Michael Attardo spent years cooking in massive kitchens at the Seneca Niagara Casino and the Red Coach Inn.
He traded them in for his own little kitchen on wheels, a food truck called the Great Foodini. After doing festivals and private parties, he wanted to start street sales in Lewiston, where he was raised.
Village officials turned him down last week after Lewiston restaurateurs complained the Great Foodini would be unfair competition. Attardo offered to open at 11 p.m., when nearly every restaurant in Lewiston was closed, but that wasn’t enough to convince the village.
Which is how the Great Foodini found itself making its retail street sales debut last week at Wurlitzer Industrial Park in North Tonawanda, in a snowstorm, advertising, tongue-in-cheek, “Food so good it’s banned from Lewiston.”
He might return to Lewiston for events and fairs, but for now the Great Foodini is going on the industrial park circuit in Buffalo and the suburbs, serving office workers and others.
The truck turns out stone-oven pizzas, po’boy sandwiches, and more. Thanks to the influence of his wife and partner, Melanie Kushner-Attardo, who is a vegan, there are always vegetarian options. The menu runs $3-$8.
In other food truck news, Macarollin, a Rochester-based food truck specializing in macaroni and cheese, is preparing to add a Buffalo truck. Owner Peter Causyn said the truck should be on the road by April.
Also, Wine Not?, a wine slushie truck, plans to debut at Larkin Food Truck Tuesdays when the event resumes in May.
Planned: Cheddar’s and Checkers, two restaurant chains, are working on opening restaurants in Cheektowaga near the Walden Galleria. Cheddar’s, a casual family restaurant looking to open at 2055 Walden Ave., will be looking for Town Board approval for its new 8,600-square-foot building later this month, said Thomas Adamczak, Cheektowaga’s supervising code enforcement officer. Checkers, a drive-through fast-food operation, is looking to build a restaurant at 2563 Union Road. Both hope to open later this year.
Changing: King’s Court, 189 Delaware Ave., is undergoing renovation and will open as a sports bar called Sidelines, according to owner Sam Gikas. The new leaseholder hopes to serve food as well as drinks, he said, and open by March.
For sale: Lewiston Village Pub, 840 Center St., has been put on the block by its owners, who will concentrate on Griffon Pub, their new Niagara Falls gastropub.
Closed: Dagwood’s and More, the sandwich shop at 1832 Main St. near Canisius College that served students and others for more than 20 years, has closed. Owner Joseph Romanello decided to retire, according to auctioneer Cash Cunningham, who was hired to sell off the restaurant’s equipment and contents at a Feb. 11 auction.