It wasn’t that long ago that Buffalo landed Labatt US headquarters, which set up shop at Fountain Plaza. Since that time, Labatt USA has taken the city by storm, and has become a beloved Buffalo beer of choice for those who choose to drink non-craft beers. Heck, Buffalo NY is printed right there on the label!
Now Labatt is taking its relationship with Buffalo to an entirely different level. The beer company is joining forces with Pegula Sports and Entertainment (PSE) to be a major part of the development plans of 79 Perry, which was recently purchased by PSE. Labatt announced this morning that it will be the anchor tenant in the 70,000 square foot building (constructed in 1919). This is huge news for The Cobblestone District, Canalside, and all of Buffalo. Labatt says that it will create a beer destination on the first floor of the building. The “innovative beer and brewing destination” will be branded the “John Labatt Project.” The concept will feature a restaurant, and a pilot brewery where beer fans can taste the latest and greatest batches of beer, which will ultimately influence new beer development, according to Labatt. Talk about giving Buffalo what it wants.
The environment will highlight the industrial and innovative spirit of Buffalo, while giving a nod to the rebirth of the Cobblestone district.
“Upon completing the purchase of this historic property, our team thoroughly examined the needs of the Cobblestone district and its surrounding area,” said Russ Brandon, PSE’s managing partner and president. “We determined that there is a great need for another regional attraction that also features a permanent residential component. Thanks to our partners at Labatt USA, we are going to open a destination that appeals to community members from Western New York and beyond, creating a far-reaching impact.”
The rest of the building will be mixed use, with retail, commercial and residential spaces. Labatt also stated that it will be relocating its US corporate headquarters to the building, thus solidifying the beer company’s devotion to its host city. Since moving its US headquarters to Buffalo from Connecticut in 2007, Labatt has grown tremendously. In fact, over the last three years, the company has grown by 40% in Buffalo and now boasts 56 employees.
“Our partnership with PSE is a pivotal moment for Labatt in the US. We are taking our decades long commitment to the Buffalo Niagara region, and creating a destination where we can have a new conversation with our most loyal beer drinkers that will influence innovation for Labatt throughout the country,” said Glen Tibbits, general manager of Labatt USA. “This is a natural evolution for both partners, and an amazing opportunity for beer, sports and downtown Buffalo. Now, bring on the Cup!”
PSE has disclosed what the future look of the building will behold, and as we can see, it’s just what this city needs. This is fantastic news for this district, and should help to bolster further growth around the site. Buffalo continues to impress with it’s ‘beer town’ image. John Labatt House will join 716 Food and Sport (also PSE) as a significant downtown destination that, in tandem, will create enhanced vibrancy (locals and tourists) at this recently reimagined historic district.