Update: Yeah, the new Brothers location has been open for a bit, but the restaurant just unlocked a key feature we know our readers care about – the bar is now open!!
Imagine you have a strong business plan for your restaurant and a talented chef ready to run your kitchen. Then, just as you’re getting ready to launch, there’s a minor glitch: COVID-19. This is the hand dealt to Romone Anderson and Ronnie Dubose, co-owners of Brothers restaurant on Ellicott Street in Buffalo.
We all know the COVID lockdowns were a curse, but Dubose said Brothers starting as a takeout-only spot was actually a blessing.
“Having to do only takeout was an unfortunate situation, but it’s how we survived,” he said. “Because of the COVID thing, we started as takeout, but a lot of restaurants had to switch over to only takeout. We made that initial impression on our customers. It was part of our brand: We have this great food, and you can get it to go.”
With society opening back up (assuming nothing has changed since the writing of this and your reading of it), the owners are pivoting back to their original plan at the new location.
“Sit-down was the business plan from the beginning,” Dubose said. “The way it worked out was kind of a blessing. But when we originally developed the menu, we chose food that was supposed to be plated. When COVID hit, we said we gotta go takeout.”
After trying a few dishes at the new location, it became apparent that, yeah, this food should have always been served on a plate, not carefully scooped, sprinkled and drizzled into takeout containers. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, but it also serves breakfast – available to downtown workers, residents and guests at nearby hotels through delivery apps.
The shrimp and grits breakfast ($18) we tried was a well-rounded, full-flavored dish, with smells and tastes that shipped the Gulf Coast. Our jambalaya pasta with chicken, shrimp and chicken sausage ($17) was another perfectly-seasoned hit. The full bar offers local beer, wine and a rage of colorful signature cocktails.
The owners took a turnkey approach to their new location. In a place where Mike Andrejewski used to sling Buffalo-ized sushi and Asian-inspired dishes. the decor at Brothers feels more practical and personal than the whimsy of Seabar.
“If you’re coming downtown, you can come to us and have a good dinner,” Dubose said. “Then, you can walk a block to Chippewa for a different vibe; a bar-type, club-type vibe.”
This new Brothers is clearly based in the personal backgrounds of its owners. But this being New Buffalo, the plan moving forward is to flex a bit more culinary knowledge and technique, while still staying true to the original vision.
“We don’t consider ourselves a soul food restaurant,” Dubose said. “Our Chef Ramone has been cooking all his life, and when it comes to his skills – he can cook anything. So as we open up this new restaurant, we will be displaying more of his talents.”
Hours at time of publishing (Subject to change): Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday CLOSED
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