Buffalo Grille leaving longtime location in West U.

HOUSTON The locally-owned restaurant has been at Buffalo Speedway and Bissonnet for decades. It's seen big changes around it the last few years, including a brand-new HEB store. Now the Buffalo Grille is being told to pack up and move out by April 2011.

If you've ever eaten at Buffalo Grille, you know breakfast is big. From the sizzling bacon and eggs to the soft and sugary French toast to the popular dish that seems like everyone's favorite, but on Sunday morning there was news that didn't sit well with some of the Grille's most loyal customers.

"You're kidding? This is a landmark," said patron Scott Bormaster.

The breakfast spot has attracted people to this corner for 26 years, but HEB has decided not to renew Buffalo Grille's lease. While the restaurant's founders own the land, they entered into a lease agreement with the grocery chain seven years ago, giving them control of the property.

"It's very sad. It's like losing part of the family. Moving out of the house you grew up in," said Buffalo Grille co-owner John McAleer.

Now McAleer is on a frantic search for a new location, mainly he says to prevent his loyal employees from being out of a job.

"We are day and night on the phone, driving around, trying to find anything," McAleer said.

And of course, to keep serving up award-winning eats with a side of personal stories.

"We've been coming for 12 years, since we dated. We used to sleep until noon and come and now we get up early and come," said Bormaster.

As for what will happen to this spot, McAleer says there's only one thing he doesn't want to happen.

"I'd rather see it as a parking lot than another business. That would really hurt," said McAleer.

HEB has not confirmed that this will turn into a parking lot. In a statement, a spokesperson for HEB would only say, "We are committed to making the transition smooth for both parties, our neighbors and our customers."

The customers we spoke with say they hope the new Buffalo Grille stays somewhere in the neighborhood.

You can read more about this story in the West University Examiner. It's one of our Houston Community Newspaper partners online.

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