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Elizabeth Carey


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The owners call it Buffalo’s best kept secret. The lunch menu at Forty Thieves (727 Elmwood Ave.) is a hit with regulars, but it’s not well known to others. “I don’t think a lot of people know we’re open for lunch,” said Tommy Cowan, who has owned the bar and restaurant with his lifelong friend Brian Scanlon for well over a year now. “You drive by and there’s a glare on…

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When Bill MacDonell opened Route 5 Grill and Seafood in Woodlawn in July of 2017 little did he know that he would quickly need much more space. “We outgrew that location – we didn’t have enough seating or parking,” he said. “There’s a need for what we do with fresh seafood. People love it and we couldn’t accommodate the customers.” MacDonell, who runs the restaurant …

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If you’d like to take a step back in time and remain standing at a bar with no stools, it’s time to head to a hidden gem in East Aurora. Wallenwein’s Hotel is a true classic now owned by Ben Holmes – the establishment has been in his family for nearly 50 years. Known as part of the East Aurora community since the 1800s, Wallenwein’s regularly hosts fundraisers to suppor…

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Not quite reinvented, but definitely reinvigorated. That’s how you could describe The Roycroft Inn, which has become a bit of a trendsetter in the restaurant industry by continually unveiling new concepts and ideas. Loyal partnerships with area breweries and farms are the frosting on the cake that makes dining local even more delectable. Dan Garvey credits his team f…

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For Connie and Jack Thayer, construction paper with the letters P-I-E changed their lives. The Thayers own Portage Pie, a carry-out pie shop in Westfield that cranks out 18 flavors of scrumptious, homemade pies one by one. But a few short years ago, the Thayers found themselves "dirt poor" after Jack lost his job at a woodworking shop in 2003. After a series of odd jobs…

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When you hear the term bakery, you likely envision sweet treats and homemade loaves of fresh bread. You’ll find that along with ever-changing dinner menus, event space and a new speakeasy bar at Elm Street Bakery, which is now 7 years old. Owners Kim and Jay DePerno are constantly working to reinvigorate the business they founded with new inspiration. After noticing …

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You have less than two months before winter officially begins. Whether the colder weather is driving you to drink or inspiring you to toast the fall season, there are three local beers at 12 Gates Brewing Company that are worth a shot before winter arrives. Scott Shuler is the head brewer at 12 Gates, which will celebrate its third anniversary in December. Shuler moved …

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When there’s a chill in the air and days are getting shorter, activity picks up at Schnitzel & Co. where Oktoberfest is celebrated year-round with German food and drink at two locations (Transit Road and Eggert Road). “Our whole menu is Oktoberfest all the time,” said General Manager Phil Christopher. “But it definitely picks up this time of year. We get out of summ…

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Menu items often come and go at restaurants as owners try to keep things new and exciting. But every now and then a new creation becomes a standout – a dish that somehow stands the test of time and keeps customers coming back for more. A dish like that earns a permanent place on the menu. When Mike Hoak, former owner of Hoak’s Lakeshore Restaurant, and Mike Buntich, for…

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When Susan Adamucci was having health concerns, her doctor suggested she go gluten-free. Within two weeks she was feeling better. The only problem was finding good gluten-free food options. That need inspired her to start her own business, Two Wheels Bakery, 435 Ellicott St., with Lisa Biggs. The café opened in April and now the co-owners are serving up breakfast, lunch…

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When Bill Storr and his wife Marla purchased the former Adventures in Heat in Clarence three years ago, they thought they were stepping out of the manufacturing and financial sectors to get into the retail business. Little did they know they would be devoting most of their free time to a venture that is part retail, part restaurant, and a whole lot of delicious. They…

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Twenty-seven years. Think about the changes that have taken place along Main Street in Buffalo’s Theater District in that time. The Militello family has witnessed and survived the ups and downs of business that accompany the ebb and flow of city development. Through it all, The Bijou Grille, with its neon lights, has proven resilient through the city's history. Now the …

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How do you go from working in manufacturing to making homemade sweet treats for the public? Simply come up with a “pie in the sky” idea like Kristin Linn. She opened Armor Sweet Treats in November after things just fell into place. Linn still works in the manufacturing industry, but also runs the ice cream shop and bakery, which feature both indoor and outdoor seating, …

Food and Drink

For Gary Wilcox, life has come full circle. Wilcox remembers when his father, a grocer, wanted to buy a milk-bottling operation called Creamland Dairy in Niagara Falls. His mother talked him out of it, but Wilcox never forgot about his dad’s idea and today he is the proud owner of the site, along with his son, Ryan Wilcox, and his nephew, Robert Urso. The former milk bo…

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It’s official. Ice cream season is here. But for Sweet Jenny’s it began even before Memorial Day. At the first taste of spring, customers were lining up at the Williamsville Water Mill for a taste of homemade, handcrafted ice cream. A wide variety of flavors, ranging from Jack Daniel's to Smurf, coupled with the setting, creates an experience that draws families, tour g…