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Dining spots scheduled for major changes in historic Buffalo hotel

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Plenty of changes are in store next month for Hotel@The Lafayette in Buffalo. This landmark French Renaissance-style building was designed by Louise Blanchard Bethune, the first professional female architect in the U.S., and built in 1904. Today it is a mixed-use building housing a boutique hotel, banquet rooms, a brewery, restaurants and apartments.

Chef Mike Andrzejewski on Monday announced he is planning to overhaul the restaurant there, introducing a lower-priced menu of smaller plates, in what has been the lounge of Mike A’s at The Lafayette. The restaurant will remain open for lunch and dinner throughout the process.

The restaurant’s current two-level main dining room will be converted into an event space with its own bar. It also will be renamed, but Andrzejewski declines to reveal what it will be.

Conversion of the lounge room into a main dining room will include installation of padded banquettes and new lighting fixtures. The venue will seat 50 to 60 customers, as well as provide room to eat at the bar. Most dishes will be in the $10-$20 range, Andrzejewski explained, with dishes that are "a little more accessible. We want to encourage people to eat more different flavors rather than a lot more, period.” The lineup of larger entrees will change week to week depending on the marketplace.

What will not be changed is the Art Deco bar, still under the supervision of beverage director Tony Rials. The changes should take effect in the beginning of August, with a soft opening the first week of August, and a grand relaunch around August 10.

The seven-story Lafayette complex is located at 391 Washington Street. Phone: (716) 853-1505.

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