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Big Reveal: Hofbrauhaus Heading to Scott Street

Hofbrauhaus Buffalo has shifted from Canalside to nearby Scott Street according to a post on its Facebook page.  It apparently will occupy a building owned by James T. Sandoro located at 190 Scott Street across from Lofts @ Elk Terminal and The Fairmont mixed-use complex.  More information is expected later today.

Restaurateur Kevin Townsell has been working on plans to bring the German beer hall to Buffalo for some time.  Most recently, it was to anchor a new building to be constructed by Benderson Development on the south end of the Donovan Block at Canalside.  Infrastructure issues have delayed that building and recently a rumor surfaced that Ruth’s Chris steakhouse is eyeing the location for a restaurant.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • Let Buffalo Rise

    woof

    • Josh Robinson

      It is a very Disneyland design. I was hoping for something a little more authentic and in keeping with Buffalo’s industrial vibe, but judging by the other Hofbrauhaus locations that doesn’t seem to be their model.

      I guess one doesn’t go to a German beer hall chain for authenticity, do they? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/845adccef38be30086b6b535301c77a24b717181f78f23582ed7bcb4343f9a7b.jpg

      • greenca

        Of course it’s a cartoonish Disneyland design. It’s supposed to look like a beer hall in Munich. That’s the entire vibe of the place. Since we’re not in Germany. any “German beer hall” in the US will be necessarily unauthentic. It’s kitsch, but it seems to work for them.

      • WeAreTheNormal

        A cartoonish replica of a German beer hall will not erode the city’s character whatsoever. Considering what they propose for 190 Scott Street, just about anything would look better, including Cinderella’s Castle!

    • Let Buffalo Rise

      Where are all the Elmwood honks that want old buildings saved no matter what? This is an old building that is going to be completely bastardized. Oh wait that’s right, they only care about their little insignificant corner of the city.

  • Tyler

    Still cool!

  • Grfn74

    Woof. Yeah, who likes a lively atmosphere, good food and beer.

    • Let Buffalo Rise

      my comment was in response to the design of the building.

  • Bob

    Nothing like having a few 1L beers and grabbing an Uber. Oh, wait.

    In all seriousness, isn’t this pretty far off the beaten path? I’d think One Seneca would make more sense or something closer to HarborCenter/Cobblestone. Oh well, not my money – wish them luck.

    • Dane Vastola Johnson

      Its one block from the casino and like 3 blocks from the Arena. Certainly within walking distance to Canalside.

      • Bob

        Sure, it’s within walking distance, but it’s the ugliest 1/2 a mile you’ll ever see. Are people really going to walk a mile (.5 each way) between a raised highway and ten acres of surface lots instead of just going to 716 or something? I guess we’ll find out.

        • Matthew Moje

          There’s rumors that the casino and Ellicott are in talks to build a events center/hotel near there. I think this area is just getting started.

          • Bob

            Certainly hope so!

          • Bradley J. Bethel Jr.

            The area in question is growing into a new entertainment district; so many theatres, restaurants, and other venues could be more useful than these uninviting parking lots.

          • Bludog

            Honestly ?? Great news if so

        • Randy503

          No, but they will happily take a pedicab!

        • Johnny Pizza

          Well many Sabres fans make that 0.5 mile walk 81 times a year, so its plausible that some people would do the same for this place. I’ve watched a hundred people walk from KeyBank Center to Pearl Street in 10 degrees down the wind tunnel that is Main Street after a Sabres game. This won’t be a problem.

          • Mytwocents

            a) there’s 82 games in a season. b) 41 games are home. c) Yes, not that far of a walk, if we’re going to be an actual city, people will learn to walk to get from point A to point B, many already do.

          • Johnny Pizza

            You are right. I had to look up the number of games so I meant 41. My bad.

        • mightyNiagara

          yes. they walk that far just to park! it’s amazing isn’t it?
          it doesn’t matter what the environment around them looks like along the route, just as long as they can go drink beer, and watch sports!

      • OldFirstWard

        And two blocks from the Perry Projects.

        • Matthew Moje

          and not that far from the first ward! yuck!

          • OldFirstWard

            Where everyone wants to hang out now. Starting next Saturday at the Shamrock Run.

          • eagercolin

            Why, it’s almost as if areas change! Which would make your original Perry project comment quite pointless.

          • Joe

            I am from South Buffalo and that parade is not what it used to be, and even so that is literally the only draw to the Ward. O and as Matt pointed out, right next to the Perry’s, get off your high horse.

          • OldFirstWard

            The Shamrock Run and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade are mutually exclusive events.

