Tonawanda News — The Tonawanda News has completed its annual list of the top 10 stories in the Tonawandas. Here’s a brief recap of each of this years picks:
10: NHL lockout
threatens hockey season
When the NHL and its players’ union couldn’t come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement over the summer, the owners locked out the players.
Most fans didn’t think the dispute would stretch all that far into the season — if at all. They were wrong. The deal still remains to be reached, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman setting a drop-dead date in the middle of January. If a new CBA isn’t signed and games beginning by then, he’ll cancel the season.
The NHL sent players a new offer Friday.
9: HSBC sells out
to First Niagara
It was a deal that left thousands of Western New Yorkers facing a quandary. HSBC announced it was selling its American comercial banking interests and selling off branches. Months later, it was announced First Niagara Bank, formerly headquartered in Pendleton, would take over the lion’s share of HSBC’s business.
The change-over was mostly smooth, though several branches were closed and remain in limbo. That includes the branch at Main and Niagara streets in downtown Tonawanda.
8: Upscale restaurants open in downtown
So much for the Twin Cities’ pizza-and-wings reputation. Upscale restaurants aplenty opened up along the Erie Canal in both cities this year by some of the area’s most acclaimed restauranteurs.
Smoke on the Water, a barbecue restaurant, was opened to rave reviews by the Richert brothers, operators of Torches on Kenmore Avenue.
Across the canal in North Tonawanda, Remington Tavern, an upscale seafood bar, is the anchor tenant at the Remington Lofts on Sweeney Street.
Romeo’s, a fine dining Italian restaurant, has set up shop around the corner on Webster Street.