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City Shapers: West Side Bazaar Restaurant Owners

This week's City Shapers moved to Buffalo and opened their own restaurants.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Each week, we celebrate Buffalo City Shapers - people who are starting their own businesses or running non-profits. Today, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik takes us back to the West Side Bazaar where two restaurant owners are living the American dream.

This week's City Shapers came to America and opened their own restaurants on the West Side.

The West Side Bazaar is bustling with activity, especially during the lunch and dinner hours. It boasts nine restaurants, and many of the owners came to the U.S. from other countries.

Htay Naing moved to Buffalo in 2013 from Malaysia.

"What's your favorite part about Buffalo?" asked Dudzik.

"I like Buffalo because people are nice, and I like snow. So, cool. Yeah, I like Buffalo that's why," says Naing.

"You like the cold weather?" asked Dudzik.

"Yeah, I like it cold. I don't like hot," says Naing.

Naing opened Nine and Night Thai Bistro a year ago at the West Side Bazaar. He learned how to cook in a Thai kitchen in Malaysia and used that experience to open his bistro.

"What's your favorite thing to make?" asked Dudzik.

"So, it's Pad Thai, and it's fried rice, and PaSu noodle. PaSu is a rice noodle," says Naing.

He says 75-percent of his customers like their Pad Thai spicy.

"Sometimes the American people like it very spicy," he says.

"Yeah? Does that surprise you?" asked Dudzik.

"Yeah,” says Naing.

Kap Za Thang owns Thang's Family Japanese Ramen. Thang is from Burma and Malaysia and moved to Buffalo in 2009 as a refugee.

“I opened August 2017," Thang says.

"How's it been so far?" asked Dudzik.

"Doing good. Yeah, doing good," says Thang.

Thang owns his restaurant with his wife.

“What's your most popular item? What do you sell the most of?" asked Dudzik.

"Spicy chicken ramen is popular. A lot of people try it. A lot of sales, too. And chashu ramen and tom yum ramen, it's popular," says Thang.

The West Side Bazaar small business incubator is open Tuesday through Saturday on Grant Street in Buffalo.

If you know a Buffalo City Shaper, you can nominate them to be featured on Channel 2.

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