            How has the parade changed?

          • Johnny Pizza

            I don’t know everyone, but I’ve never heard anyone say they want to hang out in the First Ward.

          • flinderge

            Except for Gene McCarthy’s, right?

          • Ivan Putski Jr

            what about all those hot pants funneling in/out of the new Bikram Yoga in the First Ward?

          • OldFirstWard

            You might want to investigate the attendance during the Shamrock Run. Thousands or real people show up to both run and hang out.

    • Johnny Pizza

      If the new stadium is built in the Perry projects (where I personally believe it should go) this will be a stop along the new commercial entertainment district. Everything between Key Center and the new stadium will turn to gold.

      • Mytwocents

        Terry Terry Terry… C’mon guys chant along with me

      • Flyguy2pt0

        I see that location as a winner also.

      • No_Illusions

        What ever happened to the Perry Choice mixed income redevelopment project?

        Is that still going to happen or is it essentially dead?

    • mightyNiagara

      good thing you have these limbs, also know as legs. here’s how you use them: lift up, pull forward and place footing with left side – steady yourself and maintain balance, repeat previous instructions with right side. got it? good, repeat over and over until you reach your destination.

      although, there are also these devices known as bicycles. they could help you go a block, even six!

      • Bob

        I literally have never owned a car (granted, I live in a much more walkable city than Buffalo), so your attempt at being a dick falls a bit flat.

        • Johnny Pizza

          My bull shyt meter is going off the charts. You’ve never owned a car, yet an 8 minute walk is off the beaten path? Hmmm………. somebody has some splaining to do.

          • Bob

            Your bull shyt meter might need some calibrating; I’m not the one claiming it takes only 8 minutes to walk the mile to and from Canalside/KeyBank – that’s you. I’m not the one saying the Sabres play at KeyBank 81 times a year – that’s you. Anyways, I’ll refer you to my previous post, which, according to my literacy meter, you might not have fully grasped the first time:

            “Sure, it’s within walking distance, but it’s the ugliest 1/2 a mile you’ll ever see. Are people really going to walk a mile (.5 each way) between a raised highway and ten acres of surface lots instead of just going to 716 or something? I guess we’ll find out.”

          • mightyNiagara

            will there be beer and food?

            yes, yes people will walk that stretch. especially on their way to games.
            aint nobody got time to worry about how pretty the surroundings are during that walk.
            though, guess you really enjoy the parking lots on the southeast side of KBarena eh?

          • Farras09

            Of course there will be beer and food but there is a lot of other beer and food downtown right around canalside or near the Ellicott Chippewa area that is in an already developed area.

            This place is not going to be sustained by Sabres crowds alone. That’s the only time people seem to be willing to park in this area. I don’t see the parking lots around the Sabres arena full any time but during hockey games and most of those people are going to the hockey game.

      • BuffaloGals

        I’m not worried about myself. I’m going to go either way. But I think this would have done better with hotel guests at Canalside, and I worry about how long this will last unless other development builds up around it. I’m also concerned that ECHDC can’t seem to land anything at Canalside.

        I’m glad Hofbrauhaus decided this location is worth a go. I just hope they’re right.

  • JayDBuffalo

    This is so disappointing. This wouldve been a fantastic attraction for Canalside. Ive been to the one in Pittsburgh a few times. Its amazing

    • Bradley J. Bethel Jr.

      They could have bailed out on Buffalo completely. Or they could’ve moved to Cheektowaga, Amherst, or Orchard Park under the pretense of a “Buffalo” location.

  • OldFirstWard

    Is this building the former Bison Chip Dip plant?

    • NorthTowner

      Buff News said this used to be an Upstate Milk plant.

  • JSmith37

    Looks like the ECHDC drops the ball again.

    This site is interesting from a Green Code perspective. It is zoned for light industrial, with very few form regulations. Restaurants, taverns, and alcohol sales are all allowed by right. Parking can go anywhere. No TDM plan required. The project will probably require minor or major site plan review only for its parking lot, otherwise it could be approved by just pulling a building permit I believe.

    • Chris Schmidt

      Re: ECHDC. Absolutely.

      So where is Buffalo’s entertainment district these days? Chippewa? Elmwood? Allen Street? Canalside? Hertel? Cobblestone? Ellicott Street? Ohio River/Ganson St? All of the above? There are lots of nodes of activity but no bridges. Where is the plan? Do we need one?

      It’s the same with residential development. A few thousand new units around downtown but so scattered that retail is still dicey.

