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Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Plans October Opening

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.  

DIN0Bldg.jpgdinoplans.JPGThe 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.”

Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  • Shoey

    I’m so glad this is happening, it’s been the one thing in Rochester that I’m completely jealous of.

  • armyof100clowns

    I just wish the design didn’t remove the Deco-ish slab work currently on the front of the building . . . but, that is just an inconsequential nitpick from an inconsequential nitwit.

  • 16thStreet

    Great to see some activity in this area but the food, eh, I’ll stick with Fat Bobs and Susie Q’s (and the BBQ food truck when I can)
    Best of luck!

  • elmdog

    I guess I will have to wait to see if this is such a Draw???? Croce should talk less and get to work on the abandon buildings he has..statler, Curtiss building and the building next to it..I imagine the Curtiss boutique idea has been shelved and consequently wont ever happen now because of the increase in hotels in the next 3 years around DT Buffalo..So this building will sit and die on a very open corner…People who stay at the Hyatt must love their view from all spots….

  • Travelrrr

    I agree. That’s a (design) lost opportunity–could have been really distinctive.

  • ladyinwhite

    Fat Bob’s? Really? Worst food in the city. Sysco at it’s worst. I believe they only have deep fryers and microwaves in the kitchen for all the pre-prepared frozen food they serve.

  • Tim

    Curtis and friend are embarrassing, when they could and should be stunning. They should take precedence over statler, IMO.

  • DMZ

    If you like Fat Bobs you really don’t know good or even decent BBQ. It’s probably one of the few places I’v actually sent my meal back.

  • DMZ

    TIL: That a lot of people go to the Cheesecake Factory

  • jattea

    Agreed that Fat Bob’s is terrible barbeque. I’ve never tried Suzies, but if you haven’t been to Smoke on the Water in NT yet, go, I’ve had several very good meals there.

  • EyeC

    Glad to see the city getting a decent BBQ joint. Best two in the area (that I’ve had) are Smoke on the Water in NT and Kentucky Greg’s in Depew.

  • Jay D

    so youre just not going to try it for no reason at all?? Awesome

  • Buffalo_Resurrection

    Fat Bob’s was good at one time but my last two experiences have been total disappointment.
    Not so much quality but served cold.
    Mothers next door is a better choice but that is a moot point if we’re talking barbecue!

  • BFLOwatch

    Folks from EV never, ever go to the Cheesecake Factory. They run the risk of being tarred and feathered.

  • 16thStreet

    Smokin’ Toms in Springville is really good too.
    Did I say I never had Dino? Had it a few times in Ra Cha Cha, eh.
    Spent some time down south and had my share of many good joints, Dino ranks low on my list. But opinions are like a holes right?

  • Quixote

    I hope they invest more in the food product than they did in the rendering of the facility.

  • On Richmond

    This “design” is a tragic assault on one of a handful of Art Moderne duildings that are reamining in the city. Although it has been altered somewhat by previous owners, it could have been restored and adapted. Another win for mediocrity.

  • GinghamQuaker

    Along with Good Luck. Someone seriously needs to open a bar of that quality in Buffalo. Maybe I’ll do it some day soon.

  • downincircles

    You know what area of downtown already would’ve had that motif and is more inline with Dino’s image? The new Canalside.
    I wonder what Croce did to get this guy in his back pocket to move to this average location surrounded by parking lots.
    I’m all for Dino, hello it’ll be 1 block from my office. I just think it would’ve been a focal point of something new and exciting like Canalside (admitting it would’ve taken longer to setup shop and acquire a spot).

  • Rubberball

    You always have all the right answers, yet nobody ever listens. What a crying shame.

  • Travelrrr

    Maybe Rocco and team can offer Design 101 lessons to other local developers?

  • Travelrrr

    I know–seriously, what is up with THAT?

  • LouisTully

    Yeah! You don’t know GOOD BBQ! What a loser!
    But we all know good BBQ. Cuz we’re friggin awesome. And Fat Bob’s sucks!

  • NBuffguy

    The only thing? How about the Genesee River running right through their downtown, complete with cascading waterfalls? That always makes me completely jealous of Rochester.

