Though Rocco Termini has two major projects planned in North Buffalo, he hasn’t stopped working downtown. Conversion of the former Horton Coffee Co. building at 338 Ellicott Street is in full swing. The 4,800 sq.ft., one-story building will house Tappo, an Italian restaurant run by chef Mike Andrzejewski.
Termini and Andrzejewski are turning Ellicott Street into a Culinary Corridor. Andrzejewski owns SeaBar located in Termini’s Ellicott Commons complex at 475 Ellicott and also Mike A steakhouse in the revamped Lafayette Hotel. Tappo, Italian for cork, will be a “value-centric” restaurant serving fine Italian food and wine. Customers will be able to browse the wine rack and select their own bottle.
“We need restaurants downtown were people who live there can go multiple times per week, therefore the affordable theme,” says Termini. “Chef Mike A has a fantastic menu designed that will offer some old and new dishes.”
The interior will be a modern use of traditional materials such brick, steel, and wood. The rooftop patio may not be constructed right away. When built, it will offer something the city doesn’t have much of: a large rooftop dining space. Glass garage doors will line the front façade adding life to a now sleepy section of Ellicott Street.
Ellicott is a critical north-south corridor. At the north end, the Buffalo Medical Campus continues to grow. Termini has transformed Ellicott Street between Genesee and Goodell streets. The renovation work has headed south along the corridor with the completion of the Genesee Gateway project, Iskalo studying reuse options for the former Verizon facility at 337-345 Ellicott Street, and developer Roger Trettel’s cluster of rehabs centered around the Buehl Block at Ellicott and Broadway. Further south is the Lafayette Hotel, Historic Warehouse Lofts at 210 Ellicott , ECC’s City Campus and Coca-Cola Field.
“What has happened in other cities is housing comes first, then restaurants and then retail,” says Termini. “We’re trying to prime the pump on retail.”
Tappo is expected to open late in the first quarter of next year.
Rendering courtesy of BMS Design