      • JSmith37

        I don’t know that we ought to have a single “entertainment district” but I would say the Theatre District / Chippewa area is the closest thing thing to it. An entertainment district has to go beyond bars and include all sorts of different clubs, theatres, etc. I’d like to see the Market Arcade movie theatre open – what’s the status on that?

      • breckenridge

        In the ’90s and ’00s things were pretty well concentrated in Chippewa, Allen, and Elmwood, each with their own draw. These days as you said everything new seems to be popping up in more scattered locations around the city, which make them seem like single destination outings rather than restaurants/bars/other entertainment that can draw off each other. I do wonder if that will be sustainable, or will the crowds pursuing the new trendy places abandon them when the next one pops up?

        • Johnny Pizza

          I think each area has its own draw. Elmwood, Allen and Hertel tend to draw city folk. Chippewa and this area (Canalside, KeyCenter, Casino, Riverworks) tends to draw people from a greater radius (and including city folk).

        • No_Illusions

          It doesn’t matter if young people continue to move into the city. Larger middle class population, more things that can be supported.

          More things that are supported, more these areas become destinations for people living in the suburbs.

          Really all downtown needs is more residential.

          • breckenridge

            Working downtown, I give a lot of credit to those moving in to the expensive apartments and condos. The momentum is building but its still a sketchy ghost town in the CBD after 5:30. 5 more years and I think there will be a critical mass.

  • Bludog

    Really bad decision

  • OldFirstWard

    It is in a rather isolated desolate location. Can you imagine if they would have located in the DL&W terminal sheds overlooking the river. They could have even added a steamship to dock and go out on lake runs.

    • BufChester

      That was my first thought too, but there’s actually a little concentration of development in that area immediately east of Michigan. It’s gritty, but not so much so as to be impossible.

  • jonny99

    Looks like they may be brewing here, the previous proposal was not going be a brewing site. I have been to a couple locations and it usually takes about 200 people to make it feel busy, hopefully it will have a cozier feel inside. Also other locations are usually in dense entertainment areas or shopping districts. It will make a smaller impact on pedestrian oriented development here for sure, kind of a bummer. At least the Mahoney Bar will have company.

  • Brad Pitts

    If they build a new football stadium on site of Perry Projects – kaching

    • greenca

      Kaching for eight days a year. A football stadium nearby is irrelevant to the success or failure of this place.

      • Mytwocents

        Not necessarily, if a stadium were to go there, the surrounding area would presumably fill in with restaurants and bars, and boom there’s another bar/restaurant district for you.

        • BuffaloGals

          Big presumption, unfortunately. Bigger cities than Buffalo have built football stadiums that haven’t filled in with restaurants and bars.

        • greenca

          There is no boom. That didn’t happen for the past 44 years at New Era Field, nor has that happened the last 25+ years in the Cobblestone district near the Arena (which is in use a lot more than New Era).

          • Mytwocents

            You’re comparing apples to oranges. Both of those stadiums are in suburban/ rural areas. We’re talking about a stadium in the city.

          • greenca

            KeyBank Center (the Arena) is in a suburban/rural area? I always thought it was in the Cobblestone District, next to Canalside, and a half of a mile from where this restaurant is going. As far as I know, we are talking about a stadium in a city, one which is used a hell of a lot more than a football stadium, but still has yet to generate a bar/restaurant district around it. A hypothetical football stadium nearby will do nothing for a hypothetical bar/restaurant district nearby outside of the handful of times it’s in use during the year.

          • Mytwocents

            You’re bring closed minded. The first two stadiums you mentioned, both football stadiums, are not in cities. A strong district was not created around keybank center because there really hasn’t been anything developed in the city in recent years. Look to ANY city that has built a football stadium in their metro area in the past decade or two. You will find you are wrong, flat out wrong.

          • greenca

            Which cities have built a stadium in their metro area in the past decade or two that weren’t already doing well economically already? None come to mind. And ask St Louis how their investment has turned out.

            I’ll trust actual evidence like this from a Stanford economist over hearsay:

            “Noll said that because football stadiums are used so infrequently – two preseason games, eight regular season games and possibly a couple of playoff games – they do not realize a large economic benefit from those games alone. Sports stadiums do not generate significant local economic growth, Stanford expert says. Basketball and hockey arenas are a better deal for cities, he said. “Arenas are used more often.”
            http://news.stanford.edu/2015/07/30/stadium-economics-noll-073015/

          • Mytwocents

            Baltimore, Minneapolis, Houston, Pittsburgh, Denver and Cleveland all have seen vast development around their stadiums. Stadiums can power urban development. If you can’t see or accept that, you’re just stubborn

          • greenca

            Google “do football stadiums generate economic activity”

          • Mytwocents

            You are changing the argument to fit your storyline. I’m not saying that a stadium downtown will generate economic growth in the city. I’m claiming that building a stadium downtown will generate developmental growth in the surrounding area. And the area in which we are speaking of, has little to no value as of now.

