Tonawanda News — A Webster Street bar that has been in operation since the 1970s has closed and the building that it occupied will be purchased by the owner of the business directly next door.
Ava’s, 88 Webster St., closed on Dec. 4, with the owner citing a need to retire. Effie Ava Siford and her son, Randy, both have been involved with the establishment for decades, and are nearing a deal to sell the property to Jay Soemann, who owns Walker Bros. & Monroe Jewelers.
Known for its wild themed parties and the utilization of props such as hottubs or filling the bar with sand, Ava’s opened it’s doors in 1976, according to Randy Siford, who said as the years wore on he and his mother were simply looking for a break from the grind of owning a business.
”We just need to retire,” he said. “I knew it for the last six months, I just couldn’t let the cat out of the bag.”
Siford said in the bar’s early days his mother would work the day shift tending bar, while he would oversee the night hours, after going to a day job at a nearby Off Track Betting outfit.
He said his mother, Effie, purchased another bar at the same location called PG’s Lounge, then changed the name, after losing her job.
”I was bartending there already and that’s when she decided to take it over,” Siford said.
Jay Soemann, who confirmed that a deal to buy the establishment is close, said he will gut the entire building and do a thorough rehabilitation of it before renting it out. He noted that the second floor will be turned into a high-end apartment as well, though the plan will include maintaining many of the original architectural details like tin ceilings from the late-1800s structure.