BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – North Buffalo continues to take large strides forward, with several new businesses coming to Hertel Avenue.
Susan Tobin, Executive Director of the Hertel North Buffalo Business Association, told News 4 it’s the start of something new.
“We’ve gone through a lot of lean years but now development is starting, new businesses are starting, everybody wants to come to Hertel,” she said.
Several new businesses are setting up shop on the historic street. By summer, many anticipate the area will have a perfect mix of nostalgia and innovation.
“There are places on Hertel which have been around since I was a kid,” said Ray Barker, Program Director for the North Park Theatre. “So it’s nice to see added to that, a new expansion of businesses.”
Part of Hertel’s expansion will take place at the location of the restaurant formerly known as Empire Grill where a new business called Mac’s Restaurant will soon open. Under new management with a new look and feel, owner Mark Bohn said he anticipates the restaurant’s large outdoor balcony attracting big crowds this summer. Bohn described the Hertel area as “going through a renaissance” and said that the restaurant, which will open in early May, will pay homage to what was, with “Classic Buffalo” being its theme. The menu will include classic items and “food with a flair,” he added.
“It’ll be great to come out and sit on Hertel and overlook the street and enjoy a great meal,” Bohn told News 4.
Also new to the area is Savory Sips, an authentic European wine boutique. The store’s owner Rebecca Chrisite, who grew up in the area, told News 4 she chose open her business on Hertel because it’s such an up and coming part of the city. “After meeting some the residents here and being reaquainted with them; they’re trendy, artsy, intelligent and they expect good service and good quality things,” Christie said.
She said the relationships between businesses is what makes Hertel such a welcoming place to be, “All the business owners know how hard it is to be in business and we all work together.”
Established businesses on Hertel Avenue couldn’t be more excited for new neighbors.
“I like the variety on Hertel and I think that’s what’s good. People are going to be able to try different things and that’s really good for the city,” said Pat Winney, an employee at Spot Coffee.
Rachel Wright works at Mes Que, not far from Spot Coffee on Hertel, which opened three years ago. Wright says the owners of the popular soccer bar see new businesses as new opportunities for them as well. “We’re all very excited to see how it grows from here,” she said.
Even one of Buffalo’s first – and arguably one of its most well-known – food trucks, Llyod’s Taco Truck, will plant permanent roots on Hertel Avenue this summer with the first brick and mortar location for the 5 year-old business.
Llyod’s recently gained fame after owners Peter Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo competed on the reality show “Restaurant Startup,” and agreed on a $250,000 investment deal to open a shop on Hertel Avenue.
The new 1,900 square foot location where Caramici’s restaurant used to be, will seat approximately 50 people and plans to open in June. The Buffalo planning board approved the owners plan to open the location earlier this week.
“They’re all just adding to what we have to offer on Hertel,” Tobin told News 4.