BUFFALO, N.Y. — Gigi's Restaurant will no longer be the food service provider for the Northland Workforce Training Center. Owner Darryl Harvin says he was overwhelmed by the number of customers and could not keep up.
"I'm real sorry about the way things turned out. and I am not a restaurateur, I'm not a chef, and I just wanted to take an opportunity for the community and bring Gigi's back and to further my mother's legacy, but I wasn't the person. I'm not that guy that can do it, I was over my head and I apologize," Harvin said in an exclusive interview with 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing on Thursday.
The announcement was made Thursday morning by Peter M. Cammarata, President of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation inside of the restaurant.
"It is with sincere regret that I announce that Darryl Harvin, owner of Gigi's Restaurant, will not be moving forward as the food service provider at Northland Central," said Cammarata, in a statement.
Cammarata says that while the first two weeks of Gigi's opening was successful, it proved to be challenging and that Harvin decided to step aside to allow for the long-term success of the restaurant space.
The search is on for a new owner of the space. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown expects requests for proposals to go out as soon as next week. "The level of patronage and support, the volume that they saw coming into the restaurant exceeded all projections in the business plan," he said. Any new owner should be prepared for a high volume of customers.
Watch Darryl Harvin's interview with Claudine Ewing. He explains his decision to close the restaurant.
Customers who have supported Gigi's for decades are disappointed. Some say the restaurant should have never left East Ferry near Jefferson.
"The legacy of Gigi's is going to be around forever, it will never be forgotten, it will never be forgotten. it's just a shame it had to go out this way," said customer Vivian Snell as she and her husband arrived at the restaurant for breakfast only to learn it was closed for good.