Pita Gourmet is first tenant in planned retail building on Transit Road

By Stephen T. Watson   Buffalo News

Pita Gourmet plans to open its third area location in a new retail building that Bevilacqua Development wants to construct on Transit Road in Clarence.

Bevilacqua is looking to build an 8,500-square-foot, single-story building with a drive-through at 6031 Transit Road, across from the Transit Valley Country Club, on the site of the former Buggy Wash self-serve car wash.

The company doesn’t yet have a tenant for the drive-through section but Pita Gourmet has signed a lease for the other end of the building, said CEO Jonathan Bevilacqua. At least one or two other tenants would fill the building. Pita Gourmet’s other locations are in Niagara Falls and Lancaster.

The new restaurant will have seating for about 90 patrons, nearly twice the size of the 50 seats in the Lancaster restaurant that is also on Transit Road, said Joe Mahfouz, president of Pita Gourmet, which he runs with his brother, Mark, and sister, Monique.

It will have about 20 employees and serve lunch and dinner for at least six days a week and possibly Sunday as well, Joe Mahfouz said. The restaurant will have dine-in, carry-out and call-ahead service.

Pita Gourmet features Mediterranean-American fusion, fast-casual food. Mahfouz said the chain is known for its housemade sauces and marinades and for the meat for its gyros that is cut straight from the rotisserie.

Construction on the $1.5 million project would start later this year, after the Clarence Planning Board approves the development plan.

The Clarence Town Board on Wednesday granted a special exception use permit for the drive-through, on condition that Bevilacqua come back to the Town Board once he knows the tenant. Town Board members don’t want a Tim Hortons-type tenant that could leave vehicles stacking up onto Transit.

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