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2021 Holiday Shopping Guide | Five Points

Sponsored by:

The 2021 Holiday Shopping Guide is a unique blend of independently owned and operated businesses in a variety of industries, such as retail, food, dining, arts, non-profit, and more, all designed to encourage WNY residents to #shoplocal. Sponsored by Visit Buffalo Niagara and Erie County, the 2021 guide will explore all the unique shopping districts that Erie County has to offer. To view this year’s full holiday shopping guide, click here!

While the Five Points neighborhood may appear to have sprang to life – and in popularity – overnight, it’s been well over a decade since businesses started to grow in this area. Today, a diverse range of small businesses, restaurants and artisans call Five Points home. Among the dozen or so businesses there’s a cafe that would be at home on the streets of Paris, a traditional African clothing maker, a yoga studio, a frame shop, a well-stocked wine retailer, an artisan chocolate maker, a couple places to get plants for the vase or the garden, a James Beard-nominated chef, and some of the best baked goods you’ll find anywhere – all owned and operated by a colorful cast of people that live and play in the neighborhood.

Just like the streets that join together to create the neighborhood’s namesake, the Five Points is the perfect union of diversity and culture that you could only find on the West Side.

Las Puertas

Las Puertas is an innovative, upscale Mexican restaurant with an emphasis on technique, quality, and local ingredients. Founded by 2018 James Beard-nominated chef Victor Parra Gonzalez, Las Puertas (literal translation: The Doors) was born from a deep spiritual meaning representing the different options available to someone as they undertake the challenge of embarking on a new path.

Chef Victor Parra Gonzalez ensures the food is locally sourced where possible, allowing for incredible freshness once it hits your plate. Upon asking the chef his best recommendations, a barrage of food was placed in front of me. Parra Gonzalez managed to find the perfect location on Rhode Island for his intimate but vibrant and colorful restaurant. It just wouldn’t have the same charm and neighborhood feel if it were located on a main road like Elmwood or Delaware. Upon entering the restaurant, there are so many interesting design features to admire: the adorable made-in-France chairs, the adjustable spheres of light above the bar, and the gorgeous mural by Carolyn Perillo.

At Las Puertas, their menu changes frequently. Rather than offering a stationary collection of dishes that they refine by serving day in and day out, they embrace their passion for exploration. They seek out adventure and put it on your plate. Local, seasonal, fresh, different. Inspiration comes from everywhere and everywhere is where we want to be. Please join us on this journey and discover something new with every bite. We highly recommend making a reservation at Las Puertas!

385 Rhode Island St., Buffalo, NY 14213 | 716-807-1141
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Essex Arts Center

The Essex Arts Center was founded in 1969 by renowned Buffalo sculptor Larry W. Griffis, Jr. as living, working, and gallery spaces for artists working in a diversity of practices. The center, along with the Griffis Sculpture Park, is run by the Ashford Hollow Foundation, devoted to the promotion of the visual and performing arts.

Today, the center’s residents include 19Ideas, the Buffalo Institution of Contemporary Art, the Ashford Hollow Foundation offices, and a range of artists continuing to live and work in the center. In the past, the Essex Arts Center has also been home to other prominent arts organizations including Hallwalls, CEPA, and Big Orbit. Current artists in residence include Nando Alvarez-Perez, Steve Baczkowski and Colleen Durkin.

The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art (BICA) was founded in June 2018 with a mission to break down the barriers between the art world and the rest of the world and to make lives better through practical engagements with contemporary art. Co-founded by curator Emily Ebba Reynolds and artist and Buffalo native Nando Alvarez-Perez, BICA emerged out of our desire to reframe contemporary art around issues of regional community, creating a plurality of art worlds, and reconceiving art as a practical tool which can be used to reshape the world around it.

If you are looking to take a break from your holiday shopping, be sure to stop by the Essex Arts Center. There are some beautiful exhibitions from the artists in residence that are worth checking out and, if you have an art lover in your life from their selection of prints, books and more!

