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Uncorked has all of the creature comforts.

The former North End Trattoria on Hertel is getting a new leash on life as two new friends, formerly from the neighborhood, have returned to create a concept based on traditional family recipes, late night pizzas and a lively bar. It’s being considered a bar/restaurant that might resemble a big family reunion on any given night. Years ago, Scott Ross headed to Hamburg, while Lorie Pantano headed to Vegas. While they weren’t living in North Buffalo any longer, they still kept up with neighborhood happenings through family and friends. Eventually the two connected and realized that they both had aspirations to open an establishment that would draw upon creature comforts – comfort food and comfortable lounging. 

As the owners wait for the liquor license to come through, the task at hand is to prepare the establishment for business. While many of the major amenities are already furnished, such as the brick oven pizza and the kitchen, friends and family are busy decking the place out as a social hangout for what appears to be a huge contingent of supporters. The scene on the inside resembles a veritable beehive of activity. It was hard to get a gauge of who was who with all of the excitement… last time I spoke to Scott he was hoping that tonight would be the big opening night. Oh what a night…
As much as the late night half-price pizzas will surely be a winner with customers, Scott told me that it’s Lorie’s mother’s sauce recipe that people are already talking about. If anyone is familiar with the old Mister Tony’s – that was Lorie’s mom who cooked up a storm for over 20 years, and recipes as well as inspiration will be drawn from that era. “I can’t believe how many people want to help get this restaurant off the ground,” Scott told me. “We know all of the business owners in the neighborhood, as well as the bartenders, families… there’s a renewed enthusiasm for Hertel and North Buffalo. I am so happy to be back here working on such a fun project. We’re opening up the second floor for more customer space – the additional room in back will be called the Buffalo Room, filled will all sorts of historic photos of the city. It will be right next to the VIP room… a small dining lounge with pillows where people can relax and get comfortable. This place has a lot of personality – it’s going to be a real neighborhood restaurant.”
Uncorked will be open for lunch and dinner. Patio will also reopen.
1458 Hertel Avenue  
Buffalo, NY 14216

Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  • osirisascending

    It should be a vast improvement over the previous ownership and staff… They made it quite clear that African-Americans were not desired customers. Hopefully the new ownership will be hiring a less Jersey Shore-type bar staff.

  • The Boss

    Great little space, best of luck and please select some interesting beers and wine

  • AshleyLyn

    So when does it really open, is it this weekend? I am so excited. I live down the street and have been waiting for someone to bite on this property! Looking forward to trying it out!

  • brownteeth

    Funny how this place will have a patio, late night pizzas, a lively bar and second floor space and is opening with no issues. How is this different from Acropolis?

  • NBuffguy

    “They made it quite clear that African-Americans were not desired customers.”
    Really? How so?

  • Joe E.V.

    Location and it already was a late night place are the first two that come to mind. It’s also Italian not Greek.

  • elmdog

    The old owner was a thief who got arrested for breaking into cars in the suburbs and stealing money and credit cards…Real good guy – sorry for your experience-

  • elmdog

    The old owner was a thief who got arrested for breaking into cars in the suburbs and stealing money and credit cards…Real good guy – sorry for your experience-

  • weissingaround

    It’s different from Acropolis because they obtained all of the proper permits and licenses before commencing construction. It’s different because they got a music license before throwing loud parties all night long for over a year. It’s different because there is no reason not to trust that these people will be responsible business owners. It’s different because Hertel Avenue does not have the same zoning laws as Elmwood where the Elmwood Village Design Guidelines prohibit having 2nd floor bars. Acropolis learned the hard way that it’s not always easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.This place, Blue Monk, Cecelias, etc…all examples of how to go about running a thriving, profitable and fun establishment all while abiding by the law; not examples of special treatment.
    Anyway, congrats on the new restaurant/bar! It’s a great addition to the neighborhood and looks like a ton of fun at night. Can’t wait to try it. Best of luck!

  • brownteeth

    Both on busy existing commercial strips, both front residential neigborhoods, both seem to be targeting similar demographics. I guess Greek food vs Italian is the culprit.

  • osirisascending

    I took three female friends there for dinner. Two are well known as the owners of a local real estate firm and travel agency, the other is known local philanthropist. All three are in their 60’s-70’s and all three are white.
    I am in my mid-40’s and am not white. I dropped them off at the door, and had to park about a block away. When I entered and joined them at the bar, the bartender suggested that I “move down a few stools” and walked away without taking my drink order. The ladies I was with noticed and immediately informed him that I was indeed with them. He reluctantly got me my drink, then went to the far end of the bar pulled out his phone and made a couple of calls.
    Within ten minutes four “Jersey Shore” douchebags arrived, huddle with the bartender for a moment, and then took seats at the opposite end of the bar, where they glared daggers at myself and my companions, who were now aware of the fact that we were under the wrong kind of scrutiny. One asked me if it was safe for me to stay there, since it was only us (3 senior citizens and myself)and the bartenders juicehead buddies.
    I replied that there was no way I was going to trust anything that came out of that kitchen if this was how I was greeted the first (and last) time I ever set foot in the place.
    I told the bartender we would dine elsewhere, paid for our drinks, and escorted my companions out the door.
    As we left, one of the bartenders buddies said “smart move moulie”.
    Of course I told everyone I crossed paths with over the next few months how my first visit to North End Trattoria had gone, and recommended that their money would be better spent elsewhere. The women I was with did the exact same thing. I like to think that our “word of mouth” helped bring about North End Trattoria’s demise.

