A wake and funeral service was held Tuesday for the longtime owner of a popular gathering spot on Buffalo's East Side.
Blondine Harvin owned and operated Gigi's Restaurant on East Ferry Street near Jefferson Avenue for more than 50 years.
"I've known her, and my family has known her, since I was born, since I can remember. My dad knew Miss Gigi. I never knew that wasn't her name," said Rev. Darius Pridgen, the pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church where mourners paid their final respects to Harvin.
Pridgen, who is also Common Council president, says Harvin made Gigi's feel like home. The restaurant was destroyed by fire in 2015. But her son, Darryl Harvin, is planning to reopen Gigi's in the Workforce Training Center on Northland Avenue.
"I'm thankful she got a chance to know that her name would live on. And what an appropriate place. Again taking care of men and women when they need it," Pridgen said.
Blondine Harvin died January 16. She was 80 years old.