BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An old space in the heart of Buffalo's Theatre District has been transformed into what developers hope will be one of the hottest meal tickets in the city.
Most people remember 617 Main Street as the home of Perfetto, a high-end restaurant. That restaurant went out of business nearly two years ago, and the space has been transformed into an urban food court called Expo.
"Expo is an idea that Nick Sinatra came up with. We got the idea from a place in New York City called Gotham West Market," said Paul Tsouflidis.
Tsouflidis, who already owns several successful restaurants in the city, says the idea was instead to create a communal space featuring six different food vendors, instead of having one restaurant fill the huge 8,300 square foot space.
"We're mixing the pasta and the subs and the liquor bar with healthy options for everybody. A group of 20 people can come here and 10 people can get healthy, and 10 people can get whatever they want. It's very diverse," said Tsouflidis.
"I'm excited. There's a lot of different food options and it's cool to see a bunch of restaurants that already have other locations that have come in and kind of pushed their menu and done some more things to their menu, new stuff I guess," said Jim Cielencki, West Seneca resident.
"Fantastic concept. Should bring a ton of people downtown. Not that that's not already happening. I think its adding to the Buffalo renaissance. Great use of the space and if you go back 20 years ago, Main Street, there was nobody here, and now it's bringing people back to the city," said Kevin Muscoreil, Buffalo resident.
"It's just a perfect location, people are already downtown, people are already parked, people are already walking around so it's a good spot we have great food here great vendors. I think it's going to be very successful," said Tsouflidis.
The Expo market will be open six days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sinatra Group developed the project, and Tsouflidis says the transformation cost about $500,000.