On Saturday, while giving a bicycle-led tour of Buffalo, I found myself sitting atop one of the Swartz Bridges, overlooking the watered Aud Block Canals. As I looked around, I told my companion that one day the bridge would double as a beer garden. As I spoke, I noticed that a number of people were enjoying frosty brews, but I couldn’t see any nearby purveyors, until I walked the length of the bridge and came across a food/beer cart. To my surprise, it was Just Fries that had set up shop, and they were selling an assortment of fries and beers.
I spoke to co-owner of Just Fries, John Volpe, who told me that they were asked to set up just days before. “Our first day was Thursday,” John told me. “We scrambled to open, which is why we have a reduced menu at this time. Right now it’s a learning curve – this was supposed to be our second location, after Genesee Street, but that location is taking a lot longer than we anticipated. So we decided to set up here in the evenings – another cart operator called The Blue Line is here during the day. As for the offerings, we provide the food, and Canalside provides the beer.”
After ordering some sweet potato fries and a side of honey, a water and a Flying Bison Kolsch 716, my friend and I sidestepped back a ways to observe all of the activity that was unfolding around us. A guy in a Sherlock Holmes outfit was conducting some sort of trivia event, and participants were sitting around filling out their sheets of paper. As we analyzed the scene, John interjected. “I’m originally from NYC,” he shared. “I love this city. I still can’t believe that this is Buffalo. It reminds of me of what I saw in San Francisco in the late 70s… a little bit. After I leave my day job as a mailman, I can’t wait to get down here. There’s nothing like it. This city is changing – it’s a great time to be here.”
Just Fries | Canalside | Facebook | Thurs -Sun