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Coles owner on the mend – and making jokes – after being stabbed

Mike Shatzel, the owner of Coles, one of Buffalo's most venerable bar/restaurants, is recovering from injuries he suffered when he was stabbed over the weekend.

But the attack seems to have had little effect on Shatzel's sense of humor.

Police said Shatzel was stabbed Sunday afternoon in the Elmwood Avenue restaurant by a worker he just fired.

John R. Luper III, 29, who was working as a line cook, faces a second-degree assault charge for the attack and was arraigned Monday, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Shatzel was taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center for treatment following the attack, which happened about 3:25 p.m., according to the District Attorney's Office and the police report. He suffered a wound on his right side, above his hip, according to the report.

Shatzel told police he fired Luper and an argument ensued that turned physical. Luper was accused of using his personal chef's knife, according to the report.

City Court Judge James A.W. McLeod set bail at $5,000 cash or bond, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The morning after the incident, Shatzel reported that he was out of the hospital.

Apparently in good spirits, he wrote on Facebook: "I am already home and recovering well and quickly. Just a reminder, Coles gift certificates make great holiday gifts." The post ended with a smiley-face emoji.

Coles has been an Elmwood Avenue institution since 1934 and has been in Shatzel's family for most of that time.

He declined to talk about the incident for now, but said: "An unfortunate situation, but I should make a full recovery. Knife missed all the important stuff in there."

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