The owner of Perks Café has announced that they are closing their downtown Main Street location (777 Main Street) due to irreconcilable differences with the building’s landlord.
This is a big bummer for a section of Main Street that does not have much in the form of restaurants or cafés. According to Perks’ owner, Bob Newman, the landlord of the Sidway building had initially agreed to fix a number of problematic issues that would allow Perks to operate within the building. In a written statement to Buffalo Rising, Newman pointed out that the problems included “hazardous and dangerous conditions” that were never addressed.
“The safety of staff, customers and residents of the building are most important to us,” said Newman. “In our lease it clearly states in 3 places, including an addendum, the landlord VIE Sidway Management was to provide a working, licensed kitchen exhaust system. They have continually failed to address old grease leaking from the improperly installed kitchen ventilation system that doesn’t meet code. After the Erie County Health Department and the Buffalo Fire Department inspected it they made it clear to the landlord the ventilation system was not up to code and presented a dangerous situation. However they refused to comply instead threatening to evict us.”
Newman expressed that he was deeply saddened by this turn of events. He added that he felt that Perks was a welcome asset to the growing downtown business community, and that they had garnered a healthy customer base since initially opening in early 2018. “It’s a great location in a developing area but needs some attention from an absentee landlord based out town,” Newman continued. “We are hopeful the legal process forces the landlord to remedy this problem so we can return and operate safely. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”
Perks is still operating at the corner of Elmwood and Bryant. Earlier this year, the café announced the it was “ditching plastic in 2018“. Now it’s ditching its Main Street location, which is very unfortunate.