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Tappo Starts to Unveil Itself on Ellicott

Rocco Termini’s transformation of the Horton Coffee Co. building at 338 Ellicott Street is coming into view.  The 4,800 sq.ft., one-story building will house Tappo, an Italian restaurant run by chef Mike Andrzejewski. Tappo, Italian for cork, will be a “value-centric” restaurant serving fine Italian food and wine.  Customers will be able to browse the wine rack and select their own bottle.



The interior will be a modern blend of traditional materials including brick, steel, and wood.  A rooftop patio is to be added later.  When built, it will offer something the city doesn’t have much of: a large rooftop dining space.
Glass roll-up doors now line the front façade promising to add life to a now sleepy section of Ellicott Street.  Buffalo Plastering and Architectural Casting reproduced two front façade columns to complete and anchor the elevation.  BMS Design Studio is the project designer.  BMS teamed with L2K Design Inc. on the interior.
Tappo is at the center of a burgeoning cluster of residential projects that includes Ellicott Lofts, Ellicott Commons, Holling Place, Buehl Block, Oak School Lofts, The Apartments at the Lafayette, and others both existing and planned.
The restaurant is scheduled to open at the end of April.
Rendering courtesy of BMS Design

Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  1. “When built, it will offer something the city doesn’t have much of: a large rooftop dining space.”
    Great point. Bambino, though I haven’t heard much about it, also has nice rooftop dining.

  2. Other cities have utiized their roofs for decades and I’ve said Buffalo should do similar for 25 years
    This should pave the way for others

  3. Is Rocco the only guy smart enough to do all of these projects or are the rest to stingy? We are still waiting on Croce to make his mark at the corner of pearl and Huron…beautiful beautiful building that will miss its potential if he keep holding on to it…Rocco and Zemsky deserve every single accolade you can give..They are pioneers, visionaries and also have the smarts to do what they are doing…The rest have money…

  4. Basically, yup. And, there is very little taste among the others. Rocco/Zemsky “get it”.

  5. well, architecturally you can’t fault Croce. Yes, he has projects on hold and in the pipeline, but it’s not like he hasn’t done much. He’s converted half a dozen buildings beautifully. His food’s often mediocre, but his buildings on Pearl (Chop House, Bambino, the other one on the corner of Tupper and Pearl (forget the name), the current incarnation of Colosseum, etc, and a handful of others attest to his willingness to spend bucks to convert and improve.
    Now if the food matched the architecture . . .

  6. Too bad so much of this part of town has been decimated by Lackawanna style progress. It severely limits actual progress like this project.

  7. Good Point…I guess I really like the renovation idea for the Boutique hotel on huron and Pearl and it just sits there with a huge hole dug next to it

  8. You can find a lot of fault architecturally. You are very generous in saying Croce’s projects have been on long-term hold and his conversions have been beautiful.

  9. The problem of course is the cost of maintaining empty buildings. Buildings that bring in no income but still cost money in taxes. Its been decades of virtually no demand for this area.
    While it would be awesome if more of Buffalo was indeed preserved I dont see how the city could afford it in the face of Suburbanisation. To be fair the city did a pretty poor job of deciding which buildings got the axe.

  10. Misplaced priorities have led to loss of many valuable buildings which were traded in for highways, parking lots and styrofoam strip malls.

  11. Darcy Mcgees building should be turned into a boutique hotel…The location is perfect and it could keep the roof top patio if only he spruced it up a bit…Half of Darcy Mcgees could stay open with the other half being the Boutique hotel lobby..

  12. Let’s also not forget about Dinosaur going in whatever “Restaurant Row” is supposed to be, but honestly, would be a better fit in Canalside’s growth. Why the owner of Dino is in Croce’s pocket is beyond me.

  13. When I heard Croce say, “restaurant row” on the radio the other day I almost ran my car off the 190.

  14. Downtown would be much worse off without Mark Croce. He’s easily in top three of downtown DOERS. Sorry he’s not meeting your time frames for developing.

  15. Private money financing for-profit companies downtown that create jobs, pay taxes and attract people? I love it. More please.

