With the revitalization of the city, I find myself having an ever-expanding list of reasons to drive downtown. And every trip downtown seems to bring with it an exciting discovery – a new shop, restaurant, or development project. On a recent trip to one of my favorite restaurants, Casa Azul, I caught sight of a large furniture store that I had previously failed to notice. After finishing my lunch, I walked next-door to investigate.
Upon entering, I was delighted to discover three sprawling floors of furniture. (There is also a fourth floor that serves as a warehouse and is not part of the showroom.) I was quickly greeted by Kevin Scherer who informed me that I had walked into Scherer Furniture. Scherer’s grandfather opened the store in 1897; impressively, this year marks the stores 120th anniversary. Grandfather Scherer, the store’s founder, was fluent in German and catered to German immigrants living in the Fruit Belt. Back in the day, the store sold everything from kiddie cars and rocking horses to appliances. Today, it simply sells furniture.
Over the years, other downtown furniture stores moved to the suburbs; several of these stores eventually went out of business. While stores in the suburbs tend to get more traffic, they also have higher overhead costs. Scherer furniture stuck it out – ‘through thick and thin’ – and is finally witnessing some changes in the city. Downtown Buffalo is becoming more populated and appears safer to customers. Until this year, the front door had been locked for security reasons. The transition to an unlocked door may be a sign of good things to come for the business and for the neighborhood.
Scherer furniture sells both hardwood and upholstered furniture. The hardwood furniture comes from near and far with an emphasis on quality: don’t expect to see any particleboard in the store. Several imported pieces caught my eye, including one bench from India made of reclaimed wood. The upholstered chairs and couches feature a coil spring construction and are fully customizable. Expect to come across products at Scherer that you will not find anywhere else in the city. And be sure to stop at any one of the wide array of restaurants in the neighborhood, upon visiting.