FORESTPORT — Once famous for its large portions and as a stop for hungry snowmobilers and summer tourists in the Adirondacks, the Buffalohead Restaurant once again has a new owner.
The former eatery recently sold for $80,000.
Nick Polce, owner/broker of Gateway Properties of Upstate New York, Inc., in Remsen, said new owner, Kevin J. Asaro of Rome, hopes to fix up the restaurant and bring it back to its old traditions.
“He’s hoping to have it open by the end of June,” Polce said.
By then, Asaro said he will undergo some renovations to the building. That will include having the kitchen up to health codes. Asaro said he has applied for liquor and other state licensing for the establishment.
Polce said there were “higher offers” made for the building, but “the bank turned them down.”
“So we just decided to let it go,” he said. “He (Asaro) just plans on opening it back up as the Buffalohead. He knows how it was and the old menu, and he’s going to try and return it to the way it was.”
The Buffalohead is steeped in local tradition and has long been a landmark in the town. According to tradition, the Buffalohead got its name from a story that dates back to when logging crews, often immigrants, were brought to the area by train during the work week and then brought back to the city for weekends. In 1924, the wife of an Italian immigrant ordered her husband to take down a large stuffed buffalo head from their apartment. He brought it to Forestport, where he and his friends nailed it outside the train depot.
Then when the immigrants, who spoke little English, were asked by the conductor how far they needed to go, they would simply reply, “Buffalo Head.”
“My wife Linda and I are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the iconic Buffalohead Steakhouse,” said Asaro in a statement. “Both of our families have owned and operated restaurants and bars for decades. We are planning for an early summer grand re-opening. In the meantime, we will be making needed upgrades to the facility.”
Asaro said he and his family are quite familiar with the restaurant, with family in the Remsen area, and have visited the establishment on many occasions.
“We will hire a professional, veteran staff, form relationships with suppliers and provide quality food and beverage at competitive prices, and service everyone expects,” the owner said. “We will offer the menu favorites that have been intertwined with the Buffalohead legacy.”