  16. Captain hindsight says, ‘you shouldn’t have blocked the radial street grid!’ My favorite superhero.

  17. You know what, in 50 years maybe people will criticize projects we applaud now, who knows? But, to blame urban planners for what happened economically to Buffalo over the past 50-60 years is very naive.

  18. lol, yeah doesn’t Croce know to call it the Restaurant District? aka ResDi?
    (just teasing – they can call it what they want… row, district, village, anything – I’m not fiercely outraged, doesn’t bother me, just joking around)
    Up – be careful to not drive off the 190 and land on anything, don’t want to give haters another argument for getting rid of something so useful.

  19. Not really especially since we continue to build sprawl and tear down perfectly good buildings to this day. What excuse do we have now? There ate many cities smart enough to have stopped wrecking themselves for sprawl . What is Buffalo ‘s excuse?

  20. Wow! I few days ago I walked by the building and thought the project was dead. It still looked like picture #2.
    Salutes to Termini!

  21. Your constant Debbie Downer-ism in every thread is getting tiresome and old. We all get it. You know everything, especially after the fact. Give it a rest already.

  22. Depends what’s meant by ‘many’ and ‘stopped’…
    steel>“many cities smart enough to have stopped wrecking themselves for sprawl. What is Buffalo ‘s excuse?”
    Metro Buffalo’s per-capita sprawling is better than a big majority of U.S. large metros, according to some objective rankings.
    “Overall Sprawl Index Score: 119.09
    ranking it 67th most sprawling of 83 metro areas measured.
    A lower score on the index indicates a greater degree of sprawl. The average score for all metros ranked is 100. A lower score indicates below average conditions among these 83 U.S. metro areas: for example, less compact housing, a poorer mix of homes and jobs, poor street connectivity, or weaker than average town centers. A score above 100 indicates above average performance, when compared to the other metro areas ranked. …
    What Makes a Place Sprawling:
    The sprawl index measured sprawl in four ways. Below are index scores for this metro area. See the report for a full explanation of each factor.
    [metro Buffalo’s] Sprawl Factor Index Score Ranking out of 83 (most to least sprawling)
    Residential Density Factor 102.14 60
    Mix of homes, jobs & services 124.67 75
    Strength of town centers/downtowns 135.20 78
    Accessibility of street network 70.57 10”

    That’s saying of 83 most populated U.S. metros, 66 are more sprawled than metro Buffalo while 16 are less sprawled, and some of those 16 are very closely ranked to Buffalo.
    Chart on pg 15
    The metros substantially less sprawled (say by over 10 points on the index) are Honolulu, San Francisco, Providence, Pawtucket, Jersey City, and NY City.
    Perhaps those 6 could be considered ‘many’, although a small portion.
    I get it that to some of you any sprawl is too much, but if Buffalo area is in the 20% least sprawled areas per-capita, meaning 80% are more sprawled – isn’t that a positive from your point of view – something to brag about along with Buffalo’s distinction of having the highest % of pre-1940 buildings of any major U.S. city at 62%?

  23. You are right we should pretend that this part of town looks great so that we can justify our stupid sprawl. Realizing that sprawl is stupid is not the same as knowing everything and does not come after the fact.

  24. People just love to hate.
    The Statler is beautiful.
    Went to a wedding there in the Terrace Room. The food, and service were the best I have ever had at any wedding or event.
    The building is huge and it’s going to take time to get the whole place going again. But, what has been done so far is stunning… !
    Thanks to Mark Croce that building is still standing !

  25. People just love to hate.
    The Statler is beautiful.
    Went to a wedding there in the Terrace Room. The food, and service were the best I have ever had at any wedding or event.
    The building is huge and it’s going to take time to get the whole place going again. But, what has been done so far is stunning… !
    Thanks to Mark Croce that building is still standing !

  26. I can see STEEL commenting on how my death is directly tied to downtown being turned into a parking lot. “Our entitled sprawl society forced this individual to drive in an unsustainable way, causing his unfortunate death.”

  27. He’d leave out ‘unfortunate’.
    He will wake up one day, and reach the same conclusion that all thinking adults come to, that everything is unsustainable.
    Have good kids, think good thoughts, and move on.