The Albright-Knox has undertaken a brilliant initiative that could go far in the future. Currently, guests to the gallery are invited to sit out on the portico on the Elmwood side of the building (across from the parking lot). There are chairs, tables and umbrellas at this small café, and limited snacks are available.
The gallery is currently looking at what it would take to capitalize on this portico area even more. The elevated landing seconds as an entrance to the exhibit space (summer only). While chips, light snacks and soft beverages are available at the kiosk, we might see lunches and even beer/wine served at a later point in time. There are no servers, but visitors to the gallery are able to soak up the sun, enjoy a bag of chips (for example), and watch the activity on Elmwood from a sophisticated setting.
This informal patio setting is a long time coming. While the dining area of the gallery is nice, it can be a tad stuffy. I would think that this new front facing café will draw people that might not otherwise want to sit down to a full meal inside the gallery. This is also great for families with kids. I sincerely hope that the gallery is able to offer more food and beverages on this relatively unknown and underutilized portico.
Image: Guests enjoy the Elmwood Avenue Portico during the Sincerely Yours Opening Celebration. Photograph by Megan Woloszyn. Visit during M&T First Fridays @ The Gallery on Friday, August 1, and receive free admission to ‘Sincerely Yours’ and the entire museum!