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LOCAL Kitchen + Beer Bar makes you feel right at home

The Phantom Diner series is sponsored by Urban Valet Cleaners.

When you stand on the corner of Delaware and W Chippewa, pause for a moment; take a good 360 look around. If you’ve been here before then perhaps you remember Chippewa in the 1960’s when you could by a beer at age 18 and stroll into any of the adult-rated bars and clubs lining the street. Maybe you’ll remember the 90’s when the rebirth of Chippewa began its slow transformation from seedy to respectable. Or maybe you’re looking at this corner for the very first time and someday, when you return, you’ll recall what you saw today and how it had changed. The face of W Chippewa is always changing and you dear visitor; you are a part of it.

I noticed that, more often than not, LOCAL Kitchen + Beer Bar seemed active and busy while some others – were not. On the outside the relatively non-descript eatery blends into the W Chippewa cityscape. The interior isn’t stunning and doesn’t possess any unique style. It’s wood, glass, tv’s, food and alcohol. Inwardly, however, I find myself very much at home.

There’s usually a warm welcome at the door, the host stand or at the bar and it’s been consistent through several visits. You get the sense that the staff genuinely appreciates that you stopped in. Service is swift and attentive at LOCAL and the staff, undeniably, seem to have their collective heads on a swivel.

We began our dinner excursion with a simple hummus and veggie platter ($8.00) while we enjoyed some of the whiskey- based cocktails from the bar (avg. $10-$12). We went back and forth about choosing the bison burger on the menu ($18.00) but opted to save it (one of my favs) for another day.

My dinner guest decided on the Ribeye Steak Sandwich ($17.00) – 8oz of Angus steak – (ordered medium) – “w/sautéed peppers & onions, provolone cheese” and house made steak sauce on a “garlic butter grilled gourmet roll”. Adding a side of fries and a pickle spear completed the dish. The steak was grilled to med-rare (oops!) and was nicely seasoned with garlic butter and topped with a crunchy roll. All credit due to the house made steak sauce.

Ribeye Steak Sandwich

I opted for the “Rick James – Give it to me Baby” burger ($16.00) which I ordered med-well with a side of Brussel Slaw ($2 additional). My burger – char grilled to well-done (oops again!) was still tasty and very enjoyable. The side of Brussel sprout slaw was undeniably my favorite of the many house-made slaws I’ve tasted. All credit due to the beef that was seasoned before cooking. Nice job guys!

“Rick James – Give it to me Baby”

Feeling fully satiated we stepped up to the bar to continue our exploration of the cocktail menu which – understandably – is a very personal thing. A favorite of mine – from the specials menu – is the Vanilla Beam (equal parts Jim Beam Vanilla and Black Button Apple Pie Moonshine). Caution: Awesome cocktail that goes down easy.

What adds to the attraction of LOCAL Kitchen + Beer Bar is the fun factor; the banter of the bar staff. Sure, it’s their job. Sure, other places have banter. But it seems like they’re really into it and they love the bar and their customers – you guys. As for this reviewer, I’ll continue to enjoy being local – to LOCAL.

Menu: Based on local food traditions, some items are pricey, good flavor combinations, watch the meat temps guys!
Service: Nicely attentive, and interactive.
Ambiance: Interior is average, but the atmosphere and energy are good; fun place to hang your hat.

Local Kitchen + Beer Bar | 88 West Chippewa Street | Buffalo, New York | (716) 849-1000 | Facebook

Series Sponsor: Urban Valet is a locally owned and operated, full service garment care company that offers a broad range of safe and environmentally-friendly cleaning options. They have three store locations and provide complimentary home and office delivery service throughout the WNY region. Home delivery can be scheduled every week or “on demand.” Urban Valet’s mission is to make life a little easier. Let them take care of your laundry & favorite duds, so you have more time to do the things you really enjoy! For more information, please visit

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Written by Phantom Diner

Phantom Diner

A Buffalo-based undercover restaurant reviewer. In conjunction with Buffalo Rising, this weekly series will present objective, honest reviews of WNY restaurants. What makes a restaurant great? Great cuisine, great service, and consistent delivery.

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