Chandler Street continues to impress. This past Friday, an unveiling was held for developer Rocco Termini’s Food E complex, allowing media to tour the latest culinary concepts in burgeoning Chandlerville. The press announcement was held inside the district’s newest restaurant experience, which is set to open soon – Waxlight Bar a Vin, conceived by Edward Forster, Jessica Railey, Jeff Yannuzzi, Anthony Rials Jr., and Joseph Fenush. Waxlight Bar a Vin is set within 27 Chandler Street at the Food E complex, which is comprised of two buildings connected by an overhead pedestrian bridge.
According to Railey, the menu will change every day, offering the freshest foods available, served up at 9 tables, all of which can be reserved. There is also a lounge component where people can come in and eat and drink. Between the lush furniture, the calming lighting, the dark beadboard ceiling, the swank bar, and even the overhead HVAC tubes that were painted black, the restaurant is reminiscent of a turn of the century Buffalo dining club – something that we’ve managed to lose touch with over the years in lieu of more bight, open cosmopolitan settings. This will be the type of place where customers can cozy up to the bar, or settle into a comfy sofa for a cocktail, something to eat, or even a dessert.
There’s also an open kitchen, which adds a nice transparent flair to the otherwise subdued atmosphere. When the weather breaks in spring, there will also be a sprawling patio element between the two buildings. The patio will be flanked by an herb garden. There will also be an extensive garden on the opposite side of the building, thanks to complete soil remediation that was part of the brownfield tax credit program.
It was Termini (Signature Development) who talked most about the importance of the tax credit programs, and how instrumental they were to get these types of historic/former industrial developments to completion. Termini also credited National Grid that provided an instrumental grant for the project. “This was once an industrial ghetto,” he frankly reminded people. “A few years ago people didn’t even know that this existed. Our goal is to create places that young people are attracted to. People said that I was crazy when I set out to do this.”
At this point in Buffalo’s renaissance, we are well aware of how much Termini has contributed, and there is no sign of him slowing up. If anything, the guy manages to juggle more and more economic balls at any given time. Waxlight Bar a Vin is only one component in the Food E complex project. It was Ben Siegel of BMS Design Studio who led us around to all of the other components, which was mind-boggling. The tour started in back with the loading docks and the 50 car parking lot. From there, he pointed out the ingenious functionality of the overhead pedestrian bridge, which not only allowed entrepreneurs to closely interact with one another, it also helped to consolidate services between the two buildings, many of which would have been duplicated, resulting in compounded expenses. Siegel explained that the tenants – barbecue, cake pops, a chocolatier, caterers, an Alaskan seafood company, Flat #12 Mushrooms, and offices and a training test kitchen for Lloyd – were all provided with state of the art buildouts. In fact, the incubator kitchens almost resembled high end residential lofts – they were that impressive.
All of the businesses were provided with state of the art buildouts that include walk-in coolers, and individual offices. There are also shared amenities within the buildings, such as shower facilities, making this culinary campus one of the most unique and ambitious food enterprises in all of Buffalo.