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East Side landmark Gigi's reopening in Northland Corridor

Mike Desmond

An East Side Buffalo landmark will be starting up again this summer, nearly three years after a massive fire.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

That's Gigi's, which burned out in a fire November 2015. Darryl Harvin has taken over ownership from his mother, Gigi Harvin, and will be running the new site inside the Workforce Training Center under construction on Northland Avenue.

Mayor Byron Brown says Gigi's was selected as the in-house restaurant after a search process through Buffalo Urban Development and announced Tuesday. Harvin said he and his mother are really excited about Gigi's re-opening and in a new location he sees as good for business.

"There's going to be thousands of people every day that'll be coming through that training center in addition to people that will be coming right off the main thoroughfare, the streets in the neighborhood," Harvin said. "It's going to be extremely busy."

Gigi's was known not just as a neighborhood restaurant, but as a mandatory stop for touring politicians to show the flag and press the flesh with prospective voters.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

"It's an opportunity that we've waited a long time to have," Harvin said. "The fire was extremely devastating for everything it meant for my mother, the neighborhood, the community and all of our customers that frequented there daily and twice-a-day sometimes."

Harvin said the menu will be all the items sold in the old location near Ferry Street and Jefferson Avenue, but there will also be healthy choices and grab-n-go for the trainees in the center, as well as people in the neighborhood who want to stop.

"People can grab a sandwich, they can grab some yogurt," he said. "There'll be sandwiches prepared that'll be wrapped. We will have a grab-n-go, but, nope, we're going to have that same old, established down home southern-style cooking of our macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, collard greens, grits."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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