Earlier in the fall of 2014, when I spoke to Nick Sinatra about his plans for the Market Arcade, he alluded to “wanting to transform” the former Perfetto’s Restaurant (attached to the Market Arcade) into a hip market place, filled with a number of culinary businesses ranging from start-ups to satellites of existing restaurant and food market operations.
Apparently the “wanting” part of that idea is quickly becoming a reality. Restaurateur Paul Tsouflidis has announced on Facebook that he and Nick have been talking about a plan to create a marketplace (based on a couple of other markets around the country, including Gotham West Market in NYC – photos below) that would be a trendy foodie destination in Downtown Buffalo.
According to Tsouflidis, “by the end of summer Buffalo will have its first true hipster, market-style food court.”
Already Tsouflidis has been touring markets, conducting research, with what appears to be a “make it so” signal from Sinatra. The first step, that is already underway, is to build team of local culinary aficionados that could make the concept a reality (according to Tsouflidis). Once the team is in place, the hope is to have the market open by the end of this summer.
The market will be comprised of “seven local concepts” featuring communal tables and shared kitchens. Tsouflidis has enlisted the help of the DBGBs crew (Allentown) to orchestrate a bar with entertainment. Tsouflidis states that he will construct a flagship Newbury Street (from Elmwood Avenue) to help anchor the concept. Encore Restaurant is also onboard with a retail component (news to come). RFPs to other restaurants will be issued, in order to bring a number of other food concepts to the table. Proposals will also be sought from higher ed students for concepts – the winning proposal would receive free rent for a year, as well as incubator amenities.
Tsouflidis says that the market concept is meant to bring life back to Main Street, pure and simple. Restaurants and foodies interested in joining the market will be able to submit proposals within a week’s time.
Says one BRO reader living in New York City when hearing of the news: “I go to Gotham Market everyday for lunch. It’s exactly what downtown needs to entice employers to consider opening offices in the area.”