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Chef's, an iconic Buffalo restaurant, quickly ends an experiment

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Chef’s isn't closing, but a spinoff venture of the popular Buffalo restaurant is. Owner Lou Billittier Jr. on Monday announced he will close his takeout-only Chef’s Garage Pizza on Saturday, barely two months into its existence.

Bellettieri wrote on Facebook that "We put countless hours of research and development into this venture. The community was very receptive ... My goal was always to keep the restaurant and the pizza venture separate entities, and at the end of the day, this became impossible.”

He plans to continue offering pizzas to his catering customers. Chef's donates $1 of each such order to the Music Is Art Foundation Gift certificates and coupons for Chef's Garage Pizza will be honored only through Saturday.

The decision will not affect his main restaurant, which was opened at Seneca and Chicago streets in 1923 by Gino Silverstrini and Lee Federconi. The late Lou Billittier Sr. began working there in 1941 as a dishwasher, worked his way up to busboy, then waiter, then manager, and by 1950 was part owner. Four years later, he was the sole owner. He added a second dining room in 1966, an another expansion took place in 1969. Today's capacity is 325, plus another 125 in the special events room.

Chef's originally offered only a handful of dishes, compared to today's lengthy menu, the length of which would do a Chinese restaurant proud. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is closed on Sundays. Phone: 716-856-9187.

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