$8.5 million open-market style restaurant features more than 100 foods
Seneca Gaming Corp. upped the ante on casino dining Thursday with the unveiling of the new Thunder Falls Buffet at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls USA. The casino's original restaurant has been transformed through an $8.5 million investment into an open-market style eatery with stunning architectural designs, high-tech lighting and video screens, and a completely revamped menu of more than 100 food items.
Thunder Falls Buffet officially opens to the public on Dec. 21 at 11 a.m., just 10 days before Seneca Niagara Casino reaches its milestone 10-year anniversary.
"Today, a restaurant already regarded as the region's best buffet has become even better," said Barry E. Snyder Sr., president of the Seneca Nation of Indians, at an unveiling event Thursday afternoon. "Our award-winning culinary team has redefined what it means to eat at a buffet, and locals and tourists alike will come to know Thunder Falls Buffet as a must-visit dining location when visiting the Niagara Falls region. More than a million people dine at the buffet every year, and we fully anticipate that number to increase."
Thunder Falls Buffet will now feature more than 100 food items across six food stations - the central grille, Mediterranean, Asian, pizza, dessert and the salad bar - with a focus on healthy and ethnic dishes as well as classic comfort food. The open-market design, created by leading interior design architectural firm SOSH and built under the leadership of Seneca Construction Management Corp., has a direct connection to the nearby gaming floor and brings interactive cooking in front of guests.
"Together with our business partners and more than 200 very skilled local construction workers, we completely reconstructed Thunder Falls Buffet from top to bottom in just a few short months," said Robert Mele, chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corp. board of directors. "We've created an ultra-modern buffet that, in fact, looks and feels like an upscale restaurant with a wide selection of delicacies for everyone to savor."
With the new design, overall seating at Thunder Falls Buffet will increase from 420 to 500 seats. A unique wine and beer display, large video screens and colored lighting will add to the interactive and exciting feel inside the restaurant. In addition, terrazzo floors, rich fabrics, intricately lit buffet stations and a sound system with music are just some of the new features that await guests.
The restaurant also promises guests an uncomplicated dining experience. Servers and chefs will be trained to accommodate dietary needs such as sugar-free, low-sodium and gluten-free options. Different types of comfortable seating - such as booths, tables, and even a chef's table - are located close to the stations for added convenience and create unique dining experiences for each visit. Kiosks located adjacent to entrances allow for seamless check-in and pre-payment. Altogether, Seneca Niagara Casino's food and beverage team expects to serve more than 80 people every 15 minutes during peak hours.
The buffet's dessert station will have its items made daily by students at Niagara County Community College's new Niagara Falls Culinary Institute nearby on Old Falls Street downtown. Seneca Gaming Corp. is a proud sponsor of the Institute, having donated $1.275 million to ensure the program's success, and offering students the opportunity to work alongside the Seneca Niagara Casino's professionally trained chefs and culinary professionals.
"The world's best casinos have superior buffets, and Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is no exception," said Cathy Walker, president and CEO of Seneca Gaming Corp. "There is a world of flavors under one roof at Thunder Falls Buffet, and we invite guests to visit and enjoy every one of them."
Even with the redesign, prices at Thunder Falls Buffet remain virtually unchanged. In addition, weekend breakfast hours are now available. Times and prices are as follows:
Monday through Thursday:
* Price $2 more without free Seneca Player's Club Card
Children ages 6 to 12: half-price
Children ages 5 and younger: complimentary
Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is located just minutes from the world-famous Niagara Falls in Western New York, near the Canadian border. The property is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Guests can enjoy 147,000 square feet of gaming space with 4,000 slot machines and 100 table games, 10 restaurants, live entertainment and a AAA Four Diamond Award-winning, 26-story hotel with 604 recently renovated deluxe rooms, a spa and salon, fitness center and indoor pool.
Visit www.SenecaCasinos.com for more information.
Vice President of Food and Beverage David Kopasz and Executive Chef Gary McHale