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One icon steps in for another in Buffalo area market

Owner/general manager Jerry Scharf.
Buffalo News

The Deerhead Inn, a community landmark for more than a half-century, is gone, but another old Buffalo area favorite that is hoping for a successful second life is operating in its place.

Scharf's German Restaurant und Bar will hold its grand opening today at 2683 Clinton Street in West Seneca after two nights operating in soft mode to train the staff. It originally had been called Scharf’s Schiller Park German Restaurant. Owner/general manager Jerry Scharf shuttered it in 2012 after his family ran it for 45 years but was hampered by a dwindling customer base.

It was saved, at least for now, by a pro bono ad campaign by a local advertising agency that helped raise support and customers for another run. Conversely, the Deerhead Inn, a family-owned tavern, closed in May when owner Chuck Miller retired after its 52-year run.

At the time he announced the closing, he told the Buffalo News his children were disbursed across the globe and “It just wasn’t in the cards for the next Miller generation to manage the Deerhead.” He and his brother Gary had taken over the business from their parents in 1980.

The new Scharf’s is taking reservations by phone at 716-895-7249. In addition to German and some American dishes and seafood, it offers five German beers on tap as well as many more in bottles, along with a variety of German wines and liqueurs and a full bar. The culinary team consists of Jerry, Tim and Nancy Scharf.

The family had been drumming up public interest in its move by such things as hosting its first "Cruise Night" several weeks ago, grilling hot dogs and brats grilling in the yard and "priming the pump" by offering $2 cans of Molson and Molson Lite plus $4 cans of Warstiner, and encouraging visitors to take an external look at the new venue.