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LEWISTON – The owners of the Lewiston Village Pub, Ken Scibetta and Ed Webster, announced via Facebook on Wednesday that they will be selling their Center Street business Sunday. But they won’t be leaving the area anytime soon, as they continue to build on the success of another restaurant they own – the Griffon Gastro Pub.

In a letter to the community, they explained that the decision was made after “months of deliberation and reflection.” Last month, they had started cutting back hours, announcing that they were closing at 11 o’clock every night of the week.

Scibetta said despite the normal winter slowdown, they were doing well and expect the new owners, who he is unable to name at this time, will keep the same name and keep it open under new management “Part of what they are buying is our name and our equipment,” Scibetta said, adding, “As much as we love Lewiston, it was a hard decision.”

The two have operated the pub in Lewiston for six years and have been part of community life, hosting a number of events and fundraisers, including Pubfest, which raised thousands of dollars for the Variety Kids Telethon.

Scibetta is also known in the community as the self-crowned “Smelt King.” He said he will continue to host Pubfest in Lewiston and is planning on getting even bigger, moving it from Academy Park to a larger venue at Artpark.

The two owners opened the Griffon Gastro Pub this past summer in Niagara Falls.

Scibetta called the response they have been receiving “amazing” He said the Griffon model is a smaller, more food-centered restaurant, offering 50 beers on tap, twice as many as the Village Pub.

“We just want to continue that ride and focus on that endeavor and open more Griffon Pubs,” he said. “It’s been unbelievable at the Griffon. We see the potential of the Griffon and the traffic flow and we want more like it.”

He said their ultimate goal would be to open seven more Griffon Pubs in Western New York.

Scibetta and Webster said in their open letter to the community, “Over the past six years we have made some incredible memories, from our Cinco de Mayo fiesta with donkeys to Lobsterfest and Wing Night to Club Pub and, of course, our favorite and craziest holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. … It’s been a fantastic and crazy ride.”

They said they were thankful for their time and participation in organizations, which ranged from the Lions and Kiwanis clubs to the Jazzfest, Heart to Heart, Niagara University and the Lewiston Historical Society.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com