Events in the Historical Cobblestone District this Weekend (February 16 – February 18)

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Originally published by The Buffalo News
February 15, 2018
By Ben Tsujimoto

Enter the Haggis, McCarthyizm, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 Feb. 17 in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.). Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Ages 18+.

Commentary: With the Shamrock Run and St. Patrick’s Day one flip of the calendar away, Buffalo Iron Works whets the palate with two solid Celtic bands booked for Saturday. It’s tough to top a band name like Enter the Haggis, primarily because it sounds intimidating until you realize that it’s a dish of sheep innards dear to Scotland.

McCarthyizm kicked off January with a gig at Sportsmen’s Tavern, but expect a more impressive turnout for this two-pronged show. Come early for the Irish dancers from the local Rince Na Tiarna company, too

Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament, 7 to 10:30 p.m. Feb. 15 and 16, 1 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 17 and noon to 8 p.m. Feb. 18 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Free to attend as a spectator.

Commentary: The 2018 Labatt Pond Hockey Tournament began in earnest last Sunday, with the novice and amateur divisions rolling through a jam-packed day of action.

Organizers have saved the best for this weekend, however, as over-21, over-30, over-40 and over-50 divisions – plus the Elite Division – will play a more spaced-out string of games. For me, the annual competition for best (family-friendly) team name comes down to two: 7 Angry Men and Moves Like Jagr.

Barrels of Blues – Jony James Blues Band

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Originally published by Step Out Buffalo

DATE: Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018

TIME: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

LOCATION: Lockhouse Distillery

41 Columbia St., Buffalo, New York, 14204

Join the Blues Society of WNY at the all new “BARRELS OF BLUES” night at Lockhouse Distillery. The best in Blues music twice a month with Blues specials from across the pine in the historic Cobblestone district. Parking is free and widely available. FREE for members, $3 non-members.

“The Blues Society recognizes the importance of downtown Buffalo for the history of blues in WNY and the role that Lockhouse Distillery has played in downtown’s rebirth.” Said Chuck Laedke, board member of the Blues Society of WNY Inc. “Adding this event series to our 2018 music schedule supports our overall goal of enhancing blues culture and education in this region.”

“Small businesses such as ours are afforded the special opportunity of choosing to work with likeminded organizations and businesses that share our values and beliefs.” States Cory Muscato, Partner and Distillery Manager of Lockhouse Distillery. “Working with the Blues Society to keep the blues alive in WNY and expand on their educational goals is just the kind of alliance that our brand is all about.”

Blues acts that are set to open series:
January 17th – Willie May Band
January 31st – Mercury Blues Band
February 14th – Rod Nickson Project
February 28th – Jony James Band

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. approves contract to advance Canalside interpretive structures project

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This article was originally featured Monday, March 13, 2017 in Niagara Frontier Publications

Board also approved items to move forward on Buffalo waterfront operations, maintenance & improvements

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. Board of Directors met on Monday and approved several items, including a contract for architectural and engineering design services for the Canalside interpretive structures project; ECHDC’s operating and capital budgets; and an agreement with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for operations and maintenance of property at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.

“ECHDC continues to support projects that transform the once-vacant and underutilized parcels in downtown Buffalo into a vibrant, mixed-use, year-round area that we now know as Canalside,” ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. “The Canalside interpretive structures project will further advance our work by promoting and incorporating architectural elements that celebrate and interpret the historical significance of the Erie Canal and surrounding area.”

The Canalside interpretive structures project consists of new facilities at several locations, with a focus on former buildings located along the commercial slip.

The ECHDC board approved a $1.3 million contract with Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects LLC (HHL), a Buffalo-based architectural firm, to provide architectural and engineering design services for the project. The facilities being considered are:

•An open-air pavilion structure allowing for a range of three-season programming, activities and possibility semipermanent exhibits and/or experiences. It could evoke an 1870s building.

•Recreation of the full-scale brick facade of the Union Steamboat building.

•Backdrop for a concert stage.

•Another open-air pavilion structure that will allow for additional three-season programming, activities and possibly semipermanent exhibits and/or experiences.

•Visitor center. With the popularity of Canalside as a regional tourist destination, the demand for visitor services has been growing.

