On Thursday, August 28, 2014 Foundry Suites Hotel and Events at The Foundry will be celebrating a grand opening in developer Rocco Termini’s latest adaptive reuse project on Elmwood Avenue – The Foundry. Joining myriad other businesses within the complex, the hotel and event business rounds out offerings that include ten boutique hotel rooms outfitted with mid-century style decor and original works of art by Peter Fowler, the 250-person capacity Foundry Ballroom, the 175-person capacity Taylor Ballroom, and a fully operation bar called The Lobby Bar (lead image).
I met up with the operations crew behind this latest North Buffalo venture to get a tour of the transformed space. Running The Lobby Bar is Jason Briandi, who has been in the local hospitality business for 20 years. Jason got his start at ECC in Hospitality Management. From there he worked for Russ Salvatore for a decade, before eventually starting his own bar tending school (WNY School of Bar Tending). Eventually he diversified into a consulting gig (Queen City Consulting), where he hooked up with Molly and Bill Koessler of AcQua Catering/Restaurant.
Molly and Bill, who run the wedding/event banquet business at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, are now heading up the catering operations at The Foundry. By bringing Jason onboard to run the bar tending side of the operation, they are anticipating creating a boutique bar business that will feature handcrafted cocktails with hand pressed juices, craft beers, and select wines. The bar will service hotel guests, loft dwellers and anyone else who is interested in chilling at one of the more unique bar settings in the neighborhood. To add to the interest of the Lobby Bar, Molly and Jason tell me that along with small plate offerings served after 5pm, the intent is to serve lunch down the road and expand the food side of the business.
In order to maintain a consistency with the hotel, food and bar operations, iconic Buffalo restaurateur Don Warfe has been brought onboard to oversee the day to day operations. Don met up with us as we were touring the breathtaking courtyard, complete with central fountain and strategically placed fire pits. I asked him if it would be possible for someone to order a drink and then walk out the the courtyard to enjoy it. “As long as there is not an event going on, that would be fine,” he answered.
In my mind, the possibilities that the courtyard brings to the table are limitless. It’s good to know that the courtyard will be open to the public in some fashion, to enjoy a cocktail or a small plate of food. Combined with the craft cocktail appeal of The Lobby Bar, this could be a very interesting stopping point for those looking for a bit of a change-up from their regular watering holes.
After the grand opening on August 28, the bar will be up and running starting at 5pm seven days a week, with the food aspect coming at a later stage.
Foundry Suites Hotel | Events at The Foundry | 1738 Elmwood Avenue | Buffalo NY | (716) 874-5400 | Website