In November, Zinc owners Cesare and Andrea Avallone unexpectedly received notice from Diane and Gary Ackerman, operating as Old Platt LLC, that their lease was being terminated.
Zinc has been located at the downtown spot for the past seven years.
The Avallones filed a complaint in court, accusing the Ackermans of terminating the lease to prevent Zinc from operating during the holiday season.
The forced closure would have disrupted the business during the restaurant’s second-busiest time of the year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Ackermans are the sole owners of a separate company that operates J. Bistro Restaurant on West Market Street, just around the corner from Zinc.
Initially, the Avallones had until Dec. 1 to leave the Columbus Avenue location.
The request they filed in Erie County Common Pleas Court, however, sought successfully to delay the eviction. Negotiations have since pushed back the exit date to the beginning of the year, said Leslie Murray, of Murray and Murray, the law firm the Avallones hired. Murray declined to get into details of the talks.
“Zinc will remain open through the holidays,” Murray said.
Bottom line: The annual New Year’s party will take place at the Zinc location on Columbus Avenue.
Sometime in early 2014, then, Zinc will move to 215 E. Water St., where it will share space with Hearth Tavern, the newest venture on tap for the Avallones. Hearth Tavern is a wood-fired oven pizzeria, with plenty of beer and wine selections.
On Monday, Cesare was working to prepare the new space. He stood among the newly exposed brick walls that had been hidden under plaster. The new digs will offer 2,800 square feet of dining and bar space, which is about three times larger than the location they’re poised to leave.
The Avallones plan to offer one combined menu for the two restaurants, with classic Zinc fare featured alongside the new items.
“We will be ready” Cesare said.