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The Waterline Coming To The Waterfront

I’m a big fan of lunching at waterfront restaurants – especially the more casual ones. I love going to The Hatch and Dug’s Dive. There’s nothing better than ending up on one of these patios on a Friday or Saturday afternoon… watching the boats… breathing in the fresh air off the lake. I’m constantly on the prowl for different waterfront haunts that offer the chance to get away to the water’s edge. That’s why I’m still reeling from the discovery of a completely original lunch destination that is coming, very soon, down the line.

It’s going to be called The Waterline and it’s the brainchild of restaurateur Jason Davidson, Co-Owner of Fables Café (Central Library). I’ve become a big fan of Fables over the years, and if The Waterline is half as good, then Jason is going to have a big hit on his hands. And how could The Waterline not be a hit? Have you seen the layout? Probably not… not many people even knew that there was a cafeteria space within an obscure waterfront office building located on Lakefront Boulevard. But when they find out, they’re not going to believe it. How could such an opportunity like this be squandered for so long. Not to say that this is going to be an around the clock hopping joint… or will it?


Jason has stumbled (literally) upon a manageable eatery location that boasts a large kitchen and a cozy eating area. And that’s just the beginning. Once a customer has ordered (breakfast or lunch), he or she can walk out into one of the most expansive glass hallway atriums in the city. No joke. This is like the Thirsty Buffalo’s glass atrium on crack. That’s right. Plus, those garage windows all crank open. That means that on nice days the warm lake winds will blow right in. Rain? No problem. Drop down the doors if the wind acts up. If that’s not enough, the terrace just outside of the glass doors is fantastic. There are benches, planters, walkways, grass expanses – a huge clock, pergola, water, a gazebo… it’s sweet. It’s an indoor-outdoor dream for people who want to grab a good, casual meal downtown near the water.


Jason has big plans for The Waterline. He’s already starting to research a weekly outdoor jazz series. Actually, with the amount of atrium space, he could do it inside as well. He’s going to be grilling some of the food outside, while planting herbs in and around the terrace that he will use in his dishes. For the boating community, Jason is offering to pack lunches and treats that lake-goers can pick up before they set out on the water. According to Jason, a captive crowd of 1100 employees work within the complex, and 2200 customers reside nearby. Between the boaters, the workers and the dwellers, Jason is convinced that he’s going to have a steady business.


As for the inside of the restaurant, it’s going to pack quite a punch. Jason’s head chef is also a carpenter, so you can expect a lot of custom cabinetry along with a beautiful island counter. His chef’s wife is a master baker too… hey, it sounds like the A-Team is setting up shop down at the waterfront. Although The Waterline will not be opening with a beer and wine license, Jason expects that some of the event-style affairs will feature cocktails. Hopefully there will be beer and wine for sale once the concert series is up and running. And if all goes well, Jason might even consider opening for evening hours – I’m crossing my fingers for that as well. I’ve biked by this plaza so many times over the years. And each time I thought about the possibilities of having some sort of coffee shop or eatery to go to. There’s really nothing like it in this neck of the woods. Next time your taking a bike ride to Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina, make sure that you stop by The Waterline to pick up a lunch. Heck, wouldn’t it be great if Jason the Waterline guy teamed up with Jason the kayak guy… or Kate the Spirit of Buffalo gal? I’m really looking forward to summer on the waterfront.


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, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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