Tappo Promises to Bring New Life to Ellicott Street

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.”
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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 fa├žade adding life to a now sleepy section of Ellicott Street. 

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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

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25 comments
StealYourFace
StealYourFace

Looks sweet, and I like the e46 BMW in the drawing, even if it suggests the design is 10 years old.

GyBeav
GyBeav

YES!! So sick of seeing that shocked face on the hostess when you say No you don't have a reservation at Cantina Loco and other of these casual places around Buffalo. Take my name and I'll wait at the bar and have a drink for 30-45 min. Hell if there are other restaurants in the area and the wait is longer, take my name and text me when my table is ready. I can stay or patronize another establishment while I wait. The last thing I want to do is make a reservation to eat a $7 taco. Please do NOT bring any of the Cantina Loco staff over to this Italian place- they are awful. and no reservations!

Cam33r4
Cam33r4

I agree. Especially because of its proximity to the Medical Campus!

JimB
JimB

I've never understood how landlords can afford to let their properties sit vacant for so long, as opposed to lowering the rent to attract a tenant. Seems simple enough.

pfk67
pfk67

Thanks SadLlama. I know that there was a presentation on the preservation credits a while back, but I am out of town for work a lot and I wasn't able to attend. Wish they would run that again. I'll take a look at the link.

schvanstuchen
schvanstuchen

Yup. That's the guy. If it's vacant chances are it's his.

FTheRedTape
FTheRedTape

Bingo. That guy is a notorious scumbag. He's the 583-8383 guy who owns about 3/4 of Elmwood, right?

schvanstuchen
schvanstuchen

You are absolutely correct about Elmwood. I'll name names: Roger Chinani has been a scourge on Elmwood for years now, HE is the reason Elmwood hasn't reached it's potential. He doesn't live in the city and could care less if the city lives or dies. Take the LeMetro space on the corner of Utica, arguably one of the most important and desirable spaces on Elmwood sits empty month after month because Chinani is asking exorbinate rent. Rocco is the exact opposite!

elmdog
elmdog

I guess the moral of the story here is either partner with the owner of the building or own the building....Elmwood is a sad example of plenty of spaces that no one dares touch because of out of touch owners.........

defender110
defender110

I spent the weekend at LaFayette two weeks ago and could not for the life of me get a reservation for the restaraunts I wanted; obviously a good sign.

bernicebuffalove
bernicebuffalove

I am so glad to see outdoor rooftop dining space. It is something that I wish we had more of in Buffalo.

Go Rocco!!

FTheRedTape
FTheRedTape

Dare to be different -- a philosophy adopted to near perfection by Rocco, and in particular, his partnership with Chef Mike A. It's amazing to think that the land now home to SeaBar -- much like the Horton Coffee Co. building -- was an abandoned wasteland not too long ago. The same can be said, for the most part, for what's now happening at the Hotel Lafayette. Amazing what outside-the-box thinking does. Keep up the good work, Rocco and Chef Mike.

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

Fantastic. Rocco's taste is impeccable--simple, elegant, etc. He gets that less can be more. Kudos to him.

elmdog
elmdog

And dont hold off on the rooftop patio unless its only until spring.....Character and good food ........someplace to sit at night and have a few....

pfk67
pfk67

This could turn out to be the best thing for the city. We need residential housing downtown and close to downtown. This building is in a great location to add to the residential rising in the downtown area.

I believe through some really hard work on the part of a few individuals, the city has laid the foundation for some exponential growth downtown. And when I say city, I don't mean any of the political hacks. I'm talking about the visionaries putting up some (?) of their own money and taking risks. Hail to the risktakers.

Cam33r4
Cam33r4

Yes yes yes! More restaurants downtown (especially those that remain OPEN, ya know on weekends and evenings, is a must for a successful downtown. Promise me some good food and wine, and I'll be there!

elmdog
elmdog

Amazing what a little risk and lots of creativity will do...This team has nuts and is willing to put his money where his mouth is.....Look fantastic................

pfk67
pfk67

Hey, it is great reading about Rocco and all the others investing in the city. I will go to the old phrase, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime." I have thought a long time about doing what Rocco does... but I would have to start on a small small scale. Are there any teachers out there that would give some guidance on how to go about and do this? It would be great if someone put together a program that would take someone from the beginning to the end of the process, including getting loans and some of the obstacles, the best banks/venture capitalists to talk to, the process of getting permits, preservation credits, people to contact who can do some of this work, some architectural firms that specialize in smaller projects, etc.... Besides talking to Rocco himself, I am not sure where to get the guidance.

GinghamQuaker
GinghamQuaker

Hopefully they say no to this horrible Buffalo trend of taking reservations, but considering that Cantina Loco is perhaps the worst offender, I'm not optimistic. At least get more pleasant employees this time around.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Looks like a great project, but what was up with the stop-work orders on this building within the last year--? Was that all under a previous owner?

paulsobo
paulsobo

Ubut HSBC I moving out of downtown that can't be good for downtown restaurants and retail

Buffaboy
Buffaboy

Ah, Termini the Terminator, you destroy the competition (paladingdong). You lost me with the "Bills in Hamilton" debacle but you won me back with this, because this is true urban design. Lighter, cheaper, quicker and stylish. Can't wait to see it open.

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