Ambrosia Taverna

It might come as a surprise to many that Ambrosia Restaurant (corner of Hodge) on Elmwood Avenue has shut its doors. Thankfully, the business is on the move and will be reinventing itself inside of Nektar just a couple doors down. In order to accommodate Ambrosia, the former Nektar building will undergo a few transformations, including a new addition that will make room for an additional 150 seats. 

It was owner Stavros Malliaris who made the decision that he could take a tweaked version of the ‘tried and true’ Ambrosia formula, and morph it into another existing business (that he also happens to own). He realized that he could roll two businesses into one, and ditch a building where he was paying high rent. Fortunately he already owned the Nektar building, so the transition was a no brainer. 
The first order of business was to figure out how to increase the seating at the new business, which Stavros is considering calling Ambrosia Taverna. An addition on the south side of the building was the solution. Then, the food was next. It was decided that for breakfast and lunch, the new restaurant would serve a scaled down menu featuring Ambrosia’s best sandwiches and a few breakfast items. Like Ambrosia, the menu will be designed to attract families and the atmosphere will be a bit more relaxed to match. “It’s going to be a smaller and better menu,” Stavros told me. “It’s going to be super fresh Mediterranean… more authentic Greek food with virgin olive oils, lemon vinegars, etc. We’re also going to be serving traditional traditional Greek sharing plates, with fresh seasonal items. In Greece, it’s tradition to serve fruit after a meal… we’d like to show our customers how delicious that can be. Or they can go straight for the dessert if they prefer.”
The facade of the building will also be given a warmer and more welcoming makeover, which should bode well for the business. In fact, there are similarities to the former Ambrosia building if you look at the north side with brick and glass. 
In the evening and at night, the restaurant will retain much of the Nektar vibe. Once again the food will be served in traditional Greek style, with sharing plates and mix between Greek gourmet and comfort food. After dinner there will be a relaxed club atmosphere, along the lines of what exists currently. 
Ambrosia Taverna will meld the best of both worlds, bringing an updated Ambrosia-meets-Nektar formula to the Elmwood Village. It’s good to see Stavros moving forward with this investment on the street. At the same time, the owner/operator has, himself, recently moved back into the city, which shows his dedication to the latest chapter of his life. That’s welcome news, as Stavros has always been a big supporter of the city and its burgeoning restaurant scene.

About the author  ⁄ queenseyes

Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Catalyst behind the Pierce-Arrow Film Arts Center. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette. Themed New Years mayhem at various locations. Next up: Porchfest... Also offers package tours of the city for groups or individuals. Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

31 comments
biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

I'm frankly surprised to hear that, but I stand by the larger point: it is still advantageous to have the income.

RE: LLC umbrella of properties allowing expenses of vacant ones to be written off: The individual cannot do that. And individual properties assigned to individual LLCs (the way many devlelopers do it: each piece has its unique LLC for that property only) cannot do that. So I'm surprised an LLC can do that for properties owned collectively. I'll confirm that with my tax accountant. That's good to know.

But it still is better to have income. You pay only part of each dollar of income in taxes. The rest you keep. There is no time when you have vacancy where you say to yourself: good thing I'm not getting more money out of that place! No, you'd always rather have the income.

There are other reasons he maintains unreasonable rent. But tax haven is not one that computes. Or if it does to you, explain how.

elmdog
elmdog

That is untrue...I have 8 properties here, a mix of commercial and residential....At times the commercial go on for periods of time without being leased...While the other properties are and have been fully leased...Under my LLC....I can take the empty non revenue generating properties as a loss and write off since I am currently paying a mortgage on them..

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

no. He cannot write it off if fully vacant. He needs some income to offset expenses. With no income, no expenses qualify.

The notion that it is somehow advantageous from a tax planning perspective to keep spaces vacant is mistaken. At best he will pay less tax, but he will have far less income. It is never better, after taxes are considered, to have vacancy as opposed to occupancy.

grad94
grad94

thanks, kind of what i suspected. our tax code removes the incentive to rent the place.

elmdog
elmdog

He has been trying to make it work for 10

grad94
grad94

maybe you can answer a question. when a commercial space like mode is vacant, can the owner take a tax write-off?

