A Northtowns Italian favorite plans to open its first Southtowns outpost this fall.

Romeo & Juliet’s Bakery and Café has purchased the former Giacobbi’s building at 4572 Clark St., Hamburg. The restaurant’s popular bread, Italian pastries, pizzas and pastas will hopefully be available before Thanksgiving, said Vito Semeraro, an owner.

“It depends on when we can start,” Semeraro said. “We need to do some inside work, but if everything goes well I’d like to open in the middle of November.” If the opening is delayed, it’ll be in January, after the holidays.

It’ll be the fourth store for the restaurant group, which Semeraro started on Hertel Avenue in 1999. The other two restaurants are on Sheridan Drive, in Tonawanda and Amherst.

“We have a lot of customers who come from there, and we had the opportunity to buy this location,” Semeraro said of the Southtowns acquisition. The restaurant will have about 50 seats, with beer and wine, and sell bread and pastries from a retail counter.

Concept arrives: Steak Stone and Sushi opened last month in Lockport, making it the first area outpost of an Australian restaurant concept that lets diners finish cooking their own meals on slabs of superhot stone.

The cooking method is healthier than most, since it doesn’t require added oil or fat, said Johnny Chi, an owner. Proteins like beefsteak, chicken, lamb, lobster and fish are finished on a sizzling slab of volcanic rock.

Besides hot rock cooking, the restaurant, at 5772 South Transit Road, offers a best-hits Asian menu. Thai and Japanese dishes like pineapple fried rice, crispy duck, and chicken teriyaki fill the menu, along with noodle dishes and varieties of sushi. Despite the relatively low-fat option of stone cooking, there’s plenty of regular fried favorites like tempura and katsu, or fried cutlets. You can see the menu at

Chi said his restaurant, opened July 29, has already earned “Best Appetizer” for its rock shrimp dish at this year’s Taste of Lockport.

One big change: When a restaurant founder sells the place, longtime customers always wonder if the place they rely on will chance. This Sunday, when it opens for the Buffalo Bills game, some longtime customers will probably realize for the first time that Mr. Bill’s, the Cheektowaga family restaurant, is under new management.

“Cosmetically we’re dressing the place up inside, but we have the same chef, the same employees and the exact same menu,” said manager Carrie King. The transaction actually took place in May.

The restaurant, at 1500 Cleveland Drive, was opened by Bill and Nancy DeLuca in 1991. Beef on weck cut to order, panko-breaded fish fry and Saturday night prime rib specials are a few specialties, King said.

The new owners are John and Kathy Beck, King said, and they don’t want to change what works at the place. Carpets are being removed in favor of wood floors, and starting Sunday, the place will open for Bills games.

“We put in huge 60-inch TVs, and several of them,” King said. You can finally watch the Bills at Mr. Bill’s, she noted.

Retail added: BreadHive customers will finally be able to drop by the cooperative bakery, at 123 Baynes St., and pick up a loaf or some bagels.

Tuesdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., “we will be operating a window where customers can pick up fresh bread, bagels and granola accompanied by cheese and yogurt from First Light Creamery and coffee from Public Espresso,” said Allison Ewing. On Fridays, BreadHive’s window will open from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., offering no bread, but the rest of the lineup.

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