It’s Official: ‘Oshun’ to Open on E. Huron Street

Iskalo Development Corp. has signed a lease with renowned restaurateur Jim Guarino for the former Howard Shoes Building at 5 East Huron Street.  The Guarino’s will open a seafood restaurant named ‘Oshun’ which is targeted to open in spring 2014.

Jim, along with his son, Jimmy, are the owners of the popular Shango New Orleans Bistro & Wine Bar, located on Main Street near the University of Buffalo Campus, which the two have operated for the past eight years.  Now, the well-known restaurant family will be expanding their restaurant presence to downtown Buffalo.  Oshun, under Jimmy’s culinary expertise, will serve an upscale cuisine specializing in seafood dishes.

“Oshun will be the first restaurant in Buffalo to offer a fresh, raw seafood bar, where diners can shuck oysters, clams and mussels – much like what can be seen in Toronto right now,” says Jim Sr.  “Oshun’s dinner and lunch menus will be totally unique compared to any other restaurant in Buffalo, including Shango.”

In addition to high quality food, Oshun will feature a lively, classy bar, an open kitchen for diners to view, and a private dining area.   As for the timing of the Guarino’s entry to the downtown restaurant scene, Jim Sr. stated, “Downtown is experiencing a resurgence and positive energy that we wanted to be a part of and contribute to.”   

5EHuron_Wall_Fresco

This announcement serves as further evidence of the continued emergence of the Electric District downtown which began with Iskalo Development’s re-opening of the fully renovated historic Electric Tower, site of the annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.   Most recently, Tappo Restaurant opened on 338 Ellicott Street in the former Horton Coffee building, and the founders of Big Ditch Brewing announced that they intend to locate their production brewery at Iskalo Development’s 337 Ellicott Street.   Big Ditch Brewery will also include a tasting room open to the public.

“We are pleased to contribute to the resurgence of the City of Buffalo through our investment in the Electric District,” stated Paul B. Iskalo, President and CEO of Iskalo Development.  “The selection of 5 East Huron by the well-respected Guarino family for Oshun, which follows the recent announcement by Big Ditch Brewing that it will locate its brewery operations just a block away, is further evidence of the growing momentum of this downtown neighborhood.”

The opening of Oshun will bring 5 East Huron back to its historic roots, as it was originally constructed in 1946 as a restaurant named the Waldorf Lunch, a popular lunch counter restaurant chain founded in 1904.  The building was later occupied for many years by the memorable Howard Shoes.   Iskalo Development then took ownership of the building completing a full restoration to bring 5 East Huron back to its original luster.  Oshun will showcase the building’s highly distinctive terrazzo floors and ornate wall frescos (photo above), original to the mid-century, Art Deco style building.

Iskalo Development Corp. is a full-service real estate investment and development company headquartered in Williamsville, specializing in corporate and medical office, light industrial, retail, hospitality and mixed-use projects, located throughout Western New York.

About the author  ⁄ WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

23 comments
chewingwax
chewingwax

Any updates on this? The For lease sign is still up and there is absolutely no activity going on inside the building. 

Mark_Hitchcock
Mark_Hitchcock

What an advertisement for iskalo! Seriously though, did they pay for this article?

Buffalonian
Buffalonian

Will the "W" be changed to an "O"... ?

Mario simms
Mario simms

And Allentown can be the public urine district.

zamedy
zamedy

Great to see this coming to fruition right around the corner from what we're finally seeing in the 500 block of Main. This restaurant along with the future French restaurant around the corner will give guests at the Hyatt some quality, walkable restaurant options beside E.B. Greens. And what a great space. Seeing it sit empty for so long was depressing. This is good. Very good.

Now if we can just get SOMETHING to go up on that HUGE surface lot on the other side of the Hyatt to create some urban density. Even a multi-story parking garage would be better than the sea of parking there now.

Congrats and best wishes to the owners of Oshun!

BuffaloRox
BuffaloRox

I hope they take Rodney's Oyster House in Toronto for some inspiration.  Absolutely incredible oysters and solid seafood (though not cheap).   

elmdog
elmdog

 I dont even eat fish but I love this project...This is one of the best locations in the city, traffic, visual etc....Like we are living in a  real cool city...

MartinKemp
MartinKemp

Sounds like a great concept, but pushing the envelope with yet another "district".

le80
le80

Great news... but Electric District?  Besides the tower what makes it the electric district?

LouisTully
LouisTully

Electric District, eh.

Anyone have any idea how much of the Electric Tower is occupied?  I had the sense there was trouble filling it; feel like I've heard that several times.  

Seems like it would be a great place for Iskalo to HQ its operations, if that is the case...

le80
le80

@Mark_Hitchcock Is this your first time on BN?  These type of articles make up 50% of the website, no matter who the developer is.  Perhaps your Tucker Certain in disguise?

LouisTully
LouisTully

@zamedy I'm not sure I understand the hard-nosed opponents of parking garages.  Isn't it better to ruin one city block with parking rather than several?  Wouldn't a parking garage encourage urban virtues by eliminating the need for many surface lots? See Cobblestone District. And encourage development of nearby vacant or abandoned properties. Of course it's not a blanket scenario.  Just throwing it out there...

schvanstuchen
schvanstuchen

@le80 there are several electric companies located in that general vacinity. Feguson Electric comes to mind.

LouisTully
LouisTully

@schvanstuchen @le80 So I guess Delaware Avenue in Kenmore would be the Hair Salon District since there's a hair salon on every block.  That circle out in West Seneca that has a CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid would be the Drug Store District.  The entire region would be renamed the Tim Hortons District.  I guess the east side would become the Vacant Lot District.  Between Virginia and Hudson is the Corner Store Kwik-E Mart District.

This is fun.  What else is there?

grad94
grad94

@LouisTully @schvanstuchen @le80  

don't forget the ice cream district, elmwood from ferry to potomac.  i've lost count of how many places where you can get frozen desserts. everything from popsicles to fro-yo to quarts.

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