Popular North Buffalo eatery Kostas honored for 40th anniversary

May 11, 2017

A popular North Buffalo restaurant is marking a milestone. It was 40 years ago that Kostas Family Restaurant opened on Hertel Avenue. On Wednesday, the City of Buffalo proclaimed "Kostas Day."

Kostas Family Restaurant was opened in 1977 by Greek immigrants Kosta and Elia Pozantidis in a modest space with few tables and a limited menu. The two brothers had emigrated to Buffalo seven years earlier.

From their modest beginnings, the restaurant today has 40 tables. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown was there Wednesday to tell the restaurant's tale, as he proclaimed the day in the Kostas name.

"And whereas the Pozantidis Family are proud members of and very active in Buffalo's thriving Greek community," Brown read from the proclamation. "Elia Pozantidis ran Buffalo's Greek Festival for many years. And whereas Kostas Family Restaurant has been a staple in North Buffalo and existed long before Hertel's resurgence."

Brown laughed when asked his favorite item on the menu.

"It's all good," said the politician. "I like to mix it up and have different things when I come."

Elia and Kosta Pozantidis spoke briefly. Both brothers offered their gratitude to their customers and affirmed the family's commitment to Hertel Avenue.

"Our family is very, very grateful for the service that we have given for 40 years," said Elia Pozantidis. "We were young people, my brother and I. Our family, Mom, Dad, we try to do the best we can for the city. We've stayed in the city. The avenue's thriving."

The honor coincided with the national recognition of Economic Development Week.