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The Como Restaurant on Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls.
The Como Restaurant on Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls.

Como's new owner aims for early summer opening

Fri, Jun 14th 2024 11:00 am

By Patrick J. Bradley
Senior Contributing Reporter

The dining room looks the same. Autographed pictures of famous celebrities still decorate the walls, and the cash register still sits atop the counter where Dominic Colucci held court and greeted diners for decades.

The only thing missing? Hungry customers – but not for long.

Ujjal Aladin, the new owner of the Como Restaurant on Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls, said he hopes to be serving its popular Italian cuisine by end of June, in time for the tourist season. Better known as Mo, Aladin can hardly hide his excitement. And he promises the Como will be a family affair, as it was for 96 years before its sudden closing this past October.

“Me and my family, my brother, wife and kids, we love Niagara Falls,” he said. “I love the Italian people. The previous owners, they love family. They love history. I love that.”

Aladin and his family came to the United States from Bangladesh four years ago and are here to stay after buying a home in the city’s Park Place Historic District. His recently married 19-year-old son is studying for a real estate license and hopes to one day manage the Como.

“He wants to make Niagara Falls great again,” Aladin said.

Area residents were caught off guard when the Como’s original owners, the Colucci and Antonacci families, announced it was for sale in 2020. When its sale was finally announced last year, the purchaser wasn’t identified and diners packed the restaurant during its final days to enjoy one last meal there.

The Como’s location, at 2220 Pine Ave., is in the heart of Niagara’s Little Italy. Aladin said he embraces the history and heritage of the neighborhood. And he believes the restaurant’s aficionados will love the cuisine, which will be unchanged from the original.

“Same menu, same recipes, and many of the same employees,” he said.

Members of the Colucci family are expected to be among them, he added.

Ujjal Aladin is shown in front of the world-famous Como Restaurant.


Como satellite locations, including Como by the Airport (formerly the Goose’s Roost) and the Como Deli on Center Street in Lewiston, have been shuttered for some time, but the original Como Restaurant will continue to host banquets, which have been a big part of its business. The Como has welcomed countless wedding receptions, graduation parties and funeral luncheons through the years.

“People have called, but I want to wait until we open,” said Aladin, who is considering plans for the adjacent Como Delicatessen, as well.

Hopefully anticipating the Como Restaurant’s revival are members of PARP – the Pine Avenue Redevelopment Project. The successor to the former Pine Avenue Business Association, the organization seeks to be a catalyst for positive change by supporting the empowerment and progress of businesses along the busy thoroughfare.

PARP President Tony Poletti, who owns the Marketside Restaurant at 712 E. Market St., welcomed news of the coming reopening.

“This is exactly what we want so see, somebody with a plan,” Poletti said. “It’s a huge thing that it’s opening. To have the Como vacant would be a loss. We’ll help him any way we can.”

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