•Public restrooms. With the popularity of Canalside as a regional tourist destination, the demand for public restrooms has been growing.

•City of Buffalo Police substation.

The HHL team will complete detailed environmental studies, structural and building surveys, and architectural and engineering design services in order to prepare a construction bid package. The HHL team includes Perkins Eastman (formerly Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn), Theatre Consultants Collaborative, Environmental Design & Research, M/E Engineering, Ravi Engineering, RJR Engineering, Illumination Arts and Baer & Associates. ECHDC said HHL is well-suited for this project, having completed the Darwin D. Martin Estate restoration and reconstruction, the Buffalo Club renovations, and the Market Arcade restoration. The company is also very familiar with Canalside’s history and current programming and events, as well as the process of working within the City of Buffalo and with other agencies in the immediate area.

At the ECHDC meeting, the board also approved ECHDC’s fiscal year 2017-18 operating and capital budgets. The operating budget, which includes personnel and nonpersonnel services, is $1,215,409. Separate from the corporation’s operating budget is the corporation’s capital expense authorization, which will be individually approved by the corporation’s board of directors under separate actions throughout the year.

The corporation’s fiscal year 2017-18 capital expense authorization is $34,263,456. This includes, but is not limited to, the remaining costs on the design and construction of Explore & More Children’s Museum; design and construction of the carousel project; activation of the South and North Aud Block; design and construction of the historic pavilion/stage/facade/restrooms; Canalside wayfinding signage; and Canalside events, programming, site operations, maintenance and utility costs. Additionally, ECHDC is funding various projects at the Outer Harbor, including, but not limited to, operations, maintenance and utility costs; and access/activation design and construction. Funding for ECHDC’s capital budget will consist of both existing and anticipated funds from the NYPA, New York state and the Federal Highway Administration.

The board also authorized a memorandum of understanding with State Parks for operations and maintenance of land associated with ECHDC-owned property on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. State Parks and ECHDC successfully completed a scope of services (trash removal, facilities maintenance, general landscaping) for years 2015 and 2016, and are in agreement to extend the partnership through 2017. The funding amount is not to exceed $126,000.

The ECHDC is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York State governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corp. (d/b/a Empire State Development) as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two nonvoting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County executive and the City of Buffalo mayor.

As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, the ECHDC supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor.

For more information on ECHDC, visit

DL&W Terminal could be a destination under new NFTA plan

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Article written by James Fink 12/14/16

Turning the DL&W Terminal into a transportation destination for Canalside and the Cobblestone District may be closer than many realize.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority hopes to secure federal funding for an environmental review of the historic South Park Avenue and within the next year, it could be turned into a development-ready site.

That’s the upshot from a key NFTA executive.

Tom George, NFTA, public transit director, said during a briefing with Buffalo Place Inc. officials that the authority has made the DL&W Terminal redevelopment one of its top development priorities.

“We got a large asset, with a lot of square footage,” George said. “It’s time to leverage what’s happening in Canalside and the Cobblestone district.”

The drive to use the 99-year-old DL&W Terminal, tucked behind KeyBank Center, is not a new one. Over the years, the NFTA has attempted to find private sector interest in using portions of the building, especially its largely vacant second floor.

In recent months, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, has been pushing the NFTA to address the terminal issue.

This spring, the authority decided on a $43 million redevelopment plan that will see a Metro Rail stop be incorporated into the building’s first floor, with the stop overlooking the Buffalo River and Riverwalk. Retail kiosks would be placed on the second floor with a pair of elevated bridges over South Park Avenue connecting the terminal with KeyBank Center.

“We’d love to create a new front door,” George said.

The plan would require little interior renovation work.

Besides the Metro Rail station and retail offerings, the NFTA is considering building docks and slips on the terminal’s waterside.

“This is true opportunity for a public and private partnership,” George said.

George said some private-sector development interests have approached the NFTA about possible projects on the second floor.

The terminal’s second floor has 80,000-square-feet of enclosed space and another 60,000-square-foot patio facing east towards Michigan Avenue.

The key, George said, is to secure the $500,000 needed to underwrite the environmental impact study. Federal agencies are being approached for the funds.

George hopes to have the money secured and study underway by this spring, a move that would make any redevelopment plans ready to be enacted by late 2017.

