During the winter months, many of us in Western New York go south. No, not to Florida or North Carolina, but Ellicottville. Likewise, in the summer months, many of us head north. No, not to Canada or New England, but to Lewiston.
With many people around WNY seeing Lewiston as a destination, especially in the summer, businesses have popped up to meet familiar needs. Whether they are there for an evening, a long weekend or a week, many people still want their tacos, and Gallo Loco is here for that.
In some ways, the demand for a taqueria in Lewiston shows just how popular the concept has become in recent years. The term carne asada, carnitas and al pastor are now about as familiar to us as fettuccine alfredo or lo mein. The new Lewiston restaurant serves up all of your land, sea and air taco favs. Whether you’re craving beef, pork, seafood or chicken, Gallo Loco has got you covered. There are also fajitas, quesadillas and salads, for those who want a lighter option.
In addition to Pepsi products, Gallo Loco also has a full bar, with a major emphasis on margaritas and tequila. There are also a number of Mexican and Mexican-style beers.
Gallo Loco is one of many new restaurant concepts being launched by Lewiston native Michael Hibbard. After moving away for career success, he and his family moved back 8 years ago and Hibbard is currently focused on a number of different restaurant concepts along the village’s bustling Center Street. In Western New York, the past few decades were filled with stories about people moving away to find success, but Hibbard’s story is evidence of that narrative turning around.
Hibbard’s pizza restaurant called Gallo Coal Fire Kitchen had occupied the 800 Center Street space where Gallo Loco currently sits, and the former restaurant is currently poised to relocate to 402 Center Street. A cafe concept called Pronto by Gallo is set to open in the same building. In case you’re keeping track, Hibbard’s more intimate Gather American Eatery concept is located at 453 Center Street.
“After we moved back, we saw a lot of people that my wife and I went to school with making that same transition; moving back to their roots in the area,” he said, described the over-arching theme of his numerous restaurants. “We saw that they wanted a family environment, but they also wanted to enjoy good food and drink, as well as feel comfortable – not exactly high-end, but kind of more in-between high end and low cost.”
The Gallo restaurants aren’t the only thing happening on Center Street right now. A craft beer bottle shop, cocktail-focused bar, a tea house and more are all set to open in a new building at 444 Center Street. According to Hibbard, this hospitality boom is long overdue and reflective of what’s been happening in another WNY destination.
“(Lewiston has) a lot in a one-mile radius: in the restaurant scene, retail shops and clothing shops, “ he said. “So it’s almost becoming like a mini Ellicottville, or actually like a larger Ellicottville.”
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 4 – 9 p.m.