After hearing about one or two potential developments at the former Hilliker’s Pastime on Amherst Street that fell by the wayside, there’s a promising business scenario developing.
Valerie Meli, owner of Headstone Heat, a popular local hot sauce with origins in Allentown, will be opening a bar and restaurant called Hot Mama’s Canteen. The building situated at the intersection of Amherst Street and Military will also be headquarters of the hot sauce company. This is a prime intersection in Black Rock that, similar to Five Points on the West Side, has not lived up to its potential. It took a few new businesses in the Five Points neighborhood to rally the larger urbanist effort that we are seeing today. Hopefully this upswing in this section of Black Rock continues.
In the past, I paid visits to Hilliker’s on various occasions and was always fascinated with the potential that the place offered. There is a large dining area, as well as a sizable bar. There is also an awesome old shuffleboard table inside that was one of the reasons that we went (it looks like the table is getting an overhaul presently). Every time we would go to Hilliker’s, we found ourselves walking around, checking out the different facets of the bar, admiring the way that time virtually stood still for the place.
With this latest development, and the ties to the Allentown community (Valerie was a bartender at Nietzsche’s), I’m sure that we’re going to see a bit more of a chill Allentown vibe coming down the pike. And this incredible building deserves to see an investment into its future. High profile, historic buildings like this can make or break a neighborhood (think Betty’s back in the day).
Combined with the recent opening of Phoenix (see here), this intersection could suddenly become another hotspot in the city.
The pub is set to open late June and will offer “a kitchen and bar featuring menu items ranging from classic pub food to some Buffalo and Italian favorites all with a HeadStone Heat twist.”
Fire it up Black Rock!
Hot Mama’s Canteen
12 Military Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14207