Plans for a Dinosaur Bar-B-Que downtown have been approved by the Buffalo Planning Board. The restaurant will open in October in a Buffalo Development Corporation (Mark Croce) owned building at 301 Franklin Street. The single-story building with a small mezzanine used to store film reels.
The Syracuse-based restaurant has been eyeing the Buffalo market for a number of years before selecting Franklin Street in July.
The 7,200 sq.ft. location will seat approximately 180 diners. A small addition at the back of the building to house four smokers is planned. The interior space will be broken into two dining areas along with an elevated café/lounge. An outdoor patio will be constructed along the north side of the building. Batavia-based Smart Design Architecture is designing the project.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que opened in Syracuse in 1988 and in Rochester 1998. Harlem followed in 2004 and then Troy in November 2010. Their first out-of-state restaurant opened in Newark last May. A Stamford, CT location opened in November and a Brooklyn restaurant is planned.
Croce says 301 Franklin is an ideal spot being close to the Medical Campus, downtown and the Theater District. It is a location that Croce dubbed “restaurant row” fifteen or so years ago when his Coliseum complex opened in 1996. Today, Franklin Street is home to Laughlin’s, Rue Franklin, Buffalo Chophouse, Bacchus, Bambino’s, Soho Burger Bar and others. Croce believes Dinosaur will spur significant additional interest, investment and development in the surrounding blocks.
“There are fabulous development opportunities in the surrounding blocks,” says Croce. “We expect that this will be a game changer for all of downtown Buffalo.”
Croce says it has the potential to be the second highest grossing restaurant in the region behind the Cheesecake Factory at the Galleria Mall.
“There’s an expectation that this will be a tremendous draw,” says Croce. “It will bring tens of thousands of people, young and old to downtown annually.”