Restaurant rebirth involves more than just food

Posted at 10:42 AM, Dec 04, 2014

There's a re-birth of Downtown Buffalo's dining scene. Dozens of new restaurants are opening their doors, while long time establishments are updating their menus and their look.

Restaurant owners say Buffalo's new restaurant scene can compete with that of large cities. Thanks to the popularity of cooking shows and social media, customers are willing to try new flavors and experiment.

Area restaurant owners like Mike Andrzejewski, who has four downtown restaurants, including the new Bourbon & Butter and Jay Manno, who transformed Soho from a nightclub to a burger bar, have both adapted to the newest trends. But they say the transformation is about more than just food.

"It's not just food. In general, I think there's a huge sense of pride about everything going on in this city right now and it just builds on it," Manno said.

"Over the last three to four years, it's just been an astronomical difference. The people who have moved downtown, the new business, the amount of housing, the younger people moving back to this area, to this part of the city, it's just incredible," Andrzejewski said.

Many agree that it isn't food or drink, instead it's a pro-Buffalo outlook that the public is toasting at area restaurants. Most restaurant owners expect buffalo to continue to thrive in coming years.

Dan Garvey runs The Roycroft Inn in East Aurora and also serves as chairman of the New York State Restaurant Association. He says big city trends are catching on quickly across WNY, in the city and the suburbs.

You can read all about the newest trends and what this means for Buffalo, in this week's Business First.