¬† Chef Chris Gibney and Chef Rick Pohlman

On the Line:
Chefs Chris Gibney and Rick Pohlman

by RICK OHLER | Buffalo Spree, December 2012

In just six short years, Rick’s on Main has earned the cachet most restaurants struggle for decades to earn. Reviewers gush, employees are fiercely loyal, patrons from all over the area come back again and again bringing their friends, and the locals will tell you that in the three-block area of East Aurora’s uptown, Rick’s on Main stands out from the other eleven restaurants within an easy walk. If you want a top-tier meal chosen from an inspired, seasonally changing menu, or if you want to linger at an upscale bar to watch a game while enjoying some appetizers and cocktails, Rick’s is an easy choice.

The owners, Rick and Cathy Pohlman, are daily working participants in the kitchen and front of the house with a passion for their restaurant that has kept it successful since 2006. All of their past culinary and restaurateur experiences have come together to give you Rick’s On Main.

Such success doesn’t come without many hours of hard work. Pohlman, who attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) recalls his career path: “Oliver’s,” he says, “is sort of the breeding ground for many of the restaurant people in the area. I started at fifteen at Shore’s Orchard Downs, washing dishes, but I’ve worked at Oliver’s and Hutch’s, and then Siena. Chris worked at Oliver’s with me.”

Culinary Institute Gibney boasts a thirty-year resum√© that also includes an education at CIA, and time behind the stove at Oliver’s and Hutch’s, the East Aurora Country Club, and the old Flying Tigers out by the airport.

For both chefs, Rick’s on Main occupies their lives, mind, body, and soul. They love watching the seasons change and accommodating the tastes of their clientele: fish and salad in the summer, beef and pasta in the winter. They see the whole notion of shared plates growing, and they notice that people are ever more conscious of what they eat.

Most of all, they love the family they’ve created in their restaurant. “You’re only as good as the people around you,” says Pohlman, “and we’ve got the best- in the kitchen, up front, serving-great teamwork.”