          • LongGoneeee

            The ‘boom’ does happen. The ‘boom’ didn’t happen in Buffalo for the arena. Talking about OP is pointless.

            That said, I would hope you subscribe to the concept of a tipping point, as well as, agree that downtown Buffalo is a much different place today than 1996.

            Would be very interesting to say the least on what happens when Buffalo has 3 stadiums in a triangle all within a few blocks of each other and inside a city grid.

          • greenca

            I don’t understand why people think a venue in use only 8 days a year will have any real economic impact on a business located nearby. Yes, they’ll get crowds on game days, all 8 of them. But they need to make money the other 357 days of the year. Those are the days that matter, and a large empty stadium sitting next to them will not help on those days.

  • Jonnno

    Sounds like Townsell got tired of being jerked around by the ECHDC, the city, utilities, etc, so he settled for whatever he could get.

  • Wally Balls

    First rounds on me, if this ever happens.

  • Flyguy2pt0

    Unless there is more to this story I don’t understand the location. Off the beaten path outside the tourism core of Canalside for sure. Second picture down shows the gap between this and Harborcenter. Also leaves me wondering why the underground utility concerns at the Donovan Block required over a year to resolve. Apparently things still not resolved and now Hofbrauhaus relocates plans. Must be something major waiting in the wings around there now about that I do not. Agreed to someones comments, it seems there is no focus regarding tourism and entertainment cores in the city. Unless you start attracting massive tourism audiences from out of the area or bring in huge populations the attractions are becoming scattered in a city and region that isn’t all that massive. I’m amazed the market can support what’s scattered about in different entertainment and tourism cores now around the city. Then again some of the recent downtown retail ventures haven’t lasted very long. So much for critical mass. I honestly doubt the market can support everything without a huge infusion of population whether it be tourism or massive sports venues or new residents making good incomes. Seems the money flows to the new “hot” spot that lasts a year or so then gets taken over by something newer. BFLO needs to tap Niagara Falls domestic and international tourist populations. Get a BFLO metro rail line up to Buff Niagara International Airport, Niagara Falls international airport, Niagara Falls Downtown, in line with an Amtrak and High Speed Rail transfer station coming out of Canada and elsewhere in NYS to metro.

    • OldFirstWard

      As we speak they are installing the new signage on the casino addition. Pretty soon you will be able to catch a live show, eat at a buffet, gamble at more tables and machines, and never leave the casino.

  • PaulBuffalo

    Isn’t it better for the community that a business such as this is willing to take a chance in an area that could use far more development? Canalside isn’t in danger of wasting away. Other businesses will seek opportunities there in the future.

    • Flyguy2pt0

      Just my opinion but I am not worried about Canalside wasting away. The concern is the location doesnt work out for Hofbrauhaus and it ends up wasting away and closing shop. I like the idea of creating critical mass areas to grow and expand upon as opposed to scattered attractions especially when considering tourism crowds, ease of access in an unfamiliar place and way finding. I woudl think an attraction like Hofbrauhus would positively complement the Canalside area and the tourism and sports draws there. Eh, it is what it is and I could be wrong. Places like Flying Bison seem to make it work in an off the beaten path sort of location.

      • BuffaLife

        I get that. There’s no true cohesive development plan in Buffalo. Everyone works on their own, which I understand and is to be expected when we’re talking private developers. I just wish there was some master plan – tackle Canalside, then the East side, then Scott St, Chandler St, or whatever, but I know that’s not how it works. It is, however, extremely disappointing that the ECHDC is such a failure and has done next to nothing to create the destination that Canalside is supposed to be. I expected a lot more infill and entertainment options.

      • PaulBuffalo

        @flyguy2pt0:disqus, smart national retailers/restaurants do solid research and commit to spaces only when they can be confident of their demographic numbers. I hope Hofbrauhaus did their homework. Krispy Kreme did not; they got giddy on money pouring into the company and opened locations with abandon. Their stock flew high then, eventually, they paid the price for not doing their original due diligence.

        I’m probably one of the few that thinks Canalside works well as it is. I prefer the green space because it opens up a great vista of the waterfront. I think there is room for some infill and re-thinking, such as at the former HSBC tower, that would help make those streets more friendly to encourage pedestrian traffic that connects to Canalside.