30 Essex St., Buffalo, NY 14213 | 716-667-2808
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Blue Table Chocolates

Does anyone remember exactly when chocolate truffle candies became so “fabulous” looking? Today a truffle not only looks like a space-age work of art, it can taste like anything that you can imagine, as if right out of the Star Trek food replicator – cognac, chipotle-sesame, Turkish coffee, clover-honey, Gianduja, Champagne…

Just looking at a few of the masterfully made truffles is enough to get anyone’s mouth watering. Then, to discover the various flavors that traverse the food spectrum, it’s as if Jelly Belly candies suddenly altered course and collided with a chocolate factory. With flavors ranging from the more traditional (salted caramel), to the more experimental (Raspberry & Rose Water), each month they issue a new limited edition seasonal flavor.

Once you know the life lesson behind Blue Table Chocolates, and you come to learn that the outside of the candy is as mesmerizing as the inside is divine, then you’re well on your way to the final leg of the journey – getting a custom box for yourself and sampling some of the finest chocolates to be found. When you pick out your chocolates, this is the perfect place to use your Shop716 Gift card!

44 Brayton St., Buffalo, NY 14213 | 716-866-3725
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Remedy House

Remedy House was built on a foundation of great coffee and espresso, but community, camaraderie, and connection are the stuff at their core. In other words, they’re more than a caffeine pitstop. Remedy House is a gathering place and hangout where everyone is free to eat, drink, and be. If you’d like, you can think of their space as an extension of your home, albeit with more strangers, friends, better pastries, and way weirder wine.

Open at 6 a.m. daily, Remedy House offers an impressive coffee and espresso program carefully designed by co-owners Andrew Trautman and Justin Smith. The program was largely informed by Trautman’s years of experience as a barista and running pop-up espresso bars around the city. Among its many virtues are the quality of its ingredients. At present moment, Trautman and Smith source their beans from Propeller Coffee, a small-batch specialty roaster based in Toronto, and their cow’s milk from Tea Cup Farms in Barker, New York. Remedy House also carries almond and walnut milk from Elmhurst 1925 in Elma, New York.

Remedy House is more than a coffee shop. Modeled after the sidewalk cafés of Paris, it seems destined to function as a neighborhood focal point and all-day gathering place—somewhere one can steal precious moments of social connection or quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle of life. While you’re out shopping, stop by Remedy House for a quick pick me up, a bite to eat or grab a gift card for a friend or loved one!

429 Rhode Island St., Buffalo, NY 14213 | 716-250-7724
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Ujima Theatre

Ujima means “collective work and responsibility.” Ujima Company’s strength lies in its reliability, the consistency of its artistic vision, and its adherence to the principles embodied by the Swahili word for which it is named. For four decades, under the leadership of Lorna C. Hill, founder and artistic director, 1978-2020, the company has provided diverse Western New York audiences with solid, professional theatre experiences. While firmly rooted in the many traditions of African-American theatre, Ujima includes in its long history, productions from the traditions of other people of color, from other countries and cultures, and from the all-encompassing spectrum of traditional and contemporary American theatre. Ujima is constantly growing, evolving, improving.

Their 2021-2022 season began with American Son and continues with Smart People, running Dec 3-19. Smart People is a comedy that reflects a very sympathetic human foible; the desire to resolve our racial conflicts without messing things up every time we open our mouths. It is the eve of Obama’s first election. Four of Harvard University’s brightest; a surgeon, an actress, a psychologist, and a neuro-psychiatrist, are all interested in different aspects of the brain, particularly how it responds to race. But like all smart people, they are also searching for love, success, and identity in their own lives.

Stew, which will run Mar 11-27 and was a 2021 Pulitzer Prize finalist, is Zora Howard’s compelling comedy-drama centers around three generations of Black women as they bicker and banter while preparing a feast. Spunk, running May 6-22, uses the blues, choral narrative and dance to tell three tales of men and women trapped inside the “laughin’ kind of lovin’ kind of hurtin’ kind of pain, that comes from being human.”

