BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo is home to so many different kind of restaurants: Italian food, Greek food, Soul food, pubs, cafés and more, but one UB graduate felt something was missing.
“When I came here, I was craving that street food that you have access to in New York City. almost every block," said Zahid Rahimi, UB Graduate from New York City.
Rahimi wants to spice up WNY, bringing that street food to Buffalo.
When he was a student at the University at Buffalo studying biology in 2016, he opened his own restaurant called Chick Mex Grill on UB’s North Campus, fusing two different cultures.
"I’s basically Halal food and Mexican food combined," said Rahimi.
Things went so well on campus, that now-- he’s opening a second location.
“I was always on the hunt for a second location, I just needed a good spot basically and Hertel is a great spot for Chick Mex," said Rahimi.
He's setting up shop at 1458 Hertel Avenue, the former La Tavola Trattoria location which closed last year.
It’s a place where you can get a chicken sandwich, Halaal chicken or a chicken taco. Rahimi says he wants customers to make this experience their own.
"Pick up your food, grab a drink, enjoy with your friends, have a conversation or you can take it to go, I don’t want to limit people," said Rahimi.
Rahimi’s been working on getting the place ready for a few months and is now working on finishing touches.
"We’re just waiting for our permits to come through, as soon as that goes through, I’m excited to open and see people walking through those doors," said Rahimi.
If all goes well, doors will open on April 23. It’s also an opportunity to get his team back together.
"Because of COVID, I had to cut a lot of people from my old location, so I'm really happy to see them back again," said Rahimi.
Once he opens his doors, he’s confident he’ll get the same support he saw at UB.
"The community’s very supportive, it’s not as big as New York City where no one knows anyone and I feel like it’s a blessing, us humans, we need that human to human connection," said Rahimi.