Manna Restaurant gets help with rent | Business Local

Manna @ Northland restaurant

From left standing, executive chef Dale Holt, Tina Grant-Holt, president, and Reginald Ingram, director of catering, of Manna @ Northland restaurant in the Northland Training Center on Northland Avenue. Customer Pastor Larneice D. Whitehead helped them celebrate their one-year anniversary on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.

The owners of Manna Restaurant at Northland Central got a little help from its landlord to get through the long Covid dry spell.

Located in the heart of the Northland Beltline Corridor on the East Side, the minority-owned soul food restaurant has quickly gained a following in the community as an anchor business since opening its doors in November 2019. But like many restaurants, it has been struggling since March 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

The small eatery occupies 3,921 square feet on the first floor of 683 Northland Ave., where it shares the big building with the Workforce Training Center, Buffalo Manufacturing Works and other businesses.

Manna Culinary Group signed its lease in late 2019 and began operations based on a business plan that depended heavily on high occupancy in the building and “significant revenue from catering events,” according to a BUDC memo. But because of Covid health restrictions and worries, the memo noted, “both revenue drivers have been severely impacted,” particularly for catering but also because the training school was closed for a while.

So at the company’s request, its landlord, the Buffalo Urban Development Corp., agreed Tuesday to cut the monthly lease payment by as much as 50% to $1,300 per month for nearly three years, from Jan. 1, 2022, through Oct. 31, 2024. That will reduce the total payments to BUDC by $43,600.