Niagara Gazette

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December 2, 2013

IN BUSINESS: The Topper celebrates first anniversary

Niagara Gazette — Some people placed bets last year that The Topper wouldn’t survive. 

“The bookies took bets on it. I know it for a fact,” said Carl DeFranco, owner of the restaurant and nightclub at 19th and Ferry. “I know people that bet against me.”

DeFranco is delighted to report that his business is alive and well, and celebrated its first birthday in November.

“I think that we have gone a long way in demonstrating that it is OK to come to a great and historic neighborhood,” he said. “The burden of negative perception is borne by locals, and people who used to live here. In reality, to think that things happen in someone else’s neighborhoods, that don’t happen in yours, is silly.”

DeFranco said The Topper has guests from as far away as Pennsylvania and well north of Toronto, who come to enjoy his casual, yet upscale menu and live music or comedy each night, from Wednesday through Saturday.

“The Topper enjoys a great return rate, meaning that when a customer comes to experience our food, shows and service, they come back,” he said. “That tells us that something is going very right.”

The Topper is planning to expand their menu of traditional favorites of steak, pasta and seafood, with a Asian flavor that includes specialties from Korea. “These dishes are voted as among some of the most delicious and healthy foods in the world,” he added. “And we have a world class Korean foods preparer in the family, my wife Judy.”

When DeFranco re-opened The Topper, which originally opened on 19th Street in 1926, he renovated the nightclub but left a little evidence of each decade for those who come in today for dinner and a show. “I would describe it as eclectic,” he said of his night club. “There’s something for everybody. We have everything from a piano bar to national acts.”

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