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When Melvin Quintanilla first tried The Halal Guys in 2003, the Queens native was hooked quickly on the Manhattan outdoor stand that originally appealed to New York City's taxi drivers, many of whom hailed from the Middle East. Fast forward 15 years, and Quintanilla - now a district operator for NYVA Restaurant Group - is about to help plant the first Halal Guys in the …

Food and Drink

Latisa "Lisa" Roosevelt could have wrapped up her final years before retirement as a registered nurse at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center without delving into something new. After all, she'd already spent more than two decades in a tough work environment helping others. But when the opportunity to guest bartend came along at the now-closed Humboldt Inn five years ago, a n…

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The Mansard Inn, one of the longest-running restaurant successes in the Southtowns, is changing hands. Steve and Sherri Molisani are selling the Orchard Park restaurant after 46 years. The buyers are Mike and Becky Morgan, another career restaurateur couple with roots in Orchard Park. Saturday will be the last day of the Molisani era. The restaurant, at 3365 Abbott R…

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Storming Crab, a Cajun seafood specialist, is replacing Joe’s Crab Shack in Amherst. The restaurant at 4125 Maple Road will be the fifth location of a restaurant concept started in Clarksville, Tenn. There’s currently one open in Syracuse. Presently, the goal is to open by the end of April, said Jay Weng, a member of the ownership family. The family that started S…

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Hold on, Linguine’s fans. Just as spring finally settles in, the Bowmansville family Italian restaurant is getting ready to bud again. “Late spring, maybe the end of May, or June,” said chef-owner Vincent Desiderio. Construction on the expanded building and parking lot at 5354 Genesee St., Bowmansville, is nearly finished. “There’s a lot of people waiting, and they’v…

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The fast-casual restaurant trend is much bigger than Buffalo, as employees across the United States value convenience, speed and portability during shorter-than-ever lunch breaks. Businesses scurry to accommodate these hungry-but-rushed workers, and the models that have proven popular lend themselves well to franchising. Souvlaki Fast and Rachel's Mediterranean have …

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When Cantina 62 opens in Shea's Seneca on April 1, it will be exactly a year since owner Matthew Krupp lost the restaurant's lease at 2723 South Park Ave. in Lackawanna over a conflict with his landlord. The year hasn't been easy, as Krupp hoped to find a new location for his taqueria and open within six months, but construction delays at Shea's Seneca extended the wait…

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Hooked has opened in Williamsville’s Wyndham Garden Hotel, hoping to give Northtowns diners a taste of the upscale Italian dished up by Hamburg’s Lucia’s on the Lake. Angelo Canna Jr., a Lucia’s co-owner, said customers and friends have been asking if he could duplicate its success north of Buffalo. "Well, I listened, and with the support of my longtime friend and bu…

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Almost everything will be bigger at the newest Anchor Bar. Brothers Michael and Anthony Schiappa, aided by their sister, Taylor, moved their Anchor Bar Williamsville franchise from 7662 Transit Road, East Amherst, to 6635 Transit Road, Lancaster, in less than three months. Previously a Bob Evans, the new site will open to the public at 11 a.m. March 25. Compared to t…

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Call them alternatives to coffee shops: Bubble tea businesses have popped up all over the Buffalo area, from Taichi Bubble Tea to Tea Leaf Cafe and Buffalo Bubble Tea, to name a few. As options become more plentiful, the competition encourages better quality. Lucky Koi Bubble Tea, at 3216 Main St. in University Heights, held a soft opening in mid-February before its off…

Food and Drink

The Irishman Pub & Eatery has announced the opening of its East Aurora location. "Join us for our first happy hour tomorrow, Wednesday 02/27," the restaurant's Facebook page says. "Our bar will be open for happy hour tomorrow and Thursday our kitchen will be ready to launch our exciting new menu!" In 2018, Irishman owner Gene O'Donovan took over 162 Main St., in …

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Downtown workers and dwellers can add a French-inspired café to their breakfast and lunch choices starting next week. Mon Ami Café & Bakery is getting ready to open in the Cathedral Place building, 298 Main St. The last restaurant in that spot was Globe Market Café, which closed in 2015. Its first service is set for 7 a.m. March 5. Mon Ami Café will be the fir…

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Hanan Samuel grew up close to the tourist frenzy in Niagara Falls, watching the flood of visitors from across the globe as he completed his education at Niagara Catholic High School, then Niagara University. Comfort with and an understanding of his surroundings prompted Samuel to open his first restaurant, Catania, on Feb. 12 in the Wingate by Wyndham hotel at 333 Rainb…

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While Naan-Tastic, a new Indian fast-casual restaurant in Amherst's Boulevard Consumer Square, doesn't open to the public until 11 a.m. Feb. 22, owners Aman and Ajay Singh held a preview party for the media Tuesday. The sneak peek served as a chance to explore the full menu - with the exception of its four beer taps, as the liquor license has yet to arrive - and explore…

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Briana Rose Hunter, owner of Breezy Burrito Co. in EXPO Market food hall, has announced she will take over 1000 Elmwood Ave. for her first stand-alone location, to be called Breezy Burrito Bar. Hunter founded the business in January 2017, when her fast-casual Mexican-American concept became part of the second wave of vendors to open inside EXPO. The location in the down…