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Crave comes to Hertel

These days it’s not so unusual to see a business pick up and move to Hertel. The more it happens, the more businesses follow. Each year Hertel picks up more and more speed. Now we’re seeing a surprise move by Allentown’s Sample restaurant, which recently closed on Allen Street in anticipation of opening in the former La Dolce Vita location on Hertel.

The new restaurant will be called “Crave” and will allow restaurant owner Jennifer Goetz and husband/head chef, Adam Goetz, to spread their wings a bit. “The original motivation was to secure a new spot in order to serve our customer base better,” Jennifer told me. “We were looking for better accessibility to our customers in the Northtowns. In Allentown we were more of a destination. But we want to be part of the daily mix. The new location will allow us to have a bigger and better kitchen and more room for catering. The space was a no brainer. Our original Sample menu has evolved from serving just samples… we were always limited by the menu.
“Now there are no limitations. Crave is a sort of reinvention of the original concept. The restaurant’s seating capacity will be about 45 seats, and the dining area will be separate from the bar – that is very important to us. The addition of a patio will triple the number of outdoor seats that we had in Allentown. Our motivation is to serve food that people are craving. We’ll be reinventing some old favorites and introducing new items. There will be chef tastings of the menu, and shared menu items. We’ll also be introducing pizzas and pastas, with half and full size portions. There’s a pizza oven in the building, and we’ll be making bread in house (in the pizza oven). Most of the pastas will also be made in-house, depending on the dish being served.
“We’re planning on opening for lunch and dinner, and on Sunday for brunch. We’ve already closed on Allen Street, and we’re hoping to be open for lunch on Hertel next week. At this point, we’re waiting on approval for full liquor license, upon which time Crave will open for dinner. Adam and I are excited to be a part of the bustling street traffic that we are seeing during the day, not just at night. We had a good run in Allentown, but we were looking to grow… this is the perfect spot to do just that.”

1472 Hertel Avenue
Buffalo NY 14216
(716) 883-1675

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • Kelso

    Huge upgrade over La Dolce Vita. Glad to see Hertel add a more trendy/artsy establishment.

  • The Damned

    Delighted to hear that this place has closed. I had one of the worst meals of my life at La Dolce Vita. A lukewarm piece of grey prok tenderloin with what I’m convinced was Mott’s apple sauce on the side. It wasn’t cheap, either. I think that’s what bothered me the most.
    Decent gelato, though.
    I’m looking forward to visiting Crave. I’ve heard good things about it.

  • ladyinwhite

    Once again just goes to show Allen is a washed up nothing. Pity


    “Once again just goes to show Allen is a washed up nothing.”
    And who’d know better than you . . .

  • The Boss

    Allentown still boasts some pretty cool digs, like Dukes, Hardware and Cantina, so not so fast lady. Allentown might seem to be in a continual state of transition but will always be a crucial link in buffaloes dining and culture fabric

  • norwalk

    Very nice addition…I can’t wait until they open 🙂

  • lulu

    Welcome to the neighborhood! Hertel keeps getting better and better!

  • 716realty

    Was just talking tonight about how my wife and I think most diners in Buffalo don’t get the small plate idea. Toro succeeds because they are on Elmwood, and their bar business.
    I would not serve their food to my worst enemy,though.

  • Buffalo All Star

    Let me phrase this carefully…Allen St. is a piece of sh*t. It is now and was 30 years ago…and its a real shame for two primary reasons.
    It doesn’t do the gorgeous streets off Allen any justice…Park, Mariner, Irving I’m sorry but you deserve much better.
    There are a few establishments on Allen (not all) that have got great’d be great if we could spread it around to the **ahh umm** built environment and some of the other p.o.s. businesses around.

  • Rubberball

    I agree but probably it is also true for other like markets as well. Buffalo has a creative food scene which has emerged recently. Certainly Christa Glennie Seychew and a number of chefs are the reason for it.
    Hutch’s, Bacchus, Oliver’s, Left Bank and a bunch of others do small plates. I believe it is the customer base which positions the small plate vs big plate. Maybe it is more discernible palate and socioeconomic class which goes for the concept first, then trickles down to other.
    Buffalo is still blue collar so people work hard and like to eat and not leave hungry.

  • whatever

    Best wishes to the new restaurant, but would it be rude to mention that the replacing of La Dolce Vita with a non-Italian business is yet another reminder the “Little Italy” branding/signs the Common Council decided on for Hertel was a dumb idea that’s getting dumber as years go by?
    I’m not mad about it at all, but just sayin…

  • wtupperguy

    As usual on this page everyone misses the underlying story that chunks of the city are losing business to Hertel. Good for them, I mean that, but shouldn’t there be wonder why business are leaving and wouldn’t “real” preservation be to fix the problem now, before Allentown becomes a vacant row of buildings? Or should we let it sit idle for 8o years and then complain when someone wants to then do something? That is where you all loose me. The city is full of on edge communities that are one more move out away from becoming lost. All this story is about is taking from one city community and moving to another. This is not a “new” business, nor it is new from outside the city. I’m sure I’m about 15 thumbs down on this. I can’t wait to hear how I’m wrong.

  • whatever

    wtupper – you aren’t wrong necessarily, but the article didn’t claim this was a “new” business, so that part of your comment might be strawman-ish.
    As to the “Or should we let it sit idle for 8o years”
    Hyperbole of “idle” aside, who do you mean by “we”, and what are you suggesting for “fix the problem now”? No doubt Allen is in bad need of street/sidewalk work. So the “we” in the sense of city govt for doing that, yes.
    Anything else?

  • Dashwood

    There is a project in the works to rehab Allen Street and extend the East end into the Medical Campus. There is funding for this and it will be happening in the near future. In the short term, In think it might be stalling or preventing some business from happening on Allen because a new business might not survive being in a construction zone. But, in the long term, Allen St. is going to be vastly improved and will be better connected to the people who will be at the BNMC each day.

  • 300miles

    Any idea when that construction might start?

  • wtupperguy

    There are numerous buildings that have sat vacant for forever. I can think of the whole east end of the street. There is a new juice bar I’ll give it that. There is that vacant building next to cantina loca. There are several down towards the bend.
    We have a section of a city named after a street that it self has less and less to offer. Driving down it in the winter sucks. I think they should remove parking on one side of the street between elmwood and deleware.
    We could step up police enforcement so Claire, and the rest of the street folk aren’t such a bother.
    We could advertise it.
    We could enforce building codes.
    There are tangible things we could do. I use to live above sweet tooth now I own on w. Tupper. I’ve watched spitter and spatters of life over the years. Nothing sticks.
    This article just seems to celebrate yet another list opportunity to elmwood or hetel.
    On my cell phone tonight so sorry I’m not that elaborate.

  • buffchic

    Crave comes to Hertel, yes! Their new decor is contemporary, chic and comfy yet cool.
    But their menu is divided between comfort food like fried chicken sandwiches and roasted asparagus salad. It looks like it will be a fun place if they can find their niche.