  • RaChaCha

    Don’t understand why he has to destroy the building’s character. There are three buildings there in a cluster that have ties to the film exchange industry, for which Buffalo was a significant hub. All three of the buildings have a distinctive styling of that era (one is the Buckin’ Buffalo building, with the styling elements hidden under the boards on the front). And all three of the buildings are owned by Croce. He has the opportunity to celebrate that important & largely forgotten element of Buffalo’s heritage by doing right by all three of those buildings. It would also add to building an identity for the Pearl/Franklin district, which Croce, rightly, wants to see continue to develop as Buffalo’s restaurant district (and which nicely complements the Theater District a block over).
    Imagine if, instead of butchering this building, he restored and played off of its architectural features & unique history to perhaps have the first “film” themed Dinosaur BBQ — say, emphasizing westerns & classic film so as not to get too far away from the vibe folks expect at Dino.
    To date, in each community where they locate, Dinosaur BBQs have celebrated those communities and worked with the unique buildings that house each of them — to great effect. This plan would result in the first Dinosaur BBQ to turn away from respecting & celebrating the uniqueness of its building and surroundings. Mark could — and should — do better than this!

  • benfranklin

    Personally, adding a business to this empty building, on this section of Franklin is a win. Less concerned what they do externally…if you look close now it seems a hodge-podge.
    Second, the original Fat Bob’s was legit. Makes me cringe to see the original owners face in the logo, who cared about good food, who is now deceased. Wonder if the current investors have any qualms about profiting on the reputation of dead man.

  • Eric

    I seriously don’t know how anyone could complain about this. They’re investing a lot of money into a long vacant Downtown building. It’s not a restaurant that will kill other BBQ joints. It’s a destination restaurant. I highly doubt Kentucky Greg’s clientele are going to ditch the fast, easy and cheap eats to go downtown, wait for a table and pay significantly more on a regular basis. There is room for both. And if Fat Bob’s has slacked in recent years they’ll have to pick up their game to survive. It’ll make all the BBQ in Buffalo better.
    So chill out, make a reservation when they begin accepting them and enjoy a new attraction in our city. We do want Buffalo to “rise” don’t we?

  • BuffaloQPublic

    Way off-subject . . . today I went on-line for a menu for Perfetto’s (in the Theater District) I radomly came across the link.
    A number of the reviews were negative. I hope the owners are aware of the areas that are being reported as their shortcomings (several people indicated the same things). I very much want them to be successful.
    Also, during my menus pursuit, I found Shanghai Reds was noted as closed. This may be a dah . . . Is it only open during the warmer weather?

  • laldm

    I’m torn on this. On one hand, investment is good downtown and Dinosaur is like crack to suburbanites, so that can only be a good thing.
    On the other hand, they’re completely destroying the facade of one of downtown Buffalo’s only Art Moderne buildings. Granted, the facade is already not in great shape and it’s not incredibly ornamental or distinguished to start with, but there is still more than a hint of something pretty unique there. They should pay at least some respect to its history. I realize mid-century isn’t “in vogue” right now, so it’s hard for people to see uniqueness in this, but Dinosaur is supposedly historically-sensitive, so you’d think they would exercise a little more cultural sense. But I guess they figure it’s Buffalo so they can get away with it. Whatever – there are bigger losses, and if the revenue from this helps continue heating the Statler, then perhaps it’s a wash.
    Luckily, Dinosaur will never be able to compete with Fat Bob’s in terms of quality, so our local better version can live on happily… the suburbanites can enjoy this chain version and the plentiful parking surrounding it.

  • Old First Ward

    Art Moderne buildings have curved or rounded edges, portal windows, corner windows, or runs of horizontal windows as distinguishing features. This building does not. It may be more Art Deco than Art Moderne.

  • The Damned

    Hopefully, the building will be a little more aesthetically pleasing than that ‘Bucking Buffalo’ barn across the street. Had the pleasure of attending a happy hour there once. Watered down drinks and sawdust on the floor. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
    If the food is up to the standard of Kentucky Greg’s, then more power to them.

  • NorthBuf

    Ugh, chains!! Not in buffalo!

  • ivan putski jr

    Well… all those lame weekend warrior bikers will have a place to suck down their Buds and show off their hogs…Queue up Mustang Sally now…..the only thing worse than those awful blues cover bands are those pop country schmucks who go the Buckin Buffalo Saloon….

