Tonawanda News — Another piece in the puzzle of progress in the Lumber City came forth this week as the Remington Tavern was quietly launched.
Tony Kissling, the multi-million dollar developer, has trumpeted the Sweeney Street restaurant as the best of its kind for hundreds of miles.
While that remains to be seen, at the very least it is another example of development along the Erie Canal, adding to the dozens of high-end lofts already existing in the previously long-defunct Remington Rand building.
Paul Jenkins, who owns Tempo and has partnered up with another renowned restaurant owner, Mark Hutchinson, said they decided to dive into the opening, practically unannounced, after months of delays.
“This was just a dirt floor and a brownfield cleanup site when we looked at this location nearly two years ago,” Jenkins said. “And it has come together through the efforts of a lot of different people.”
On Friday, Jenkins was training roughly 20 of his new employees, which he said mostly hail from Niagara County. He and Hutchinson are still tinkering with the menu, though the restaurant and bar are both officially open for business for dinners.
The restaurant will have an oyster bar and other fine dining fare that Jenkins said is catered toward a particular clientele he expects will be drawn in from across Western New York.
“This isn’t a hamburger restaurant or a chicken wing restaurant, that’s not really what we’re about here,” he said. “We’re looking to serve professionals, we’re looking for suit and tie. Everybody who has been in here so far has been blown away.”
The building where the restaurant and lofts now stand was built in 1895 and is being viewed a an anchor site for future development opportunities along the canal.
Remington Tavern will also offer two private rooms for special events as well as a patio for outdoor dining. In the weeks to come the restaurant will add a Sunday New Orleans style brunch to the mix.
Jenkins admits that several construction and operational aspects are still being put into place, though it’s nothing that worries him.
“It’s still being tweaked,” he said. “But we do things on the fly here. If we don’t like it, we fix it and we shoot from the hip. I repaired the menu twice today already and we’ve barely opened. Our standards are high.”Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.