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Pour Taproom – Buffalo’s first “Self Serve Bar”

"A beer and wine festival every day of the week."

There are a lot of new restaurants popping up these days in the post-covid economy. Along with vacant spaces being occupied, there are some interesting new concepts being introduced.

Pour Taproom is unlike any other restaurant concept to date (at least in Buffalo). The “self-pour beer, cider and wine bar” is unique, to say the least. To get a glass of beer or wine, the customer dons a wrist bracelet that has a RFID chip in it (pick up at a front counter). From there, beer and wine enthusiasts are free to wander from tap to tap (there are 56 different taps) in search of their favorite selections. Simply put your wrist up to the tap, connect with the system, and pull the handle.

Another distinctive aspect of the business model is that customers pay by the ounce, not by the glass. That means that people are free to sample some of the selections, or pour full glasses when they find their favorites.

Pour Taprooms are currently located throughout the country, in cities that include Atlanta, Charleston, Knoxville, and Charlotte (the concept kicked off in Asheville, NC in 2014). While there are a number of locations, it states on their website that “Pour Taproom is NOT a franchise, but rather a group of friends and family with small local businesses in different cities throughout the Southeast and California.”

Last evening, there were a lot of people trying out the newfangled concept at 490 Pearl Street (there appears to be no identifiable Pour Taproom signage out front yet, except for the theatrical “TAPROOM” blade sign.) Inside, it was fairly lively, and the patio was pretty busy too.

The Nicole Cherry mural above the wall of taps is sharp, and adds a big splash of color (and Buffalo love) to the place. It seemed as if customers were having a nice time experimenting with the concept.

Located in the heart of the Theater District, and right next door to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Pour Taproom brings a lot of life to Pearl Street. It’s nice to see this building occupied, with people enjoying themselves.

Of course there will be a lot of debating among people whether they want to pour their own beers, or have a bartender do it. One of my friends who went along with me summed it up nicely. “Whether you like the concept or not, it’s great to see these types of places come to Buffalo, as they are obviously doing well in other cities – it might be a novelty, but people are always looking for different ways to enjoy themselves.”

Pour Taproom | 490 Pearl Street | 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.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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