When restaurateur Jon DiBernardo ended his partnership and closed Le Metro on Elmwood Avenue, and headed off to Lewiston, NY to open up his new venture Water Street Landing, I never figured that he would make a return to the city. Actually it’s Jon’s wife, Jacqueline DiBernardo who will be opening Iron Tail Tavern at 802 Elmwood, corner of Auburn. The couple has owned the building for upwards of a dozen years, with intentions of Jacqueline opening a restaurant at some point in time, but life simply got in the way. But now the time has come, to get this prime storefront back into a productive state.
Jacqueline, who now owns Water Street Landing and The Delaware (in Tonawanda), will actually be doing something along the lines of the old Le Metro, according to Jon. In fact, it’s Jon’s nephew Louis Zanghi (currently at The Delaware), who will be running the kitchen at Iron Tail Tavern. Louis was once a chef at Le Metro, a trendy bistro at the corner of Elmwood and Utica. “It’s going to be a bistro atmosphere, with a little bit of everything,” said Jon. “It’s going to have hand crafted fare, no shortcuts – mellow, great food, good conversation, and a full bar, but not bar-focused. It will be a nice neighborhood spot, open five nights a week, dinner only to start. Customers can also expect an affordable price point, which is important.”
Jon says that his heart (and one foot) has always been in Buffalo. When he opened Water Street Landing, he met a gal and started a family, which has kept him occupied for a number of years. But he always knew that there was a significant role for this building, when the time was right. “It’s a no brainer,” he said. “This space deserves something great. Jacqueline will be the perfect person to operate this bistro-tavern. The team is anxious to get to work.”