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Brawler’s Back Alley Deli

Downtown, brace yourself. Pearl Street Grill and Brewery is in the planning and building stages of a 4500 square foot authentic NY style deli. I got a sneak peek last Friday and still can’t believe the positive impact that this is going to make on people living and working downtown. I spoke to Earl Ketry, Managing Partner of the establishment, who told me that Brawler’s Back Alley Deli will be housed in the basement of the Pearl Street building – the original part of the structure that dates back to 1841.

It’s hard not to get caught up in Earl’s fervor for the latest culinary addition. He described the space as, “The bowels of the beast with stone and brick walls and historic archways. This was where the warehousing and specialty businesses were established to accommodate the bustling Erie Canal Trade. The alleyway in back was known as Neptune’s Alley – that’s going to be just off the entrance for the deli. On the other side of Neptune’s Alley there was once a livery where ‘canalers’ would store their mules before heading out for a night of drinking. It was a tough area – an area that we want to celebrate. This is what was cool about Buffalo… next year we’re planning a small outdoor café and were doubling the flower orders. It’s going to be a beautiful part of the city. People celebrate these buildings and alleyways in cities like Quebec and Montreal – so will we.”

As for the deli, customers will be welcomed by newly installed birch floors that contrast and complement the existing raw dark wood ceiling beams. A custom deli counter bar has been built and upwards of twenty vintage (circa 1920) chandeliers will hover above the wood booths. Curbside service will be just one of the unusual selling features  – that and opening hours that might be as early as 5:30 am. Now, the second largest brew pub in America will boast one of the best NY-style delis to be found anywhere. Earl tells me that he anticipates the Pearl Street to be the number brew pub in sales by 2011. Let’s hope that the deli can keep up! 

The deli could be open as early as January 15th. Earl tells me that the sandwiches will be sold according to size, from street brawler to featherweight. Coffee, breakfast sandwiches and bagels will be some of the other hi-lights. Everything is going to be prepared with utmost quality and attention to detail. The product tastings and samplings are being performed presently, in order to identify the best of the best when it comes to destination-driven offerings. Earl has even asked that Buffalo Rising readership add some suggestions to let him know what they would like to see on the menu. Cold cuts? Cheeses? Newspapers from around the world? Try to envision the greatest deli in the world and throw some ideas out there that would help to make Brawler’s Back Alley Deli the best deli in the region.

Street Brawler’s Deli @
Pearl Street Grill and Brewery
76 Pearl Street
Buffalo, NY 14202-4106
(716) 856-2337

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