An iconic restaurant on the East Side of Buffalo is getting a new lease on life. Gigi’s Restaurant, which closed in 2015 due to a fire, has been selected as the preferred food service provider for the ambitious Northland Corridor Redevelopment Project (part of the Buffalo Billion – Empire State Development).
Mayor Brown joined officials from the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), SUNY Small Business Development, and others, to announce that a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process had been held, and extensive outreach had occured, before determining that Gigi’s was best suited for the role. Darryl Harvin, the son of Blondine “Gigi” Harvin, will run with the operation moving forward.
Until its demise at the hands of a grease fire, Gigi’s had experience longstanding success since first opening in 1960. Now the BUDC board of directors has voted to bring the soul food institution back by providing Gigi’s with a 3,000-square-foot space at the Northland Workforce Training Center that will “serve up to 450 students, employees and staff, as well as attracting diners from the immediate neighborhood, and beyond.”
According to Darryl Harvin he was on the brink of not thinking that the return of Gigi’s would ever happen. Reopening the original location was too much of a heavy lift. He attributes his ability to see this project through by way of help from restaurateurs Mark Hutchinson and Mike Andrzejewski, who are part of the team.
Moving forward, Gigi’s and the BUDC staff will start negotiating the terms of the arrangement. There is no news about what will happen to Gigi’s original location, other than that it was sold a couple of months back. The new restaurant will feature many of the beloved Gigi’s soul food staple menu items, along with some healthy choices. It will be both a sit down, and grab ‘n go location. The new restaurant and catering operation, located at 683 Northland, will be open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm. It is anticipated to open sometime in summer of 2018.