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Black Swan, replacing Cozumel, bringing modern lounge setting to Elmwood Ave. this summer

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Black Swan, the restaurant replacing Cozumel, plans to open this summer with a sophisticated lounge-style place with small plates and craft cocktails.

Owners Monique Fortunato-Lester and husband Bryan Lester, a partner at Vera Pizzeria, are busy working out the details at 153 Elmwood Ave. “We’re hoping to be open by July or August, mid- to late summer,” she said.

“We’re creating a place for the young professional population of Buffalo to dine and drink, Fortunato-Lester said. “My husband and I travel a lot, and we’ve noticed that this whole lounge philosophy is really big in places like New York, Chicago, Toronto, and there’s nothing like it in Buffalo right now.”

What’s the lounge philosophy? “What we want to do is create a place that’s really relaxing, chic, and modern, where you can sit back on a comfortable couch and enjoy a cocktail,” she said. Black Swan will be putting comfortable outdoor furniture on its spacious patio, Fortunato-Lester said.

It’ll seat about 40 in the lounge, 15 at high tables in the bar area, and another 12 at bar.

At present the menu includes small plates and gourmet bites.  They’re not sure about full entrees. They’re poring over every detail, she said. “Our couches are going to be custom made for comfort and style.”

Fortunato-Lester said Black Swan will aim to fill a gap in the city's restaurant offerings. “There’s really no place in Buffalo where you can go and kick back in a lounge setting and enjoy gourmet food and craft cocktails like that.”


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