  • norwalk

    Your not wrong but that was 2 owners ago..I’m a white italian guy and didn’t feel comfortable gong there either…That’s too bad you mad to feel this way …Thank god they are out of business!

  • osirisascending

    I wasn’t aware that the place had changed hands previously. Thanks for pointing that out, I don’t want to badmouth the wrong people. I appreciate what you and norwalk said. It was the only place on Hertel I was ever made to feel unwelcome!
    We should be wrapping up the details on our home purchase soon, so I look forward to returning to Buffalo, and we’ll definitely check out the new establishment.

  • Rand503

    It’s hard to believe that this happened in this day and age, but I’m glad you realize it was just the idiots running the place. Welcome back!

  • osirisascending

    Are you kidding? I’m totally familiar with that area of North Buffalo in particular. I worked on Hertel next to Lombardo’s years ago… There are plenty of other places in that neighborhood old and new that always welcomed my presence. A few stereotypes in one place isn’t going to affect how I feel about the others on the street.
    Too much good food on Hertel to keep me away, especially after such a long absence.

  • whatever

    Looks untrue:
    weissing>”where the Elmwood Village Design Guidelines prohibit having 2nd floor bars.”
    Elmwood standards are online here in section 511-146. (can click quick view in that) It’s only a few pages, and I don’t see any mention of prohibiting upstairs bars. Is it somewhere in there I didn’t notice?
    Other than spite against a business for unrelated reasons (hiphop music? just asking), I still don’t see what sense it makes to allow a business to have an upstairs area for drinking or dining while not allowing it to have an upstairs bar, or forcing people to sit not stand on a patio as the Common Council did for Acropolis.
    If a construction permit mistake is supposedly what’s so unforgivable (sounds far fetched, but ok), then the Council should have the guts to make that a law applying those unrelated restrictions to any and all businesses whose contractor ever is imperfect in the city’s permit process. Of course they won’t do that because the premise would be dumb.
    brownteeth’s question about “what’s the difference” is apt. I can only guess the difference is political or personal connections among the neighbors of Acropolis who opposed it for some reasons and the Elmwood special laws gave the Common Council power to curry favor with them. It’s just a guess but I’d argue it makes more sense than imaginary rules against upstairs bars or the idea that construction permit mistakes justify a bunch or targeted unrelated rules.
    On another note, here’s about the previous Hertel restaurant’s owner that Norwalk referred to.

  • warrenavenue

    The city didn’t like how the Acropolis owner skirted around the city ordinances and stuck it to him…..Come on now, Pano can tear down buildings, create a driving nightmare in front of his business and build a behemoth restaurant and that’s fine because he followed the rules….
    I could imagine that other bars and establishments on Elmwood didn’t want to compete with Acropolis for $$ and made their feelings known to those in power and put the brakes to his project….

  • warrenavenue

    The last owner was a decent guy but must have had some money problems and stole from cars. That was when it was Guittoso’s North End…..I hope someone stole their Limoncello Cassata Cake Recipe…
    Two owners ago was the group that had a robbery at 4am one night when a group of guys were playing cards in a back room. That was North End Trattoria and frequented by some people with really bad tans….
    Hope the new owners can stay away from the police blotter..
    Do we have an upcoming menu for Uncorked anywhere???

  • buffloonitick

    Kharma eventually took it’s course and played out.
    sorry you had to go thru that osiris and taking the high road was the best course of action. that action will come back to you in beneficial ways.
    we’re all in this boat together so let’s learn to row in unison.

  • LI2Northpark

    The last owner was a decent guy, he just broke into people’s cars while they worked out and used their credit cards. Lol. That’s a great definition of decent. Maybe he shouldn’t have been opening a restaurant if he had money problems so severe that he had to resort to credit card theivery. He seemed like a douche the few times I met him in front of the place while walking my dog.

  • brownteeth

    Even Pano was in the news backing Acropolis and they’re competitors with nearly identical business models!

  • rb09

    There is a reason one of the new owners left Las Vegas.

  • LI2Northpark

    Seriously? WTF is with this place attracting sleazeball owners? I will definitely not be going there or at least not using a credit card there.

  • whatever

    Wow, so this new owner also an admitted credit card number stealer according to that Vegas article, if it’s the same person.
    This one, and the previous owner of same place was arrested for something similar but from cars, and also O’Connell Junior pleaded guilty to the same thing a few years ago with restaurant customers cards …
    Maybe it’s smartest to only to pay in cash at restaurants. That plus be sure to keep car doors locked while at the gym.
    Then again, it can happen at stores too when using cards, but maybe it’s less likely at big stores where employees are videoed.

  • rb09

    It is the same person.
    Keep your credit card and drivers license in your pocket if you plan on going to this place !

  • LI2Northpark

    Sometimes good advertising can turn to bad advertising.



  • JOHNNY#5


  • rb09

    CLOSED… I knew this place wouldn’t make it.