Over the past year we have closely followed the transformation at Acropolis OPA on Elmwood Avenue. The one-time diner has quickly become an upscale destination spot as both an eatery and as a chic Saturday night hang-out spot. Owner Paul Tsouflidis has invested a great deal in the renovations that include a complete makeover of the downstairs space, façade and complete redo of the upstairs space. By any measure the space is comfortable and classy. But now, some neighbors are organizing against the restaurant owner claiming that any expansion will inevitably lead to excessive noise and are seeking to prevent the near completed project from coming to fruition.
Throughout the renovations, you could frequently find Tsouflidis in the restaurant enthusiastically talking to anyone who would lend an ear about his space. As a result of these conversations, he addressed the concerns that were brought to his attention. Throughout the planning process with the City, however, he discovered that critics were organizing against him. "I am completely and utterly shocked at some of my neighbors. I had seven windows removed, put sound insulation into my walls, removed some speakers, kept my doors closed after 11 and required that any music be played through the restaurant's own sound system to enable us to keep the volume at an acceptable level."
"I love my neighborhood and would never do anything to jeopardize my standing in it. I grew up living on top of this restaurant since I was little and now some neighbors are making me look like I'm moving in to create trouble. It's hurtful."
While Buffalo Rising has seen far more people in favor of the expansion, what critics now seem to be misunderstanding is the music. Acropolis is simply not a place for overly loud music. It's a place where a DJ can play eclectic trendy music to cater to the bar. People can still have conversations over the music. This type of relaxed bistro lounge atmosphere with DJ is popular with young professionals and has been for some time. Right now, though, the City of Buffalo is holding his music license, so he is prohibited from playing music until the Common Council decides what it is going to do on January 24th.
Tsouflidis is reaching out to his critics, calling for an open community meeting, followed by a tour of the new upstairs space where the entire community can come out and learn more about the project and have a dialogue about any concerns that they may have. It will be critical for supporters of the expansion to also attend this meeting or contact Delaware District Common Council Member Michael LoCurto's office at firstname.lastname@example.org
to voice their support. The meeting will be held on January19th at 6:00, in the Lafayette Ave. Presbyterian Church, downstairs in the loaves and fishes room.