“We are trying to get the highest and best use out of the facility,” George said.

Read the entire article here.

‘New Buffalo’ Spurs Growth In Cobblestone District

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Driving through Buffalo, you will notice the skyline rising and buildings expanding – and the Historic Cobblestone District mimics the same state.

As you enter the historic entertainment district, you’ll be pleased to witness steel structures rising above the incumbent buildings which call the Historic Cobblestone District Home. Throughout the day, the sound of rumbling industrial machinery confirm new buildings are being brought to life.

Buffalo is in an era of revitalization and new development in the thriving Cobblestone District is no different. Below are a few projects to keep an eye on, as the Cobblestone District grows.

Buffalo River Landing

Abandoned for decades, the freight house fell into a state of disrepair that made its safe rehabilitation impossible.

$18 million later, ‘contemporary living at 1 south street’ has begun to take center stage as the exterior structure overlooks the Buffalo River. Like many buildings in the Historic Cobblestone District, Buffalo River Landing will pay homage to the historical significance of the area. As part of the plans, the freight house’s brick foundation will remain and be visible from the water’s edge.

The luxury apartments boasts living arrangements from 900-square feet to 1,800-square feet and a priceless view of an area that the queen city was built upon more than 150 years ago. The mixed-use building will also offer professional space for commercial tenants. The apartments are projected to open by the end of 2016.

Learn more here.

Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino

Located in the Historic Cobblestone District, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino continues to experience growth on a number of fronts.

First, business is booming for the Cobblestone District neighbor as locals and visitors alike make the most of the Buffalo Renaissance. As a result of the strong financial state the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino is currently in, a $40 million expansion is currently underway just three years after the casino’s opening.

The expansion to the casino welcomes two floors of additional space that will increase the casino’s facility by more than 50,000 square feet. The new space will house more than 300 additional slot machines, entertainment space, new Western Door restaurant, and an expansion of the Buffalo Savors Bar & Grill.

The final steel beam was set in the beginning of May and the expanded portion of the casino is slated to open spring 2017.

Learn more here.

It was also recently reported that Pegula Sports and Entertainment have reach an agreement to purchase the historic building located at 79 Perry Street in the Cobblestone District, which hints to further development in the coming months.

Smiles at the BBQ and Blues Bash- Buffalo News

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Buffalo News

Monday, June 20, 2016

Don Nieman/Special to The News

BBQ & Blues Bash on Illinois Street in the Cobblestone District was a benefit for Gateway-Longview and featured barbecue from Big Belly BBQ, J & L Barbecue, Babz BBQ and Fat Bob’s Smokehouse. The acclaimed Tommy Z Band was among the musical highlights.

View the photo gallery here.

Helium Comedy Club Is The Talk Of The Town

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Jokes. Laughs. Food. What can be better than that?

Apparently, not too much.

Helium Comedy Club, located in the Historic Cobblestone District, in Downtown Buffalo, has solidified its place as the premium spot for comedic performances in Western New York.

Fortunately, Helium Comedy Club provides its audience with food options from Elements, an in-house contemporary lounge. to serve high-quality food and drinks fit for a night filled with endless laughing and unforgettable entertainment.

Elements’ menu can be seen here.

Part of Helium’s successful reign as the area’s premier comedic destination is its community involvement with local comedians.mic

Open Mic Night, which is an opportunity for local comedians, both fresh and seasoned, are given the opportunity to show what they have-is held most Tuesday nights at 8pm.

For people who are interested in jumping into the comedic realm can sign up Comedy Classes dubbed “Stand-Up Comedy 101” which give new comedians the proper tools and foundation to lift showcase their newly founded talents

For experienced comedians, competitions such as Buffalo’s Funniest Person Contest, which runs May 31- June 11, 2016 serves as the proper platform for their interests.The comedian crowned “Buffalo’s Funniest” will be awarded $1,200.

Make your way down and see what the talk is about.

Follow Helium Comedy Club on Twitter

Like Helium Comedy Club on Facebook

Follow Helium Comedy Club on Instagram

Canalside, Source of Pride for the City of Buffalo, NY

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It was only a few years ago when the area, now known as Canalside, was an empty lot of land. Outside of the neighboring Buffalo & Erie County Naval Military Park, there was very little enticing people to visit Buffalo’s Waterfront. As a result, there was an atmosphere infused with disappointment – that the City of Buffalo, once a mighty city born from the creation of the Erie Canal, was lifeless.