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

RE: Mode:

that landlord has many properties on Elmwood. Any prospective tenant of his might be well advised to speak to some of his other tenants before agreeing to terms.

polar bear
polar bear

I have a friend who looked into renting Mode and the monthly rent is over $5000.00. At that rate he says he would have to sell 47 dinners nightly just to pay the rent. Not to mention paying employees, supplies, food, drinks, etc. He is not alone. There are a lot of people looking at that address but so far no takers. The price of success!

Allentwnguy
Allentwnguy

As long as these owners maintain the buildings and can afford to leave them empty I don't see a problem with it. My question is... during the winter months do they have to maintain a minimum heat level a least above freezing? I know that if a building is completely empty and goes through the freeze/thaw cycle there is damage done. I haven't heard of a requirement for this. Anyone?

The Boss
The Boss

No worries Ambrosia space will be leased within a week

The Boss
The Boss

Ambrosia has been there for like 20 years, so the rent could not have been that unreasonable.

zamedy
zamedy

Unfortunate that there are two big noticable vacancies on this block of Elmwood (Mode on the corner and now Ambrosia). The Ambrosia location always gave off a great 'city/Sex And The City' vibe to me. And those cool Christmas wreaths at Christmas time added even more character and charm to Elmwood.

300miles
300miles

Is the new addition going to take up the entire Nektar parking lot, or are they keeping it as a smaller parking lot?

(I'm not talking about the big lot on the corner, just the small nektar lot that is cut off in the image)

brownteeth
brownteeth

When a prime building and location like Mode sits vacant for YEARS it indicates to me that they are asking too much money for the market. Restaurants are opening all the time so its not for lack of demand per se.

elmdog
elmdog

Where did I say anything about an agency? ......move on...its an opinion that most agree with so I dont need you to understand my opinion or reasoning....Some building owners are too hard to work with...

jattea
jattea

I'm sorry, I just don't follow your reasoning. What do you think we should do? Have some agency force landlords to charge less? What could their motivation possibly be to "hold buildings and spaces hostage"?

elmdog
elmdog

Can we convince Pizza Plant to come to Elmwood......

Buff182
Buff182

There's a liquor store separating the two... And when they say expanding south, I'm assuming they're going to take up that smaller parking lot of nectar's.

Rubberball
Rubberball

I think a little more additional government regulation never hurt anybody. The whole premise NY has too much red tape is all bs, so a little more won't hurt anyone.

elmdog
elmdog

Believe me,I think everyone is allowed to try and make as much money as they want, but time and time again we are seeing great locations with (for lease signs) for extended periods of time....Some of these owners are holding these buildings and spaces hostage...I have been told time and time again by a few owners of restaurants and buildings on Elmwood that to be successful on Elmwood you have to own the spot that you are at.....This space should be leased quickly because of its appeal and spot but my guess is that it wont...

GroveyClevesYall
GroveyClevesYall

WHOA. If this rendering is what it will ultimately look like GOD HELP THE ELMWOOD STRIP. Those greeks...

jattea
jattea

"deal with idiot owners of buildings"? In what way? They own the buildings, they can charge whatever they want. If the rent is too high, the tenant will move out, just like Ambrosia did. The system works pretty well on its own.

JSmith
JSmith

As long as the addition isn't built in such a way that it can't be built next to in the future, thus enshrining the parking lot forever...

elmdog
elmdog

high rent it awful and embarrassing for Elmwood and buffalo, but we have to deal with idiot owners of buildings...But with that being said...The space where Ambrosia sat is one of the best spots for a great restaurant- The windows, raised seating open kitchen, a place for a sit down bar....limited outside seating but whoe cares...Someone from out of town or in town needs to take a chance on a bar/restaurant , a grille, Pizza Plantish...or a wine bar, martini bar, great music, food, ......I know these restaurants exist .......

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Would someone please start a band named "Killer Greek Potatoes"? Thx.

grad94
grad94

so he's finally going to lose the creepy opaque windows?

the rendering is a little confusing. it shows nektar as a free-standing building when i believe it shares a wall with the building currently housing ambrosia.

is the addition to the south shrinking the hospital parking lot? if so, yay!

and will he keep the killer greek potatoes topped with feta?

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Does this mean the end of the color that Buffalonians have taken to calling "Nektar Blue"?

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