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Construction Watch: Sinatra’s Restaurant

The new Sinatra’s Restaurant development is well underway. For 30 years, the restaurant has been an institution along Kenmore Avenue (south side of the street). Moving forward, the restaurant will occupy a much larger space (2000 square feet), within a three-storey mixed-use building, directly across the street. The site of the original Sinatra’s building will be utilized for parking.

The estimated 4$ million project will be a welcome addition to Kenmore Avenue – a street that has a mixed bag of great and not-so-great features.

The pros of Kenmore (near the restaurant): There are some other nice establishments nearby, including Gigi’s, Yummy Thai, Curry’s and Vizzi’s. The long row of Kenmore Tudor Apartments and Kenmore Tudors Apartments are very nice (can we have some more?) St Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, just down the way, is a great example of thoughtful infill, with plenty of greenery and up to snuff architecture. Kenmore Avenue is surrounded by wonderful residential neighborhoods. New street infrastructure and bike lanes (closer to Main Street) have being implemented along Kenmore Avenue as part of the City’s “Kenmore Avenue Reconstruction Project”, which connects new Kenmore bike lanes to the Tonawanda Rail-Trail.

The cons of Kenmore (near the restaurant): There are way too many parking lots on valuable corners. There’s potential for thoughtful infill. Plenty of jacked up, single-storey, strip mall building architecture, with nothing that ties the street together. The Kenmore Avenue Reconstruction Project is fantastic, but it only extends from Main Street to Klauder Road. From Klauder Road on, Kenmore Avenue is a mess. It is in desperate need of an overhaul, with bike lanes, crosswalks, new lamp standards, curbs, trees, etc. 

Urbanism 101 – How many problematic issues can you spot?

As with any commercial street, this major investment by Sinatra’s will hopefully become a ripple effect along Kenmore. There is plenty of potential to become a great Buffalo destination, with proper infill, more greenery, and continued infrastructure investments by the City.

*Phases I and II of the Kenmore Avenue involved work on the street from Elmwood Avenue to Fairfield. In 2013, Erie County conducted a mill and overlay operation on a 1.11 mile stretch of the road from Colvin Avenue to Fairfield, followed in 2014 with the City of Buffalo performing a similar operation on a 1.01 mile stretch from Elmwood Avenue to Colvin. Phase III will involve the reconstruction of nearly a mile of Kenmore Avenue, from Klauder Road to Main Street.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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