Buffalo is a winter ski town. It’s also a yummy food town. That’s why restaurateur Maura Crawford has put together these winter comforts in the form of a popup called Crêpe Chalet.
When I first noticed that this little hut was under construction, I figured that it was going to be heading elsewhere upon completion. But that’s not the case. The pop-up chalet is staying put, for now, in front of the former Roxy’s nightclub on Main Street, near Allentown.
Crawford is the owner of Coco Restaurant, which is located next door. That means that operating the chalet will be a lot easier than taking it on the road.
Taking a look at the chalet, it’s hard not to smile. The little crêperie is adorable, with its twinkling lights and chalet-style roofline. It almost looks as if it should be in the Swiss Alps.
Thankfully, it’s in Buffalo.
Crawford told me that she came up with the idea back in July, when she realized that winter was going to be tough due to the pandemic. She was also inspired by her travels – she’s a big fan of bringing ideas home with her and making them come to life.
“This is sort of what a Christmas market should be like – I always thought that it would be great to see permanent stalls along Bidwell for the farmers market. When I went to Sunflowers of Sanborn this summer I saw a cute shed and talked to the owner. They gave me the name of an Amish builder. That’s how it all happened,” explained Crawford.
Crêpe Chalet is now open for business, from noon to around 8pm or 9pm, but those hours could fluctuate.
There are 7 sweet and 7 savory crêpes on the menu, as well as 2 baguette sandwiches. And thanks to the Coco kitchen next door, customers can also order soup, frites (some of the best French fries in Buffalo), and pizza (love the pea and prosciutto). There are also “warming beverages” available to people who are waiting for their food to be made, and a few outdoor tables and heaters to better enjoy the experience.
Crawford told me that the Crêpe Chalet is like “the little tugboat that is pulling the freighter” at this point. With Coco closed because of the “orange” pandemic classification, she’s pulling out all of the stops. “We had planned an artisan market,” she said. “We had the stalls built and everything. But we had to pull the plug. We’re still going to feature an artisan or an artist every day, so that customers can look at things while they wait, and we will add more tables and heaters accordingly. At this point, we’re just going with the flow.”
Crêpe Chalet @ Coco | 888 Main Street | Buffalo NY | (716) 885-1885
Take-out, pick-up, and delivery.
Photos by Ann Casey