I’ve been writing about a number of new businesses on Grant Street as of late. Today, I’d like to focus on a third generation business that recently spruced up its facade. I called over to Paul Murphy, the owner of G&L Flooring Center to congratulate him on the aesthetic improvements, which included a sharp new sign.
A few years back, I did some business with G&L, when they installed new flooring in my kitchen and bathroom. It was the first time that I had ever worked with Murphy and his crew. At the time, I remember thinking that I would give them a try, since they were the closest flooring business to my home. At the time, Grant Street was just starting to get some momentum going, and I remember thinking that G&L could use a little love on its exterior. After all, the outward appearance of a business would, assumedly, reflect what is found on the inside. This was not the case however. I still remember being “wowed” by all of the amazing flooring options that I found inside. The hardest part about working with G&L was choosing the flooring from the vast amount of options.
At the time, when I was ordering the flooring, I politely asked Murphy about the facade of the business. He said that he had plans to fix it up, especially in light of all of the advancements that were taking place on the street. While he did make some incremental improvements, it wasn’t until this point in time that he decided to fully change the appearance with a handsome paint job, new sign, etc.
“Its’ about time I did something,” said Murphy when I congratulated him on his new look. “I’ve heard that from several people.”
Murphy told me that new facade was indicative of the upward direction of Grant Street, although the progress has not been as fast as he would like to see. “But at least it’s still upwards,” he said. “We’ve been here since 1943, when my grandfather started the business. I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs on the street – it looks like things continue to get better, so I decided to improve the facade. Now I’m thinking about adding a splash of color to the other side, maybe with a mural.”
I asked Murphy what his thoughts were, pertaining to the street as a whole, and he immediately replied that he wanted to see more ethnic restaurants open on Grant. “It’s the ethnic restaurants that have the ability of turning neighborhoods around,” he explained. “I’ve seen it in other cities – they bring new people to the street, who then support other businesses. Plus, when there are more people walking around a street, it’s safer in general. The best security that you can have is people. I also think that Grant Street should be the place where people can get the staples of life… a place where someone I could get a pair of pants and a shirt. Elmwood is a little more upscale, and Grant Street should simply be the place where people can get the basics.”
Well, if there’s one way to draw new businesses to a street, it’s by sprucing up the existing businesses. This is a great example of a rising tide lifting all boats.
G&L Flooring Center | 200 Grant Street | Buffalo, NY 14213 | (716) 886-7000