New York mechanics buy, revive favorite diner

Erie County

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — A couple who own an auto repair shop and frequented a diner in Niagara County bought it and brought it back to life. The South Transit BBQ and Grill held their opening day on Sunday, and the story behind the owners is unique.

As customers arrived on Sunday, an RV was visible in the parking lot. That’s because the new owners put their BBQ in the smoker at 7 p.m. the night before and stayed overnight, making sure it cooked to their standards.

“You’re going to get a really fresh slice of brisket with your meal every time,” Victoria Davis said.

Davis and her family were longtime customers of the place when it was a diner. That diner was on South Transit Road for more than 30 years but closed last summer. Victoria and her husband, owners of a local repair shop, decided to resurrect it for residents who loved the quaint spot.

“My husband and I own Davis Automotive, which is an auto repair shop and has nothing to do with this. But one thing that’s been helpful and wonderful is that we’ve grown to love the community,” Davis said.

This is the family’s first restaurant, but not their first time smoking meat. They’ve been doing that for about eight years. “It started with a little electric smoker my parents had gotten Donny for Christmas,” Davis said. “Now we have a smoker we can fit ten people in so haha it’s been a really cool transition to see the progress of everything.”

And word of mouth spread as quickly as the smell of their BBQ before the big opening. Right at 7 a.m. on Sunday, tables filled up fast. “I don’t know any other place that serves BBQ for breakfast,” Justin Tiedemann said, a customer.

Many items on the menu include your typical diner food with a BBQ twist. “As far as our lunch menu, our BBQ grilled cheese is like top-notch,” Davis said.

Davis’ family—including her brother, sister, and mom—help run the place, working as waitresses and helping behind the scenes. She said she wants her restaurant to feel like everyone is family.

“We really want this to be grandma’s kitchen and just be a place where families can come, have some good food, have some good conversation, and tell everyone else about it.”

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