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Central Station marks five years in Dunkirk

OBSERVER Photo by Jo Ward Central Station owners Kathleen Dennison and Robert Contiguglia stand in front of the Central Avenue establishment.

March 1 will mark the fifth anniversary of new ownership of Central Station Restaurant in Dunkirk. A fixture in downtown Dunkirk for over 25 years, Central Station Restaurant was purchased in 2016 by Robert Contiguglia and Kathleen Dennison, former owners of The White Inn in Fredonia. Their vision was to provide quality scratch cooking in a casual setting, and to preserve downtown Dunkirk, one sandwich at a time.

The restaurant has survived and even thrived in the COVID era. Since restaurants were deemed essential services, Central Station was never closed but dine-in service was suspended from March through June of 2020. This caused a 30% decline in revenues, but the restaurant was able to rely on its take-out and delivery options. Dine-in business has slowly returned, but is still somewhat limited, due to COVID restrictions. Customers who are reluctant to return to the dining room have switched to take-out orders. Thanks to the continued support of local residents, 2020 sales at Central Station Restaurant exceeded the previous year.

Last October, Contiguglia and Dennison purchased the building that houses the restaurant, and they already started renovating the building. The first phase of renovations included new windows and a new furnace and was financed by the “Back to Business Grant Program” from the city of Dunkirk. Plans for this year include a new façade and an expanded and enhanced outdoor dining area. Beer and wine service will be added this summer.

Central Station Restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch. All items are made from scratch and are sourced from local ingredients whenever possible. There is a wide variety of breakfast entrees, sandwiches, wraps, and salads, including vegetarian options. In addition to the regular menus, Central Station Restaurant offers special soups, entrees, and freshly made desserts. Additionally, Central Station Restaurant is open late on Fridays for fish fry.

Central Station Restaurant is at 332 Central Ave., Dunkirk. Hours of operation are: Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. The lunch menu is available for delivery Monday through Saturday in the Dunkirk/Fredonia area.

Reach the restaurant at (716) 366-8463.

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