and some lighter fare," DiBernardo said, calling it "a little bit of everything for whatever you need."

"It's not going to try to nail one particular specialty," DiBernardo said Monday night after the city Planning Board recommended that the Common Council approve a special-use permit. The Council approved the permit on Tuesday.

"We’ve been told a lot of people in the community just want normal food, but they want it done well, and they want nice service," DiBernardo added. "There’s a ton of people who are moving into the area and they don’t necessarily want to cook. They’re busy professionals, and they also want convenience."

The DiBernardos and their management teams have been running restaurants for years, and Jacqueline currently operates Water Street Landing in Lewiston and the Delaware Pub & Grill in the Town of Tonawanda. The new restaurant is slated to open Dec. 1.

Jon DiBernardo pleaded guilty in 2015 to tax evasion after he was accused of understating business revenues for Water Street Landing from 2006 to 2009. He was sentenced in 2016 to three years of probation.

Separately, the Planning Board also recommended approval by the Common Council of a special-use permit for David Cronk to operate The Station House restaurant with a sidewalk cafe at 445 Delaware. The new establishment will be in the former home of Kevin O'Connell Jr.'s Greystone restaurant, which closed in June after just one year.

The Board also approved one-year extensions for prior site plan approvals for Mount Aaron Baptist Church's proposed Mt. Aaron Village senior affordable-housing community at 695 Genesee St. - with 50 one-bedroom apartments and 16 two- and three-bedroom townhouses - and for the Episcopal Church Home & Affiliates' planned conversion of the former Church of the Ascension at 67 North St. into 28 affordable senior apartments.

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