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Restaurant planned for Market Arcade

After sitting empty for nearly seven years, a new restaurant will occupy the former Ya Ya Bayou Brewhouse in the Market Arcade complex at 619 Main Street.

Jay Haynes, owner of Jay's Hilltop Bistro in Angola, has signed a five-year lease to open Perfetto, a 260-seat restaurant specializing in steak, seafood and pasta.

The city-owned property has been the site of three failed restaurants since 1995 - the Breckenridge Brew Pub, the Empire Brewing Company and the Ya Ya Brewhouse.

But Haynes is confident he has the recipe for success.

"They were just the opening act for me," Haynes said. "You can apply your business logic to the mistakes of others and have success. We have the cuisine we know people enjoy."

The 8,300-square-foot restaurant will feature a dry-aging facility for meats with a viewing room, a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, a meat-smoking operation and a bar with 28 beers on tap. A stage, set near a fireplace, will feature jazz, theater and comedy acts. Seating options will include a VIP area called the Grotto as well as a lounge and a general seating area.

Entrees will average $30 to $40. The restaurant will also offer a higher-end "Backstage Pass" package, with which patrons can enjoy a tour of the restaurant's facilities while sipping wine and eating cheese.

"A big part of our business plan is that we want to accompany whatever event you're coming downtown for, whether it's dinner and a show, dinner and a game, or dine and ride," Haynes said.

Patrons can park their cars in the Washington Street lot, have their tickets validated at Perfetto, then ride the Metro into downtown for events, he said.

Haynes' contract with the City of Buffalo includes the option of two additional, consecutive five-year terms. He is shooting for a mid-September opening to coincide with the theater district's Curtain Up! black tie event.

Once Perfetto is up and running, Haynes plans to eventually close the Angola location, but will honor its gift certificates at the new location.

"This is an opportunity to take the restaurant to the next level," Haynes said.