Niagara Gazette — Success doesn’t come easy on Third Street.
So, owners of the award winning Wine on Third are celebrating the upscale restaurant’s 6th anniversary there with music, art — and the opening of a second restaurant just a few doors down.
The new restaurant, The Pizza Bistro, has been opened in the space where Caffe Lola’s had been, in a spot connected to the wine bar through a back hallway.
“We saw the Pizza Bistro as a way of creating a slightly different identity than the Wine Bar,” said David Guisiana , co-owner of Wine on Third along with Shawn Weber and his wife, Bernadette Brennan.
The owners of the two businesses are feeling more positive than ever about the street’s potential. “It seems like there’s more activity,” said Weber. “There definitely some good quality investors looking in the area. In the last six months, some of the vacant property owners have adjusted to more realistic prices for their property.”
“It would seem like the winds are changing on Third Street,” Guisiana added, noting the re-opening of Cafe Etc., the new leadership at the Ice House by former Lewiston restaurant owner, Jim Lewis. “Then, you always have to talk about the guys who haven’t wavered, like Donatello’s.”
Both Guisiana and Weber noted both their families have long ties to the city. Guisiana’s grandfather had property investments in the city, and his father was a local real estate agent on Third Street. Weber’s grandfather’s grandfather, August Weber, was a beer distributor, and the Webers also had an oil company and other local investments, including Shawn’s current co-ownership of the Jefferson Apartments on Third.
Since the wine bar opened it has been drawing attention for its upscale food and wine offerings. In 2010 the restaurant was recognized in a “Top 30” national list by Wine Enthusiast Magazine for its unique selections of wine. In addition, it’s regular exhibition of local artists’ work has led to some crowded and enthusiastic receptions, including a recent show of wearable art, which packed the wine bar, according to Brooke D’Angelo, who handles publicity for both restaurants.