If you or that special someone in your life loves theatre, tickets to one of these shows at Ujima Theatre are the perfect gift. In fact, they have some subscription deals for the remainder of the season that are a great bargain! You can see all three shows for $68 or if you want to go with someone, you can get a pair of tickets for the rest of the season for $100. Theatre Tickets are always a great gift!

429 Plymouth Ave, Buffalo, NY 14213 | 716-322-5178
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Paradise Wine

Paula Paradise and Lauren Kostek opened Paradise to focus on supporting and selling wines from producers focused on their land and the environment first. Oftentimes this means these winemakers are working with very small plots, using organic or biodynamic practices and manipulating their wines very little in the cellar. These wines sing of the land they grew from and we think they’re truly special creatures. Drinking sustainably is the first step to making sure the next generation can experience the history, beauty and allure of this magical liquid.

The large, airy store is flush with a variety of organic and biodiverse wines, handpicked by Paula who is known as one of the area’s celebrated wine connoisseurs. An unexpected surprise is the addition of micro-distillery spirits and organic ciders to the mix….even organic ice wines. The sheer breadth of product variety makes browsing the store’s shelves a rewarding experience. What makes Paradise different is that you won’t find many of these products stocked anywhere else by the larger wine retailers. Paula is doing her best to keep the customer experience a very personal one, making herself available to assist customers with advice on every visit.

If you aren’t sure what will best compliment your holiday table or are looking for the perfect gift for the wine connoisseur in your life, Paula and Laura can help! In addition to offering gift cards, they offer a variety of gift bags and sets that will complement your purchase beautifully.

435 Rhode Island St., Buffalo, NY 14213 | 716-954-3379
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Foibles Café

Hailing from Wisconsin, Sadie Mathers has worked in the restaurant industry for over 10 years as a barista, manager, coffee purveyor, and consultant. Foibles is the culmination of that experience, Midwestern charm, and a multi-generational pie crust recipe filled with herb-forward fruit compotes featuring local produce, vegetarian savory fillings, and an original quiche recipe.

The cafe’s ambiance is a nostalgic reminder of grandma’s classic kitchen, with the bright yellow rotary telephone and cans of Crisco on the wall. The menu is unique, with both savory and sweet pies, quiches, and of course a feature of Tipico coffee. Her house made and flavorful pie fillings are cradled in a warm embrace of flakey dough that seems to melt all of the day’s worries away with every bite. They are known for their inventive latte flavors such as the oatchata latte, taro latte, and the sweet potato latte – a riff on the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte. Their pies are equally inventive and seasonal as their drinks, with recent fall flavors like scary cherry, apple cinnamon swirl, and London fog custard.

Foibles is accepting Thanksgiving pie pre-orders through November 20st. This year’s flavors are classic pumpkin, apple cinnamon swirl, chai custard with apple chutney, and stuffing pie. If you are looking for a delicious pie to complete your Thanksgiving spread, make sure to grab a pie from Foibles!

172 Rhode Island, Buffalo, NY 14213 | 716-931-5808
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Visit Buffalo Niagara

Have you picked up your Shop 716 eGift Card yet? For a limited time, when you buy one for $25 or more, you get an Erie County sponsored bonus $25 eGift Card. Support local and get rewarded for it – buy yours today and view the full list of participating businesses here:

Support your local restaurants, retailers and attractions. Keep your hard earned money, right here where you live. By doing so, you keep your friends and family employed and create more local jobs. Shopping local conserves energy and resources and is better for the environment!

WNY is our home & we can show the #Buffalove we have by shopping and supporting our local businesses. The Shop 716 initiative is to be a champion of all business, supporting the shop/support local themes; to develop business unity and camaraderie to uplift our entire region.

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