OLEAN — Rafi’s Platter of 800 Wayne St. is temporarily closed while its ownership opens an additional location in Ellicottville.
In a message to the Times Herald, an employee indicated that Rafi’s in Olean closed Monday — and will remain so through March 16.
The new site in Ellicottville — Rafi’s Platter by Amber — is located at 32 E. Washington St. The former Tips Up restaurant, which closed more than a year ago, was at that location previously.
Amber Rafi-Sultan stressed to the Times Herald Tuesday that the Olean location has not been abandoned — patrons will be able to get their favorite kabobs and other dishes when things get settled at the Ellicottville location.
“This week we are just having a soft opening in Ellicottville ... we want to get things up and running properly and then we will be back and open in Olean,” said Rafi-Sultan, who operates the restaurants with her husband, Aamir “Chef” Sultan.
“People have come to me and said, ‘You cannot be closing in Olean!’” Rafi-Sultan said. “I tell them, ‘No, this is just temporary.’”
Rafi-Sultan said she is excited that spring and better weather is coming so that patrons can again enjoy the Rafi’s Platter outdoor setting in Olean.
“We are really looking forward to having like a party out there all summer,” she said, adding, “Olean is my home.”
Yet she and her husband are also excited about the possibilities that the Ellicottville market — with its year-round tourism traffic and special events — represent for their business.
“It’s always been my dream to open a restaurant in Ellicottville,” she said. “It’s very important that we get things off to a good start there — but we will be back in the Olean location very soon.”
The Ellicottvile location will feature the same diverse menu of Pakistani, Italian, Greek and Lebanese cuisine as is served in Olean.