Share, , , Google Plus, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon


Posted in:

Hydraulic Hearth cues up Shuffleboard Courts

A couple years ago I approached Leslie Zemsky, Larkinville’s Director of Fun, with an idea that I thought would fit in nicely with the rest of the district’s programming. I mentioned that the game of shuffleboard would be the perfect way for people to wind down and relax. Players would be able to strike up a friendly, yet competitive game, while enjoying the sun and a cold beer.

Last year, Leslie wrote to me stating that she had brought the idea of shuffleboard before a committee, and everyone liked the idea. Two professional shuffleboard courts were to be built alongside the new beer garden at the Hydraulic Hearth, which would be rolled out in the summer of 2015.


A couple of days ago, Harry Zemsky, the owner of The Hydraulic Hearth, reached out to me, saying that the courts were ready for play. Last evening, I met up with the Zemsky family to christen the shuffleboard courts. Seeing that I hadn’t played the game since I was in my youth, I was a little cold at the start, but before long fell into the swing of things.

Shuffleboard is a game that anyone can play. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a beer garden because it can be played with a frosty brew in one hand. Two to four players can play at a time, and in this case, there’s a bunch of seating all around the courts so that onlookers can watch the activity.


Harry tells me that he is hoping that the beer garden will be open by June 9 (a Food Truck Tuesday). On that day, people will be able to grab beer at the outside bar (outfitted with a full tap system), sit at a table, or in one of the booths (shaded by hops), and enjoy the beautiful outdoor surroundings of the Hydraulic Hearth. Overhead globe string lights will illuminate the beer garden and the shuffleboard courts at night.  The beer garden even has a designated stable for one food truck to pull right up inside.


In a couple of weeks, when the beer garden is complete, visitors to the Hydraulic Hearth will be invited to pick up one of the long-handled cues and play a round of shuffleboard with friends. By giving people a greater variety of outdoor activities to engage in during the summertime, the city becomes an increasingly imaginative destination that more people want to visit and explore. I can’t wait to see the first rounds being played in this chill beer garden atmosphere.

Hydraulic Hearth | 716 Swan Street | Buffalo, NY | (716) 248-2216 | Facebook

Shuffleboard-Buffalo-NY-9 Shuffleboard-Buffalo-NY-7 Shuffleboard-Buffalo-NY-6 Shuffleboard-Buffalo-NY-5 Shuffleboard-Buffalo-NY-10


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.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

View All Articles by queenseyes
Hide Comments
Show Comments
  • LouisTully

    Very nicely done.

  • hockeyhips83

    Pretty awesome, looking forward to playing.
    I wish there was a place with an outdoor steel tip board. One of my favorite bars in Cleveland has one. Darts outside are amazing.
    Those booths look uncomfortable, o well.

  • reggdunn

    Perfect idea.

  • irish dave

    Hi folks,
    Excuse my ignorance, I haven’t lived in Buffalo for 25 years and have never been to Larkinville.  But obviously the area has taken off like crazy.  My question is, do you need to drive there, or if you’re downtown, say at Canalside what’s the walk like?   Is there any sort of ‘ideal’ route to walk it?  Or do you need to pass through some rough, baren areas to get there? If I want to come in from the burbs and spend a day walking around the city, the waterfront, etc, is Larkinville a destination where the walk over there is half the fun?   Or are you better to hop in your car?   Alone?  With family?  Thanks guys.

  • reggdunn

    irish dave It’s about 12-15 blocks from Canalside. Just walk up Seneca. There’s about 3-4 barren blocks but they are not at all unsafe. Riding a bike would be best. I don’t live in Buffalo anymore either, but I bought an income property right in Larkinville and wondered the exact same thing. I did the walk last month and it was fine. I suspect within the next couple of years it’ll be even a little better as businesses continue to sprout up around the lofts.

  • reggdunn irish dave I’d second a bike over walking.  Almost two miles from city hall.  If you want a 30+ minute walk in the city, it wouldn’t be in my top 25.

  • EmilyLowrey

    irish dave If I were going to spend a day in the city, Dave, I’d park at the Outer Harbor (FREE, great if kids are coming along as there’s the new playground) and take the bike/ped ferry in ($1 per person) to Canalside. From there, you can easily walk to City Hall or rent bikes or kayaks or even hydro bikes to take out on the water (without getting wet!). The BCBS bike rental at Canalside is pricey though at $15 an hour ($5 discount with BCBS card), but that does include a bike helmet and lock. If you were going down there for a destination night the concert series or movie series are great as well as Wednesday night concerts at Buffalo Riverfest Park (across from Riverworks). and