To revitalize the Queen City, Buffalo would need a spark, an attraction that would jump start Buffalo’s presence on a national scale.

fire works

Fast forward a few years later, and you are surrounded by modern buildings that are almost as high as local’s confidence in what the city has to offer. Now, a thriving city populated with building cranes on each block, serving as a sign of economic progression, local businesses wear “Buffalo” as a badge and symbol, that Buffalo is on the rise, and there is a venue at the center of Buffalo’s flourishing culture that continues to pump pride into Buffalo.


CanalsideCanalside is Buffalo’s premier outside venue, hosting a long list of concerts ranging from Rock to Hip-Hop, reaching the diverse population that calls Buffalo home. Canalside also hosts fundraising events such as Relay for Life and the JDRF Walk, which raise money to battle disease that affect not only thousands of locals in Buffalo, but millions of people across the globe.

With the free concerts every Thursday, ice skating in the winter, kayaking during the summer, and festivals to celebrate Buffalo’s culture and heritage, Canalside’s activity mimics the rapid progression of the city of Buffalo. Buffalo’s premier outdoor venue has recognized the role it has played in the revitalization of the Queen City. With that responsibility, Canalside has over 1,000 events planned in 2016 along it’s 21 acre waterfront for locals and visitors to enjoy.

There is a buzz in the air, accompanied by excitement and pride, as we watch the City of Buffalo transform right before our eyes, similar to the lot which lay empty only a few years ago. A full list of events planned for Canalside can be found on the Canlaside website –

Venues in Historic Cobblestone District received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence

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With more than 40 businesses located in the Historic Cobblestone District, there is no shortage of diversity. Companies range from economic development firms to entertainment venues.

The various organizations form the Historic Cobblestone District, an area located in downtown Buffalo, NY, built upon history from the 1800’s, now elevated by Buffalo’s cultural Renaissance. While venues in the Historic Cobblestone District provide visitors unforgettable experiences, the companies work together, and it shows with the increase of visitors and events taking place in the Historic Cobblestone District.

Four venues in particular, Canalside, Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, First Niagara Center and Pierce Arrow Museum, all received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. TripAdvisor awards a Certificate of Excellence to “accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers.” All four also rank in Trip Advisor’s Top 20 Things to do in Buffalo.


Canalside Buffalo, NY
Ranks #2 of 138 TripAdvisor’s “Things to do in Buffalo”

From free outdoor concerts to ice skating with the family, Canalside Buffalo is the place where memories are made. While enjoying the activities at Canalside Buffalo, be sure to grab a bite at one of Buffalo’s many food trucks. Canalside has a 4.5 out of 5 visitor rating

Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park

Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Naval Park
Ranks #4 of 138 TripAdvisor’s “Things to do in Buffalo”

Take a step back in time while touring the USS Little Rock and USS The Sullivans and gaze upon tanks and aircraft in the Naval Park Museum. Located on the revitalized Buffalo waterfront, the Naval Park has plenty to offer. The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park has a 4.5 out of 5 visitor rating

First Niagara Center

First Niagara Center Buffalo, NY
Ranks #5 of 138 TripAdvisor’s “Things to do in Buffalo”

Looking for something to do? Look no further! First Niagara Center hosts world-renowned performers, musicians and events every week. First Niagara Center is also home to Buffalo’s professional hockey and lacrosse teams, the Buffalo Sabres and Bandits. First Niagara Center has 4.5 out of 5 visitor rating.

Pierce-Arrow Museum

Ranks #17 of 138 TripAdvisor’s “Things to do in Buffalo”

Take a stroll down memory lane as the Pierce Arrow Transportation Museum showcases antique automobiles and bikes. It’s only right to observe historic vehicles that can only be found in Buffalo, NY.  Pierce-Arrow Museum has a 4.5 out of 5 visitor rating.

While these four venues received this honor, the Historic Cobblestone District is filled with businesses, organizations and venues that are leading the City of Buffalo to excellence.