BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Towne Restaurant, a Greek staple in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood, abruptly closed this week after 50 years in business.

A piece of paper taped to The Towne’s front door says the restaurant is “temporarily closed during construction” on Allen Street, though social media posts from employees indicated the closure could be more permanent.

The restaurant’s social media accounts promoted their brunch specials as recently as Sunday and gave no indication of closing prior to Monday. Calls and emails to The Towne were not returned.

The Towne’s building at 186 Allen St. was listed for sale earlier this year, with Recckio Real Estate & Development labeling the two-story structure a “redevelopment opportunity.” The sale did not include the business inside.

According to the Department of Public Works, the stretch of Allen Street near Elmwood Avenue will be closed through August while work is completed on Phase II of the Allen Street Complete Project.

The Towne was founded by brothers George and Peter Scouras in 1972 as Towne Red Hots, and it became a local institution over the last half-century. Before George’s death in 2015, ownership was passed down to his children, Dino, Eleni, Paul and Artemis.

The Towne’s website boasts that it “introduce[d] Buffalo to souvlaki, a signature dish copied by many but perfected by few.”

The Towne was prominently featured in a 2013 Buffalo News story that outlined the interconnectedness and sense of community between local Greek-owned restaurants, including Ted’s Hot Dogs, the Olympic, Pano’s, Family Tree, Alton’s, Hillview Restaurant, and many others.

“In the Greek community, success is meant to breed success. If you have the opportunity to help a community member succeed, you don’t stand in their way. You thank God for putting you in a position to help, and then you do it,” reporter Samantha Maziarz Christmann wrote.

“If you don’t do it, it’s frowned upon,” Towne co-founder Peter Scouras said. “If your cousin comes over and you don’t give him a job, there’s something wrong with you.”

* * *

Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as the Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook, Twitter and Threads. See more of his work here.