There’s a new downtown restaurant that’s causing quite a stir, thankfully. Owner-operator Nicholas Pitillo has put his own spin on the former Frankie Mohawks, by adding a bit more of a cosmopolitan twist that is attracting downtown office workers by droves. I must start by commending Nick on the addition of a welcoming patio that helps to market the corner as a colorful and active lunch and dinnertime destination. The interior follows suit with a number of seating options for a range of appetites – pull up to the bar for a quick bite, or take your time seated at a table.
After introducing myself to Nick, I sat at the bar and watched him work his magic. You see, Nick is the type of owner who literally greets every customer upon walking in through the front door. He also doesn’t miss an opportunity to talk to passersby on the street who look like they might be hungry. “I looked for a restaurant in Buffalo for two years before I finally found this location,” Nick told me. “I’ve been a Buffalo guy my entire life… I believe that this is where the future of Buffalo is. You can see it happening all around us. I wanted to add my own mark on Downtown Buffalo… my entire life experience has led me here.”
I soon learned that Nick is the type of guy who can carry on multiple conversations at once. As we spoke, he was also in tune with his wait staff, a couple of customers on the patio, and of course every person who walked into the restaurant. It’s an art to be able to pull that off, and not turn people off in the process. “We did 100 lunches yesterday and 45 dinners last night,” Nick pointed out. “And that was on a holiday Tuesday. “We get people in here and we get them back out quickly so that they can get back to work. At the same time, we pay attention the quality of the food. Whether it’s our fresh sandwich served by the slice or a flat iron pizza, word of mouth is our best form of marketing. If the food and service is great, then word travels quickly (see menu).”
In the not too distant future, Nick has plans to convert the patio into a bocce court (during off hours), and has asked that Buffalo Rising help spread the word regarding team sign-ups. Stay tuned for details to come.
Osteria 166 – Facebook | 166 Franklin Street | Buffalo, New York 14202 | Phone (716) 858-3118