Whoa, folks. I mean, just, whoa. I went through the restaurant inspections last week and there was a gaggle of places labeled “opening.” And only one of them was on my watchlist, so, either my watchlist, which is extensive, is Swiss cheese or there’s a heck of a lot of activity going on in the restaurant business.
Restaurant inspections:Erie County restaurant inspections for Sept. 2-8, 2021
Because there are so many, I can’t do as much on each as I’d like, but here’s what I had time to find out:
Backwoods Wings & Pizza, 14457 Main St., Wattsburg. Was a beer distributor before, but they’ve added a restaurant component with 300 beer choices, according to owner Carson Chesley.
“We bought an old (nearby) bank and turned it into something,” he said, adding that he’s found a reliable source of wings, which are difficult to come by right now, but has had trouble finding help. “Oh, God, yes,” he said when I asked if he’s had trouble hiring.
For that reason, Backwoods hours are erratic for now, but he hopes to get them to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. bit.ly/3lkQ3Nr
Lumi Cafe, 900 State St. Open now. Serving healthy food, according to owner Troy Bingham, of Australia, where he started this restaurant concept. This is his first restaurant in the United States. Guests are welcome to visit and taste the food, which is geared toward dietary restrictions and health-consciousness. Much of it is dairy-free, gluten-free or vegan “made in a fashion that you feel better aftward,” Bingham said.
Bingham is working with the Gannon University Small Business Development Center to introduce Lumi to the U.S. market. Developed and sold in Australia, Lumi is a fruit-based range of soft serve, shakes, smoothies, slushies and ice cream. Bingham earned a BA at Gannon University and Lumi’s offices are located in the Center for Business Ingenuity. The SBDC has been helping the company prepare to enter the U.S. market with research, lead generation, networking and marketing.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and he is in the process of contracting with Uber Eats and Doordash. bit.ly/3k6Cn9o
Holiday Inn Erie, 2260 Downs Drive, Summit Township, is a brand-new hotel with a brand new restaurant, according to the Erie County Department of Health. The restaurant should be ready to open by the end of this week, according to the spokesman at the front desk. www.ihg.com
Plans realized:Holiday Inn plans to build Summit Township hotel
Bento Sushi, 345 Scott Road, Edinboro University campus. Owner Adam Friedman said the restaurant is already open and its hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. edinboro.campusdish.com
Julius’, 1607 State St. (the old Maennerchor), is planning a grand opening for sometime around Oct. 1, featuring cuisines from around the world served in a dining room that seats 40. Reservations will be a must, but not yet. Owner Julio Reyes was the owner of the former Latino’s on Parade Street. He bought the Maennerchor building in a sheriff’s sale in 2018.
Rex Brothers’ Bakery, 3558 W. 26th St., Millcreek Township, has been open a week or so. When they invited folks into their lair of tempting treats, I barely got out with my waistband intact. Their hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except closed on Tuesdays. bit.ly/3CauK7T
Now open:Rex Brothers’ Bakery in Erie is the latest restaurant opening in NWPA. Here’s our list
In other news
Bottoms up:Jennie Geisler: Erie Ale Works can now brew beer ‘the way we always should have been doing it’
Steve Anthony and Jeff McCullor, co-owners of Erie Ale Works, 416 W. 12th St., started brewing beer in McCullor’s garage and finally opened a brewery in 2014, roughly seven years ago last week. They had a big party celebrating their growth every year since they opened their overhead doors. www.eriealeworks.com
“Here we are seven years later, having stared down countless challenges and offering our community some unique products we’re quite proud of,” McCullor said. “We really have local beer fans to thank. Without them, none of this would be possible.”
Johnson Estate Winery, 8419 W Main St, Westfield, New York, owners Fred and Jennifer Johnson and winemaker Jeff Murphy are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the winery with a winemakers dinner Sept. 25. It starts with sparkling wine in the winery’s tasting room, includes a stroll through the estate’s gardens adjacent to estate vineyards if the weather allows. A candlelit dinner will be served in a tent in the farmhouse gardens and will feature the founder’s favorite wines as well as our new Brut sparkling wine. This multi-course meal will be prepared by Chef Vicki McGraw from Elegant Edibles.
The event is $75 per person and runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Reservations are required and seatings are limited to 48 people. For more information, call 716-326-2191, or visit www.johnsonwinery.com.
If you have regional restaurant news or questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 814-969-2208.
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