Marvins at Widewaters restaurant is up for sale – Niagara Gazette

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LOCKPORT — A change in ownership is on the horizon for a well-known summertime eatery along the Erie Canal.

Brandon Marvin, owner of Marvins at Widewaters said that he is looking to “pass the torch” to new ownership and sell the business.

“Our hope is to find the next person that is going to try to carry that torch,” Marvin said.

Ultimately, Marvin attributed his desire to sell the business to focusing on raising his children and maintaining other business ventures.

“I’m raising a soon-to-be 16-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter,” Marvin said. “They’re my focus and I have several other businesses that I still own and operate.”

Marvin hopes that whoever he sells the business to is committed to its legacy, but he also understands they may put their own spin on things just as he did when he acquired it.

“Whatever they want to incorporate into their next model, we want to help them succeed in any way possible,” he said.

James and Mary Chapman, along with Mary’s sisters Helen Villella and Rose Marvin, built Widewaters Snack Bar in 1961. The business was then sold to John Saraf Jr. in 1972 and stayed with his family for over 30 years.

The business would change hands again in 2006 when it was taken over by Marty Oliveri and Lou Antonotchi who ran it until a flood shuttered the business’ doors in 2013.

In 2015, former employees Tim Mulvey and James Kane purchased and renovated the restaurant before selling it to Marvin in 2020.

“Some of my first jobs were working in kitchens, so I knew what I was getting into,” Marvin recalled.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck just as they were about to open.

“We bought it and thought it would be a great idea to launch a restaurant at the worst time in history to open a restaurant,” Marvin said.

It was during that time that the business introduced its weekly car shows with live music, something that has remained a staple throughout Marvin’s tenure owning the business.

“We got through it and honestly it was an interesting year to launch. Everyone was looking for something to do… we were a little bit of normal when everything wasn’t normal,” Marvin said.

Kim Pasnik of Middleport said that she has been a regular customer of the business since Marvin took it over and that two of her children have worked there during that time.

“I’m sad that he’s selling it. It’s always been good food. It’s a little piece of nostalgia,” she said.

The restaurant will remain open as normal through the duration of the summer season, which Marvin estimates will be sometime between mid- to late-September.

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