A little shy of its three year anniversary, the restaurant division of Ru’s Pierogi will close its doors. Management says October 18, 2019 will be its last day serving pierogi at the 295 Niagara Street location.
“It’s been a great ride, but all good things must come to an end,” said Zack Schneider, one of the founders. “With the retail aspect of the business really taking off, we’ve decided to concentrate on growing that segment.”
Ru’s opened with much fanfare in November 2016, boasting a menu consisting of sandwiches, salads and desserts, anchored by its signature pierogi, in a fast casual service atmosphere. However, Ru’s put a unique spin on the Polish dumplings by combining its signature traditional sour cream-based dough recipe with modern fillings such as chicken wing, beef on ‘weck, banana pepper and potato and cheddar.
Schneider says eight employees at the restaurant will be affected, but he’s looking to reassign some to either the Ru’s production facility, or to some of Ru’s partner companies.
The pierogi are made on site at its adjoining production facility, which will still be operating “full steam ahead,” said Schneider.
In 2017 Ru’s made its retail debut at select Wegmans locations before expanding to almost all of them in the WNY and Erie, Pa. markets, in both the EZ Meals and frozen sections. Tops Friendly Markets soon followed, as well as local independent retailers such as both locations of the Lexington Co-Op, Farmers & Artisans, Premier Gourmet and select 7-11 locations. Ru’s is also served at many local restaurants, such as Essex St Pub, Resurgence Brewing Co. and Pearl Street Grill. Buffalo Sabres and Bisons fans had also been able enjoy Ru’s as part of the concessions offerings at KeyBank Center and Coca Cola Field.
With Ru’s just inking a deal to provide its pierogi at the Main Street Delta Sonic location (with others to follow), Schneider said the timing seemed to be right.
“Obviously coming up with the different entrees and serving people was a lot of fun, but we’ve learned that customers want to prepare our pierogi at home, which is wonderful, because they’re taking our product and adapting it to their own tastes and traditions” he said. Restaurants appreciate Ru’s versatility as well: they can be served as appetizers with dipping sauces, or as part of a chef’s own creation. The self-contained nature of the pierogi also lent themselves well to convenience stores as an on-the-go snacking option.
Anyone who has a gift certificate to Ru’s Pierogi can either redeem it for dine-in/takeout at the restaurant, or use its face value to purchase bagged frozen pierogi at the restaurant for home preparation. Both options are valid until October 18
As of now, the restaurant equipment will stay in place, but Schneider said Ru’s may look into franchising opportunities further down the road, which may also include the food truck.
Ru’s Pierogi has won critical acclaim from both near and far during its almost three year existence. It was voted Most Creative and Best Pierogi at Step Out Buffalo’s inaugural Pierogi Fest in 2018, winning Buffalo’s Best in 2019 as well, Best Entrée at Independent Health Foundation’s Taps and Apps last year and Rookie of the Year award for Taste of Buffalo in 2019. The restaurant and production facility also helped put Buffalo in the national spotlight when it was featured on The Cooking Channel’s “Burgers, Brews & Que” show earlier this year.
“On behalf of the founders, managers and investors, I want to express a heartfelt thank you to all of our families, and friends who became family during this journey,” said Schneider. “We couldn’t have asked for better staff and customers, and we look forward to seeing everyone again soon. Remember, it’s not goodbye, but see you later.”
Ru’s will be operating during its regular hours until its October 18 closing date: Tuesday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. To keep up to date with any last-minute closing information and possible next steps, Ru’s will be posting on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, or on its website at www.ruspierogi.com.