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Buffalo Iron Works forges ahead in Cobblestone District

Buffalo Iron Works is finishing up some last minute details in preparation for its opening this evening. The 500-person capacity music venue and event bar will capitalize on the live sounds of Buffalo bands (mostly free), as well as some out-of-town acts (sometimes ticketed). When the live music isn’t in session, the industrial bar/restaurant will play host to Sabres and Bandits fans before and after games, along with First Niagara special event nights.

Developers Sam Savarino and Roger Trettel, along with additional partners at LagerHaus 95 (shared partners, services and some staff) have taken a building built circa early 1900s and preserved its historic character, while updating it enough to serve as a fully functioning destination in the Cobblestone District. In order to secure historic tax credits, the integrity of the building remains intact, and only the old wood floors are missing, as they were not salvageable. The beams used to support the flooring were reused in the building of the service bar. Other reused architectural elements from this building and others were also incorporated into the design fabric of the venue. You can even see where the old overhead pulley system was, or pay close attention and you will find other artifacts of interest including some that are still being installed, including a massive copper cornice and an old brass elevator that will be suspended from the wood beams.


The food system at Iron Works is being set up similar to a food truck. Customers will order such things as poutine (seven different kinds), massive jumbo dogs (with hollowed out fresh loaves of bread for buns), and a number of other chef-inspired easy-to-eat pub delicacies. Iron Works roasts and smokes their own meats, and prides itself on obscure foods that you might only find on a themed food truck.


Rigidized Metals constructed the handsome exterior signage, John McKendry who owns the building next door worked out a parking arrangement to accommodate guests, and the owners have sectioned off a space between two of the buildings to create a sizable patio that will also feature a bar. Clear garage doors can be found at both ends of the building, which will be opened on nice days. Sound dampening has been added to the venue to help with acoustics, and an elevated stage with sound and lighting is raring to go. Elias Benavides will be running the live music gigs on a regular basis. The windows ‘street side’ were left exposed, while the ones towards the back were kept filled in to keep with the darkened industrial grit of the live music-themed bar, while helping to curb noise that might compete with the neighboring comedy club. The name Buffalo Iron Works pays homage to Buffalo’s rust belt grit, and is the venue’s overall identity.


All in all, Sam Savarino tells me that this is just another piece of the Cobblestone Puzzle – a puzzle that is beginning to actually materializing in ways that might help to spur even further development in the area down the line. Whatever happens next, I think that we can all be happy with the sorts of milestones that we are seeing today, in the form of tangible development of one of our most treasured districts (or at least what’s left of it). It just goes to show you how important it is to preserve the buildings that remain.

Buffalo Iron Works | 49 Illinois Street | Cobblestone District | Buffalo NY | Facebook |

Here’s the live music line-up:

Fri Sept 27th  6PM Vinnie DeRosa
Fri Sept 27th 10PM Verse
Sat Sept 28th  9PM Pine Fever
Tue Oct 1st  7PM Jaime Holka
Wed Oct 2nd   Andrew J Peimers CPX Duo
Thu Oct 3rd  Wojick/Holka Duo
Fri Oct 4th  6PM Mike DiSanto
Fri Oct 4th  10PM That 80s Hair Band
Sat Oct 5th  10PM Dave Constantino Band
Tue Oct 8th  5:30 & 9:30 Cue the Sun
Wed Oct 9th  7PM Queen City Catastrophe
Thu Oct 10th  9:30PM Dave Nolf Band
Fri Oct 11th  8PM Mookie Blaylock
Sat Oct 12th 5PM & 10:30PM Mookie Blaylock
Tue Oct 15th 7:30PM Steve Balestri Band



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 Statler City, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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