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Two Buffalo restaurants latest to close due to pandemic

The Lake Effect Diner has closed for good. The Steer will close Tuesday.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Two Buffalo restaurants have become the latest to not survive the pandemic.

The Lake Effect Diner has already closed, and the Steer, which has the same owner, will close after Tuesday's service. Tucker Curtin owns both restaurants, and when we spoke briefly with him on the phone Tuesday, he told us he was dealing with a staffing shortage.

The Steer Restaurant and Saloon and Lake Effect Diner are both on Main Street in Buffalo's University Heights District. Lake Effect closed after 19 years in business. The Steer is closing after 28 years.

Monday night, Curtin told 2 On Your Side the decision to close came after pandemic hardships. He was having staffing shortages and supply chain issues.

We spoke with one of his long-time employees on Tuesday.

"I got the word yesterday, and my reaction was very emotional. I was at home. I got a phone call, and he told me over the phone, and here we are," says Thomas Ladd.

Ladd says the staff is like family. He's been at The Steer for nine years doing just about everything.

"That really crushed us because we had a lot of things going on at that time. We had a brunch thing, and now, had to let that go because of COVID-19 and it's just trending over to this year and it's just a lot of businesses have lost out on this situation, so it's very hard," says Ladd.

Ladd says he's going to take a couple of days off, get back out there, and find a new job.

"I just hope that everybody appreciated The Steer when they got here, and I hope they had great meals when they came in, and we did great as personnel, and served them the right way. Outside of that, I wish the best to all of my coworkers, you know, they're losing their jobs just as well as me. So, we're going to keep it together. We're still going to stay in touch hopefully and see what's up from there. The future is out there," said Ladd.

Both restaurants will be put on the market.