A historic 110-year old landmark in the Old First Ward is in the process of getting a new makeover and image. Located across the way from McCarthy’s Pub and Brewery, The Barrel Factory (as its referred to by locals) is primed to become another first rate destination along the Buffalo River. Lazarus Properties, owner of the 45,000 square foot building that once housed Quaker City Cooperage Company (maker of slack barrels), is already landing its first tenant – a distillery. It is said that the owners are also in discussions with local breweries looking to expand, as well as “artisan/craftsman-type potential tenants including a coffee roaster, cheese maker, special event caterer, and a perfumery.”
After closing on the building on July 11, Lazarus Properties immediately began to work on tidying up the compound. At this point, the objective is to attract like-minded marketeers to fill the building.
The building is perfectly situated in the midst of a lot of action, and is in close proximity to Ohio Street Boulevard that acts as a connector between the Inner and Outer Harbors.
An exterior mural has been fashioned by artist Chris Kameck. The work is of a nearly life-sized Erie Railroad steam locomotive. Dana Saylor, and Ron Dukarm of the WNY Railway Association, both helped to research the mural, which is significant iconography that pertains to the rails and the engines that once led to the building. Tara Sasiadek, art director for The Barrel Factory, is already toying with the idea that more temporary murals will be added to draw attention to the building.
“It’s really refreshing to be part of this re-birth,” said Steve Bystran, managing member of Lazarus Properties, who is referring to both the renovation of the building and the recent uptick in the Old First Ward. Phase 1 of the project includes adding a new roof by winter of this year. Phase 2 includes the restoration of the natural brick facade and new windows. You can see that the interior already has a sweet industrial, rustic nature to it that will be perfect for a makers’ market.
The Barrel Factory | Bordered by Hamburg, Republic & Vandalia Streets