Widewaters Drive-In Restaurant, a Lockport landmark, has a new owner-operator.
Brandon Marvin, owner of Market Street-based Great Lakes Assets Solutions, closed on his purchase of Widewaters on Monday.
Prior owners James Kane and Renee Iovieno put the Erie Canal-side seasonal restaurant up for sale last summer, promising to only pass it on to a buyer who's as committed to Widewaters' legacy as they were. Kane said this week that he believes they found the right person to "pass the torch" on to.
Marvin says he remembers going to Widewaters as a child and he has always had "fascination with the property." He has some changes planned, but nothing that would drastically alter the restaurant. A springtime opening of the eatery is already in the works, he said.
Marvin said he purchased the Widewaters property in part to have something to share with his 11-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. Unlike Great Lakes Assets Solutions, a commercial repossession company, the restaurant-and-recreation enterprise is "something I can actually include them in," he said.
Kane and Iovieno purchased Widewaters in 2015, about two years after the restaurant was severely damaged in a flash flood. They invested in its recovery and, once the doors were open again, started adding family-friendly features outside such as life-size board games, playground equipment, a nature trail and even a summertime weekly free concert series.
Of Widewaters' sale, Kane said he consented with a heavy heart.
"It's been a great five years. The thing to me was the community of Lockport as a whole all came together ... with one common goal, to make it a great, vibrant place that it once was back in the day."
Kane said he senses the same enthusiasm for Widewaters in Marvin.
"I think he really wants to do a nice job," he said.
In reply, Marvin said about Kane: "I don’t have any intention of letting him down."