        • OldFirstWard

          Krispy Kreme didn’t fail because of location, they failed because of a lack of product diversity, and the sudden burst of bad publicity about the health issues associated with eating donuts.

    • No_Illusions

      Hydraulic Hearth is ALWAYS packed despite being in the Larkin District.

      Build it and they will come.

      Not sure if Buffalo can handle a full redevelopment of the cobblestone lots, but this is a good step towards that goal.

  • LongGoneeee

    Found a typo…

    190 Scott Street across from the new Bills stadium.

    • WNYer

      I speculate that part of the decision was due to: 1) the nearby parcel on the short list for a new stadium (probable) 2) the expansion of the casino mentioned in other comments (likely) and 3) better parking options for patrons than Canalside (definite).

      • LongGoneeee

        Agree on all 3. Regardless of what some others think…it’s a pretty damn good location.

  • WeAreTheNormal

    While I share some concern about the location and the ECHD’s inability to land this tenant, it’s rather impressive, I think, that our city is landing a Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and a Hofbrauhaus. Many of us would have thought that impossible not too long ago.

  • harlan

    The original location they wanted is not under ECHD control it’s a City of Buffalo lot

    • BufChester

      I’m pretty sure it was part of the Donovan Building site, which would make it ECHDC.

  • phj

    ECHDC blew this. They thought a private
    developer (Benderson) would pay an extra $1.4 mm to move the utilities on proposed building two webster block. Newsflash…the economics on any new muti-story masonry and steel building in Buffalo is very specultaive at best . Worse for buildings with tiny footprints. . Its their job with the Power Authority’s money to make sites development ready. They could have had Benderson post an lc and released it when they co’d the building. Instead they will run more carnivals and pay more management and overhead fees and waste it on noncapital improvements. Thanks ECHDC.

  • MWood

    I don’t get the criticism of the location. It’s hardly any further from the arena than Swannie House and they’ll get foot traffic from the parking lots north of the 190. This also adds some curb appeal to the East side of Michigan Ave and makes the whole area look better to visiting hockey fans.

    • No_Illusions

      Good restaurants attract people regardless of location.

      They become a destination.

  • Alex Morris

    Aside from the fact that the exterior rendering is ugly and very un-Buffalo, $5million will not achieve this vision if it also is being deployed to renovate and outfit the interior into a full brew-pub and restaurant. The building, while simple, has an integrity that comes from its industrial past and, if modestly cleaned-up, would contribute tot he character of the district. If it were me and I had $5million to spend id focus more on the interior fit-out and equipment.

    • Johnny Pizza

      You realize this is a chain that takes some design characteristics form the original in Munich right? The whole point is to be “un-Buffalo”. That’s like complaining Caesar’s Palace in Vegas uses too many Roman design features, so un-Vegas!

  • Ann Onimous

    Is anyone else the slightest bit anxious about a local Trump supporters like Townsell opening their own Munich beer halls?

    • robert biniszkiewicz

      haha! Your comment didn’t register at first. Maybe if a new stadium is built nearby, when we’re going for it on 4th and 1, the crowd could yell: Push! Push! Putsch!

  • Nice to see an artist rendering… much better than the [BN] announcement.
    If they occupy the entire building, that’ll be a pretty big complex there. Nice thing is that they’re not alone with the Fairmont Creamery building right across the street.

    • flinderge

      About one out of ten stories, the [BN] shows relevant photos. This site does a much, much better job of it.

  • Mytwocents

    Not a bad new location for this, I like it. I’ll really like it if the stadium does end up moving to this area.

  • East Auroran

    So now Buffalo gets a new building in Canalside, and an old one in a marginal neighborhood renovated, which may help spark even more neighborhood renewal, and two new businesses with national track records of success. Sounds like a good deal to me.

    • OldFirstWard

      “…which may help spark even more neighborhood renewal”

      Doubtful. There is no neighborhood there, only housing project row houses and apartment buildings to the immediate southeast.

  • Michael H

    Cool idea. The rendering certainly makes the building look better. Hopefully they will add some landscaping/shrubs/trees to improve it even more.

  • Doug Wallis

    I just hope they have good german food. Schnitzel, Bratworst, etc. There was a german restaurant in Baltimore that I loved. My friends introduced me to it because it had specialty meats: Deer, Moose, Elk, Buffalo, etc. Germans are famous for game meat with a nice sauce. Something that unique I would think would play really well in Buffalo. There aren’t many cities around the country that do anything similar.