By Joshua Maloni
The Como Deli on Center Street has permanently closed. Sunday was the eatery’s last day serving the Lewiston community.
A note posted on social media stated, “We are sorry to announce that due to staff shortages, we have closed our Como Deli on Center location in Lewiston. Please visit our Pine Avenue or Niagara Falls Boulevard locations for your dining and catering needs. We want to thank all our patrons for supporting us and we will miss you dearly.”
Dominic Colucci III said, “We got a few people who are having health issues – a couple family members, a couple of our other key employees. Basically, we're consolidating just down to the two other locations.”
He said his family’s time in Lewiston “was a great experience. We were happy to be part of the village. Everybody here was good to us. I'd say all positive.”
“We want to just thank everybody for the few years we had here in Lewiston, and for all the years at Pine,” Colucci said.
The Como Deli on Center Street opened in March 2019 and quickly became a favorite with foodies. This delicatessen was the third for the Antonacci and Colucci families, who run the historic Como Restaurant on Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls, and Como Restaurant at the Airport on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
At the time of the restaurant’s opening in Lewiston, Louie Antonacci said patrons could look forward to “Two soups of the day; two specials of the day; all homemade bread, rolls, pizza bread; our own bowties; a selection of cookies; we make subs – we’ve got a sandwich bar; we’ve got a salad bar; and then we’ve got a homemade line of macaroni products: cheese raviolis, meat raviolis, cheese manicotti; we have shells on hand we can cook; we have spaghetti; we have gluten-free; we have a couple kinds of sauces; we’ve got pizza; we’ve got wings.”
Though the restaurant industry was badly damaged over the course of the pandemic – and the flagship downtown Niagara Falls location is for sale – Colucci said his family is “holding their own the best they can. They're holding their own.”
While the future of the Como Restaurant is uncertain, Colucci said, “Hopefully, we'll find someone who wants to buy it and keep it going, who wants to keep it running. That's what they're looking for right now.
“You know, a lot of those guys are ready to retire. They'll get their opportunity, and that's what's best for them, and for the family.”
Plaza in Transition
The eastside row of stores in between Lewiston’s South Sixth and South Fifth streets has changed dramatically in the past two years.
•Country Doctor closed. Presently, the windows are papered over at 549 Center St.
It’s rumored a women’s clothing and jewelry store is taking over this spot, but that has not been officially confirmed.
•Canterbury Place owner Pamela Karski retired after 30 years. Her former unit, at 547 Center St., is now SJC Handmade – an art studio/gallery run by Stephanie Casale.
•The Como Deli, at 555 Center St., closed Sunday.
•DiCamillo Bakery, 535 Center St., remains a village staple and key part of the business district.