November 24, 2022

Funeral for the owner of the legendary Buffalo restaurant

Buffalo says goodbye to the owner of Gigi’s Soul Food.

BUFFALO, NY – Friends and family gathered at True Bethel Baptist Church on Tuesday morning to bid farewell to a woman Mayor Byron Brown called a “Buffalo legend”.

Blondine Harvin was the owner of Gigi’s Soul Food restaurant on East Ferry Street. The restaurant has served as a staple in the community for over 50 years and has attracted customers from all walks of life.

“Blondine Harvin has created a unique multicultural and multigenerational dining experience,” Mayor Byron Brown said during the service.

Brown described how he started eating at Gigi’s with friends while in college.

“Coming to Gigi’s was the closest thing to coming home you could experience,” he said.

The mayor was not the only city official speaking at the service. Mark JF Schroeder, the Comptroller of the City of Buffalo, described in detail the acts of kindness Harvin performed for others in the community who went beyond the food she served.

“When I was cold and practically naked during the cold Buffalo winter, you gave me Darryl sweaters, scarves and gloves. You did it quietly so the people in the restaurant wouldn’t know that I “was the poor man. When I was sick at Sister’s Hospital, you brought me peach cobbler and banana pudding,” he said.

Condolences were also ready from New York State Senator Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Erie County Lawmaker April Baskin, among others.

Harvin’s son described that even towards the end of his life, his mother eagerly awaited the opening of the new location at the Northland Workforce Training Center. Work had already started before his death.

Darryl Harvin told 2 On Your Side that he hopes to open the new location as soon as the end of this month.