Every Saturday morning, I walk around the city with a couple of buddies. Our destination is always a different café. Along the way, we keep our eyes open for interesting looking houses, businesses, and other points of interest. These walks have given us a greater appreciation for the various neighborhoods, while providing plenty of talking points.
This past Saturday, on our way to Foibles Coffee & Pie on Rhode Island, we passed through the Five Points neighborhood, which always provides plenty of sightseeing opportunities. Along the way, we passed by numerous house renovations, some of which I will be featuring in future posts. All of these renovations are contributing to this neighborhood becoming a unique destination, for visitors as well as for people who are looking to live in this part of town. Fortunately, that means tackling some of the still-plentiful structures that are now presented as opportunities, instead of simply eyesores.
Speaking of beloved West Side destinations, we have Foibles Coffee & Pie, located at 172 Rhode Island Street, which was our intended caffeinated destination for our excursion. If you are ever looking for a place to reenergize, this is the spot. There’s something about Foibles that lifts the soul. Perhaps it’s the coziness, or the great music, the selection of pies, or even the café’s host, Sadie Mathers. Looking back, I can say that it was all of these things, but it also could have been the terrific bruleed mocha that rocked our world. Sitting in the window seat, sipping Sadie’s delectable creation, and chatting about the neighborhood happenings that we had come across… it was heavenly. If you have not ventured over to Foibles yet, you don’t know what you have been missing. This place is one of Buffalo’s greatest café (and homemade pie) experiences that must be celebrated as much as possible.
While there were plenty of other highlights of the walk, there was one particular project that sparked our imaginations for what is to come. Work is well underway at Extra Extra. The pizza and wine cooperative – brainchild of Bridget Murphy and Joey Pucciarelli – is steadily gaining steam. The facade of the building is undergoing a transformative change, as is the interior of the building. After seeing the work being performed, I reached out to Joey, who had this to say about the current stage of development.
“Construction is fully underway and ongoing. The back half of the building had to come down, but there are now walls and foundation back up. Our equipment has been purchased. We want to raise $40k via the b shares, which are non voting shares. Shares are $100/share and investors have to buy a minimum of 10 shares, but can buy as many as they’d like in increments of $100 after that. So far we have about $12k since launching a few weeks ago. We have also launched a Kickstarter campaign, with the chance to purchase more experience-type things, like classes and wine club memberships.”
The West Side is still on a roll, as we can readily see. The addition of Extra Extra is going to be a super welcome surprise, once it’s up and running. As for the Kickstarter crowdfunding site that Joey mentioned, I took a look around and noticed that two of the specialty items that the campaign is aiming to procure are: a draught beverage system and a soft serve ice cream machine! So, if you’re a fan of the Five Points experience, and you want to contribute towards elevating that experience, be sure to check out the pledge opportunities and rewards that are being offered at Kickstarter (click here to learn more).
Aside from seeing all of these projects coming to life, I must say that the best part is the enhanced walkability that goes hand-in-hand with all of these advancements. The West Side (especially around the Five Points intersection) has become a very walkable part of the city, that continues to impress with each passing day. With that in mind, I must say that the West Side as a whole is becoming… “Extra Extra!”