It’s been over five years since Off the Wall restaurant went out of business on Elmwood Avenue. In that time there has hardly been any news regarding potential suitors for the building, and every time I spoke to the building owner there appeared to be not even a glimmer of hope for a buyer. Eventually I gave up hoping and praying that someone would buy the building, and set up shop inside.
It was out of the blue that Joe Lyons, owner of Joe’s Deli on Hertel Avenue, swooped down and purchased the long-vacant restaurant location. Joe’s Deli first opened on Hertel Avenue around the same time Off the Wall closed on Elmwood, giving Joe plenty of time to get his North Buffalo business “seasoned” before opening a second location on Elmwood. ”We’re definitely pumped to bring this hybrid concept to Elmwood,” Joe told me. “Since the building is split into two sections, we’re planning on turning the right hand side into a downsized version of what we have on Hertel, with a café and deli. It will be perfect for a quick fix for picking up food. Then we’ll blend that into the left hand side of the restaurant where there will be a full bar and full lunch/dinner service. It will be the type of place that you will be able to eat your brisket sandwich along with your Flying Bison beer. The interior will be a little more upscale with some old school design elements thanks to the design services of Michael Poczkalski and David Brugh from “room” on Hertel. Michael and David are also helping me to fix up the exterior of the building – I’ll be painting it this spring and there will be “room”-style furniture and decor on the patio. Buffalo really hasn’t seen this concept before – there are a lot of different elements going on, mainly due to the configuration of the spaces. There’s also a back room where my other business, The Buffalo Catering Co. (see Facebook), will run private events and a Sunday brunch. We’re depending on the neighborhood for support, which means that we want to bring something special to the neighborhood, including local brews, affordable prices, and the same recipe for success that has made us a destination on Hertel.
Joe’s Deli will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week – hours to be announced. The business is slated to open in May and according to Joe will be creating 20 jobs.