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Online comments complicate situation surrounding proposed Acropolis expansion

Comments posted online by a restaurant owner seeking the city's permission to expand his business may have thrown a wrench into whether his Elmwood Avenue establishment will be allowed to move ahead with plans.

Paul Tsouflidis, owner of Acropolis, has faced opposition from some neighbors primarily due to their concerns about loud noise coming from the business.

A recent meeting between Tsouflidis and some concerned parties, which followed a large public meeting Jan. 19, lead to a deal on terms that would allow the expansion to move forward, according to two city lawmakers.

But that changed when Tsouflidis took to Twitter and questioned terms that called for music to be completely shut off in the establishment after certain hours.

"We did have an agreement," Niagara Council Member David A. Rivera said Tuesday. "Twenty-four hours after the agreement, for some reason, Mr. Tsouflidis felt he could not abide by the agreement."

Acropolis' request for a special permit for a second-floor expansion was sent out of a Common Council committee Tuesday afternoon without a recommendation from the panel. Approval by the full Council, which meets again Tuesday, is required under laws established for the Elmwood District.

The issue came up for discussion at the Council Legislation Committee meeting, where both sides exchanged differing views on where the situation stands after last month's public meeting and the smaller subsequent one.

Keri Callocchia, Tsouflidis' attorney, said all parties "were able to find common ground" as a result of the meeting, and that there was "ongoing dialogue" with the community.

Several neighbors spoke at Tuesday's meeting, reiterating their concerns about Tsouflidis' proposal.

Attorney Richard E. Stanton, who has been hired by a group of neighbors, including the owner of Elmwood Pet Supplies, disputed the assertion that there was ever any type of agreement.

Rivera said there had been an agreement among those who attended the meeting, though he noted it was a smaller group and "not everybody was at the meeting."

Delaware Council Member Michael J. LoCurto, who sent a statement which was read by Rivera, said Tsouflidis' comments were "a major concern."

LoCurto went on to say in his statement, "The Elmwood Village is a special community. We must find a balance between its residents, businesses and patrons in order to maintain the community we know and love. I will be making my recommendation about the Acropolis' application for a second-floor bar and patio with this balance in mind."

Here's LoCurto's full statement.

Former Council Member Alfred Coppola spoke about working to help Tsouflidis' parents, who ran the restaurant before him, while he was in office. The city and Tsouflidis should work to fix previous mistakes, adding, "Let’s not give them a hard time."

--Aaron Besecker
Follow me on Twitter: @BeseckerBN


City of Buffalo | Common Council
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