  • bradman

    Shanghai Red’s closed a while ago and re-opened as Templeton Landing.

  • zamedy

    Would have loved to see this at the corner of Chippewa and Pearl across from Prima Pizzeria (where there’s currently yet another surface parking lot). It’s such an ugly gaping hole in the urban fabric at the entrance to the Chippewa district. I get it that it probably didn’t afford enough room (and absolutely no on-site parking -GASP-) but I’d love to see some sort of wrap-around establishment with open windows (similar to Kelsey’s on Clifton Hill).

  • yerkster

    how about a lake with a beautiful marina and a river with a lakefront park and vistas of canada, maybe you havent made it past the and realized there is a whole big world out there


    What do you have against chains?

  • No_Illusions

    Mighty Taco, Jims Steakout, Teds, Louies, Andersons. All local chains. So I do not see your point. As long as the quality is there we should not deride chains.

  • RaChaCha

    Fat Bob’s is a dish best served cold.
    – Khan

  • Old First Ward

    Louies Texas Red Hots, Mighty Taco, Jim’s Steakout, Teds, Anderson’s all in that order from best to worst.

  • The Damned

    Two words. Pizza Hut.

  • Old First Ward

    Pizza Hut is a national chain not local. I like Pizza Hut. It is a good place to take kids and the prices are reasonable. Is it my choice for a take home pie, never unless I’m miles for my favorites. Bocce and Imperial win that one all the time.
    I’ll say this, Pizza Hut does have a nice crispy crust.

  • The Boss

    no chance unfortunatley

  • NBuffguy

    I’ve made it out there in the world enough to know that a lake and a river are two different things. Knucklehead.

  • The Damned

    I’m aware of the fact that Pizza Hut is a national chain. I was just….. Oh never mind.

  • Rcc

    Corner of Chippewa and Pearl would be a great pace for a diner like Lake Effect

  • Slu

    Have you seen this building in person? It is an absolute dump. The fact they are saving it all should be celebrated.
    This is a welcome addition to downtown!

  • BuffaloItalianGuy

    “We open Tuesday thru Saturday on March 26th and will be open 7 days a week beginning May 7th.”

  • yellow ed

    Do Mike A’s and Vera not fill that niche?

  • StealYourFace

    Maybe this will get the city with pave Franklin finally.

  • digitalkid2112

    Love that its coming here but still baffled why its not at Canalside. Seems like that would be a slam dunk.

  • DMZ

    I spoke to the owner and he’s well aware of the issues. He seemed really genuine in his search for good servers (Which when I went seemed like the biggest issue). Once he gets that fixed I think he can do ok. I’m still not sold on the location and size of that building, the overhead is killer.

  • benfranklin

    I think the sewer on Franklin needs to be replaced. Possible that it’s one of the few in the city that is combined sewer and storm? Someone else may know more about this… but it was my impression they were waiting to do the street after the new sewer went in.

  • biniszkiewicz

    re: the combined sewer:
    I don’t think it’s one of the few, but rather one of the many. I know on Main Street (at least near Ferry), they’re combined. You’d think they might have addressed that, say, when they dug up the subway. But nope. Combined and pretty stinky, too.

  • jjmullinsjr

    Somehow, even a cascading waterfall manages to be ugly in Rottenchester.

  • Downtown716

    The servers are not the only problem at Perfetto. The food is terrible, often overcooked, and wayyyyyy overpriced.

  • JSmith

    I would think probably because there are no buildings at Canalside yet, and it is much cheaper to lease space in an existing building than to build a new one (reason #143 why preservation is important). And Dinosaur BBQ has generally chosen historic buildings, not new builds, for their locations.

  • whatever

    Another possible reason why Dino didn’t choose Canalside after location hunting for at least a year here….
    a quick glance at their recently opened locations shows very-close-by surface parking at each.
    Could be a coincidence, or not.

  • zamedy

    Love the idea of a diner like Lake Effect at Chippewa and Pearl. I always feel bad and wonder where the touring cast of shows at Shea’s, for example, go to get a good breakfast when they’re in town. It would be nice for people staying in downtown hotels to have an alternative to the complimentary continental breakfast.

  • sonyactivision

    LOL at all the handwringing comments above. Just build the damn thing, I’m hungry!

  • buffalobills52

    dino is gonna kill all the other competition

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