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New Tavern To Open On Allen Street

Restaurateur Dave Forness, former owner of The Buffalo House and Hemingway’s, is underway with the opening of a tavern located at 199 Allen Street (corner of Elmwood in the recently closed Gelsey’s Fashion storefront). I spoke to Dave yesterday who told me that the establishment would have a similar look and feel to The Buffalo House, with many of the ornamental displays being repurposed for his new venture. He is hoping that The City allows him to install a char-broiler behind the bar, so that he can serve up hamburgers, chicken fingers and similar style bar food. If he does not get the OK for the char-broiler he is still planning on serving panini sandwiches and the like.

As for the interior, Dave has removed all of the plaster from the walls, exposing the original brickwork. He has restored the old tin ceilings and is in the process of sanding the wood-planked floors. A long bar will stretch the length of the space, and booths will be installed in the front as well as along the eastern wall. There will be a full liquor license and two flat screens behind the bar. The only unknown remaining is the name. Dave has not even begun to think about naming the place. He told me that he is open to suggestions.


Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  • brownteeth

    I’m certain people will bitch about another new bar on Allen but I think its a tremendous upgrade from the crappy ghetto clothing store there before. As for the name, since Sinful is already taken might I suggest “Devils’s Dandruff”?

  • Captain Picard

    Lookin’ good.
    Now all we need is to get the new tavern owner to encourage his patrons NOT to urinate on my front porch!

  • bouncecat

    Best of luck to him! I’m curious, though- I remember hearing about some kind of law in Buffalo that wouldn’t allow a bar to open in a place that was not previously a bar…or something like that. I don’t get the logic, but I thought someone ran into this issue a while back with a location on Elmwood…

  • Allentwnguy

    I see that is a problem all over. I watch the guys that are smoking on the patio of Allen St Hardware run up College and piss between the houses all the time. It’s my understanding that after the 3 expansions there nothing was done to upgrade the bathroom size! A lot of the bars don’t have the bathroom space they need! Hence the neighborhood loo.

  • benfranklin

    Is he still involved with Gabriel’s Gate?
    If it wasn’t here, it was next door… but at one point this was an Italian restaurant, can’t remember her name, thought I saw she had moved to Hertel. When she first opened you had to bring in wine…not sure if she got a liquor license later.

  • nickinthebox

    Sorry. I’ll make sure I hit the back porch next time.

  • RaChaCha

    “Suds & Bubbles”

  • LouisTully

    Awesome. I’ve been walking by wondering what was going to be done with it. I think there’s definitely room for another bar on Allen.
    My question, how on earth is the former Drool still empty?

  • cyndrome

    Since Allen Street (named for Lewis Allen) was initially a path for his cattle, how about The Cattle Path? Or Cattle Path Bar & Grill (assuming he gets the permit for a grill, of course).

  • Jay D

    From what I understand, the owner of the building couldnt care less about fixing it up. He wants a ridiculously high rent for the commercial space. He uses the upstairs as a crash pad whenever he’s in town. He even felt he needed to put that fence up between his building and Cantina Loco to make it feel even more cramped. great guy!

  • LouisTully

    That’s what I’ve heard. I guess I was just hoping to hear a different report. I bet he’s a Leafs fan. And skis in jeans.

  • ladyinwhite

    Buffalo retail=bar

  • ladyinwhite

    Buffalo retail=bar

  • Eisenbart

    Dave Forness, repeat tax cheat who drives businesses into the ground then dumps them. Curious, that a man on probation was able to bypass the rigorous state liquor requirements to get a full bar. Wonder who he suckered into getting his license for him. Even more curious is that he was able to pay off the 300k he owes to the state in 2 years while still being able to afford this redo and space. Color me impressed. Anyway, welcome back to Allen St.

  • Joe Galvin

    The “Allenwood”…?

  • ladyinwhite

    Great name! But more befitting for the other end of the street. Giggles

  • NBuffguy

    Couldn’t the problem be easily remedied by installing a motion-detector light between the houses? Sure the homeowner shouldn’t have to go to the extra expense and trouble to prevent people from pissing between their houses, but it beats the alternative, which is do nothing and bitch. When you live so close to an entertainment district there are lots of benefits, and unfortunately lots of aggravations that go along with it as well. I am not justifying the bad behavior, just suggesting ways to mitigate the negative effects of it since you can’t force someone else to do something about it.

  • grad94

    make that a motion-activated sprinkler system. problem solved.

  • Allentwnguy

    If anyone comes up with something let me know! I have lights and motion activated sprinklers (called scare crows). The light lets them see where to go and the sprinklers only piss them off and make your house a target for vandalism. I have a motion activated buzzer that alerts me to someone on my property and I the number of people (guys and girls) that pee in just my yard is amazing. I have had 5 in one night! There is nothing you can do, its a city. And part of the crowd the bars attract are these “I can do what I want” types. Its part of the city life I guess. I thought of cameras, a web site and a sign that says see your pictures here!!!

  • osirisascending

    That’s actually a VERY good idea.
    I can procure the cameras needed for such a project, and have some experience with exactly what you’re talking about.
    If you’re serious, get together with a few of your like-minded neighbors, and I can help you make that happen.

  • timatbuffalo


  • elmdog

    Would of been a better story if we were hearing about someone taking the corner spot for something…I think the old ice cream shop is going to sit empty for years and its ugly………………..


    How soon we forget!
    Forness is responsible for MILLIONS of unpaid taxes to the state and the city. Buffalo House alone had $1,400,000 in unpaid sales tax.

  • MichaelToronto

    I don’t suppose this will be open for Allentown Arts Festival?! ; )