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The Monocle will recall the glory days of Buffalo’s sophisticated department stores

There seems to be no stopping Hertel these days. The street continues to offer up surprises, especially now with the announcement of The Monocle – considered a modern day “Destination of Discovery.”

After years of searching for the perfect home and habitat to purchase, owners of michael P. design, room, and Crockett & Co. have selected a former synagogue as the ideal setting for their next combined venture. With the arrival of The Monocle, 1235 Hertel will become the epicenter of a sensational shopping excursion that recalls the glory days of Buffalo’s fabled department stores of the 1940s.

In recent years, we have seen a growing interest for this type of multi-store shopping formula. The only problem has been finding the ideal location for such a multidimensional undertaking.

Michael Poczkalski, owner and principal designer of michael P. design and room, and David Brugh, owner and principal barber at Crockett & Co., will not only be relocating their current businesses to the former synagogue, they will also be incorporating additional gift, retail, and social experiences into the alluring structure.

Once The Monocle is open, it will be considered “… a full lifestyle shopping experience.” And if anyone can pull it off successfully, it’s Poczkalski and Brugh, who have proven time and time again that they know what it takes to captivate the imaginations of Buffalo shoppers. This new multi-faceted retail concept will be no different… while being completely unique at the same time. Once complete, the interior and the exterior of the building will be equally captivating. The integrity of the building, with its historic architectural elements and vaulted ceiling structure, will ultimately lend to the design-forward nature of the project.

In order to pull off this enterprising project, Poczkalski and Brugh have retained the services of Lamparelli Construction Company who will be working closely with with michael P. design on interior and exterior updates. The combined efforts of the talented team will ensure that this “Destination of Discovery” is nothing short of exceptional. Between the various retail elements, and the dramatic open floor, multi-level concept format, we’re looking at a regional destination that will up the ante of the retail shopping game in Buffalo.

“When room and michael P. design first moved to Hertel Avenue more than 10 years ago, we wanted to create a destination for shoppers with our flagship store,” said Michael Poczkalski. “That sentiment still holds true but now – The Monocle will be home to much more beyond interior décor to offer visitors a full-scale luxury lifestyle shopping experience that will be a must-see destination on Hertel Avenue.”

“As creatives and entrepreneurs, we take great inspiration from our travels around the U.S. and overseas and wanted to bring that inspiration to our hometown, creating a new experiential shopping experience that builds off of the same cutting-edge design and retail reputation that the community and our customers have come to know from room, michael P. design, and Crockett & Co.,” said David Brugh. “Our vision for The Monocle is to be known as the premier shopping destination in Western New York that leaves you filled with wonder, excitement and wanting more.”

Poczkalski and Brugh’s vision for The Monocle is a collective of businesses that offer a well-rounded selection of luxury goods and services. This modern department store concept will include the following:

  • room  On the main floor, room will offer a newly curated furniture collection highlighting the best in furniture and home trends. Gifting and accessories will feature a selection of high-end unique items that have a more limited availability than a typical big box or national retail chain. Expanded retail offerings will include jewelry, scarves, bags, dishware, glassware, outdoor lifestyle and picnic baskets. Couples will also be able to have a wedding registry with room at The Monocle.
  • michael P. design – The Monocle will host the design offices of michael P. design and the team of five designers. Residing on the newly created mezzanine level, the michael P. design offices will overlook the room showroom floor.
  • Crockett and Co. Barbershop  Crockett and Co. Barbershop will occupy the lower level of the building offering services such as traditional wet shaves, full beard trimming and time-honored classic barber services haircuts. Crockett & Co.’s offerings are inspired by the grand heritage of the olden days but tailored for modern, style-conscious individuals.
  • Apothecary  An extension of Crockett & Co. will be a traditional apothecary offering unisex face, hair and body products as well as fragrances. The Apothecary would be located on the lower level featuring exclusive product lines.
  • Library  Located on the lower level adjacent to Crockett & Co., a cozy Library with fireplace will offer a place for guests for a brief respite from shopping. The Library will also feature additional gifting such as books and cocktail ware.
  • Mr. Potts Coffee & Tea Emporium  Mr. Potts will be The Monocle’s prime social setting that focuses on an assortment of specialty in-house baked goods, exotic teas and locally sourced coffee. A curated collection of cocktails and wines, as well as lunch and traditional tea service, will be added to the lineup in Spring of 2022.

The Monocle is anticipated to open in November 2021, just in time for the holidays.

For updates, news and inspiration on The Monocle’s progress, sign up for The Monocle’s email newsletter at and follow along on Instagram at @themonocle.buffalo.

The Monocle – A “Destination of Discovery” | 1235 Hertel Avenue | Buffalo NY

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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