ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Ever since it closed abruptly in late September 2015, not only Orchard Park but all greater Buffalo has been missing an important part of the community. But that will change come early next week when Eckl’s re-opens for business.
The staff at Eckl’s has been busy this week preparing for the re-launch — shining the famous carving station, for example. They planned an invite-only soft opening on Friday, and the big grand reopening on Tuesday.
The restaurant shut its doors last year after original owner, Dale Eckl, fell ill. They thanked their customers for decades of loyalty, and closed up shop Sept. 26.
New co-owner Jim Cornell saw an opportunity, knowing what the southtowns staple meant to the community.
As a result, most everything with stay the same. The shell of the building will remain as will its warm interior. The menu and bar haven’t been touched.
“They entrusted us with their name, even though they’re not in the business anymore, it’s still Eckl’s,” said general manager Ted Smith. “So if we were to drop the ball it would be obviously a reflection on us but kind of a reflection on them too, and we had a nice meeting with them and they were very confident that we would take care of business.”
There will be some updates and additions to the building, including a new entrance and an all-seasons patio, when the weather warms next year.
Both Cornell and Smith said they realize the importance of a brand that stood the test of time.
“Part of its legacy is that it really did perfect the beef on Weck sandwich,” Cornell said. “And of course it will be featured prominently on our menu as we reopen. Because it was never broken we didn’t really think it would be a good idea to fix it.
Eckl’s new owners said they hope to expand in other parts of Buffalo in the future, including in Larkinsville.
Those who can’t wait until Tuesday to get a bite of their famous roast beef, could get lucky this weekend. It’s still being decided whether they’ll open for the post-Bills crowd.