We haven’t written a Sunday Reading article for the last two weeks and as I started to prepare this weeks edition, I realized there were enough restaurant announcements from the last two weeks to warrant it’s own post. So here’s a breakdown of restaurants that are coming to Western New York in 2014 (and maybe 2015). Get excited.
The Black Sheep Bar and Restaurant: The new restaurant from Steve and Ellen Gedra (Bistro Europa) is probably the most anticipated restaurant opening in 2014. The Gedra’s will be upgrading from ~30 seats in their former tiny Elmwood location to 60+ at their new, completely renovated Connecticut Street location. You can follow the progress on their new facebook page and cross your fingers for an early summer opening. Photo Credit: Mandi Pit via Facebook. (Sources: Facebook, Buffalo News)
Blood and Sand: This is another anticipated restaurant coming to Buffalo and has a very impressive line up. Bartender Jon Karel (Vera, The Revelry) is making a comeback to the 716 and joining him will be Chef Ed Forster (The Workshop, Mike A’s). The ownership group includes restaurateurs Joshua and Jenna Miles, who have done a fantastic job with The Revelry in Rochester. Located in the theater district in the former Laughlin’s, Blood and Sand should be a destination dining/drinking location. After reading Buffalo Spree’s preview (with a sample menu) and hearing rumors that the kitchen will be open deep into the night (like 2 am), I could see myself spending many late nights on Franklin. They are expecting to open in early Summer. (Source: Buffalo Spree)
Oshun Oyster Bar: I’m going to take credit for first breaking this story in the Fall of 2013 and I’m so excited that it’s slowly becoming a reality. We had an exclusive first look at the building last month and construction has continued at a fast pace. We’ll hopefully take another look before they open, but this is going to be a very large and exciting restaurant in the heart of Downtown Buffalo (5 East Huron Street). The restaurant is planning to open in early summer.
Hydraulic Hearth: We’ve been hearing about potential restaurants coming to the newly renovated Larkin area for a while now. With the influx of people working in that area and the possibility of Larkinville becoming the next ‘hip spot’ to live, it was a matter of time before more full time restaurants would open up. Hydraulic Hearth is the first major addition to the area and it sounds awesome. There will be brick oven pizza, a Community Beer Works test brewery, beer garden, shuffle board court and a dedicated food truck parking spot. Harry Zemsky (Square One Sandwiches) will be running the restaurant and after meeting with him in person, I’m excited to see what he does with the place. They are hoping for a mid-summer opening. (Source: Buffalo News, Facebook)
Mercado Revolution: We’ve covered the Kickstarter (and later Indiegogo) campaign for Mercado, so I think most people know about Jeremy Horwitz’s (Buffalo Chow) massive project. Aside from several restaurants that will be run by Scott Kollig, there will be a Lloyd Taco Test Kitchen and a special Lake Effect Ice Cream Parlor (amongst other vendors). When this place opens, it will easily be the talk of the town for quite some time and a regular stop for both Alli and myself. The location hasn’t been announced yet but the plan is to open the market by the end of 2014. (Sources: Facebook, Indiegogo)
Allen Burger Venture: After the success of Liberty Hound and Blue Monk, it was only a matter of time before Mike Shatzel got the itch to open up another beer-centric restaurant. This time it’s in the former Quaker Bonnet on Allen and it’s going to be a rock and roll (think indie rock, not 80’s hair metal) and of course there will be beer. No estimated opening date. (Sources: Buffalo Rising)
Dog e style: Rocco Termini is at it again. This time he’s taking small piece of land off Gennesse street, is constructing a building out of shipping containers (see picture above), is opening a gourmet hot dog restaurant and is calling it Dog E Style. I don’t think there’s much else to say except that Rocco’s planning to open the casual restaurant this summer. (Sources: Buffalo Rising, Buffalo News)
Untitled Mike Shatzel Restaurant: Mike Shatzel isn’t done with ABV and the other 4 buildings he bought on Allen, he’s also leasing the former Nickel City Cheese Williamsville/Farmer’s and Artisan location on Main Street in Williamsville. No word on potential food offerings but there will be craft beer, as if there was ever a question. No estimated opening date. (Sources: Amherst Bee, Buffalo News)
Ballyhoo: Tim and Morgan Stevens are taking over the former Malamute (near First Niagara Center) and bringing more craft cocktails and local craft beer to Downtown Buffalo. The restaurant/bar will feature charcuterie and other gastropub staples. Tim plans to do a serious remodel, while keeping the ‘vibe’ of the dated building, as well as bringing in talent from bigger cities to train the staff. They are hoping to be open by Fall 2014. (Source: Buffalo Rising)
Untitled Henry Gorino Restaurant: Henry Gorino knows how to run a restaurant. For decades he was in charge of Olivers and basically changed the course of Buffalo’s dining scene. He sold off Oliver’s last year but still owns Sienna, 800 Maple and Rocco’s Wood Fire Pizza. It’s going to be an extensive demolition and rebuild (it’s currently a gas station). So don’t expect anything major to be announced or completed until mid-2015. (Sources: Buffalo Rising, Buffalo News)
British Chippy: The Parker’s, famous for their authentic English meat pies, are bringing authentic fish and chips to Western New York. How authentic? They have imported a vintage chip station from England that will be used to cooked the fresh cod and chips (fries). They will be wrapped in inkless newspaper and will go for ~$10-12. The grand plan is to eventually open up these little shops in local malls around the area. The shop has been built in their South Buffalo building (see above) and the Parkers are expecting to open within a month, as soon as all the permits are in place. (Sources: Buffalo News, Buffalo Biz Journal)
Untitled Bryan and Tara Bryndle Restaurant: The Bryndles are the owners of Tabree, which is easily one of the best restaurants in Western New York right now. They are also leasing a spot in the village of Williamsville, taking over the former Coffee Culture location. They are ‘probably going to do an oyster bar’ and there is no estimated opening date. (Sources: Amherst Bee, Buffalo News)
Handlebar: This restaurant/cafe is part of the $13 million renovation project of 145/149 Swan Street and will be run by the owners or Merge. No word on the cuisine type but the place looks pretty great in their Facebook photos and it will be located next to a WNY Bicycle Center and a Bicycle Museum. (Source: Business First, Buffalo Rising)
Believe it or not, there are actually more restaurants and rumors that we’ve heard about and are really excited for. Unfortunately, for one reason or another we can’t really write about those but the list above is reason enough to be excited for what’s happening in Buffalo’s restaurant scene.