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Elmwood Taco & Subs buys nearby Nine29 restaurant building, ponders plans

The folks behind Elmwood Taco & Subs have purchased 929 Elmwood Ave., and are considering long-term plans to turn it into another restaurant.

The purchase means the long-running Elmwood Village business, which started selling tacos and subs on the corner of West Delevan Avenue in 1975, now owns most of the commercial block, said Elmwood Taco & Subs founder Ron Lucchino.

“Hopefully we’ll be doing something with it in the near future,” Lucchino said. “Our family is pretty excited that we purchased it.”

Lucchino has been working on the block since he was 19 years old, he said. “We’ve been there for 45 years, starting on the corner, before we moved over to the Burger King.” Now he’s “semiretired,” as son Mike Lucchino and daughter Jackie Kooshoian run the business.

The purchase from Sinatra & Co. Real Estate closed last week, Ron Lucchino said. It gives the company room to consider its options.

The acquisition is currently occupied by Nine29 restaurant, operated by brothers Peter and Johnathan Eid, who also are proprietors of the Theatre District’s Hearth + Press.

“We have a lease with the people there,” Lucchino said. “In the future, we’re thinking of doing something. We’re not decided what we’re going to do about it.”

Elmwood Taco & Subs now owns everything on the block but the corner building holding Caffe Aroma and Talking Leaves bookstore – its building, Starbucks, Nine29, Renew salon and Evans Bank.

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[Related: Nine29 replaces Mezza with tavern menu]

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The group includes a 100-space parking lot, and the first Starbucks in Buffalo, which is used as a training facility for area Starbucks franchise employees, he said.

He acknowledged such a broad swath of real estate opened the possibility to larger development ideas. “Anything’s possible,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m still a young 67.”

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