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July 7, 2022

At a press conference this morning,  we had the opportunity to hear from Council Member Nowakowski, Erie County Legislator Johnson, and Cobblestone Business owners. The meeting was held outside, displaying the vibrant Cobblestone Commons murals. Discussion consisted of exciting plans for the future of the neighborhood, as well as the Historic Cobblestone District’s biggest event of the year: Cobblestone Live! 

Cobblestone Live Brings People Together  

Josh Holtzman, Owner & Operator of Buffalo Iron Works, discussed the upcoming music festival and how it brings a diverse group of people together.

Josh:  “This district is incredibly important. I’ve been lucky enough to work and be partners in businesses down here for the last 8 years. We want to showcase the beauty of this district in so many different ways. One of the best ways to do that is to grow a music festival and bring people together from all walks of life.”

What Can One Expect To See At Cobblestone Live? 

There is going to be plenty of fun things going on at the Cobblestone Live. Local vendors, food trucks, music, a Mister Sizzles eating contest, and much more. 

Josh:  “At this festival you’re going to have different music, different vendors, local artisans, food, beverages… everything that us Buffalonians love to see down here. Cobblestone Live is two days and it’s really a beautiful experience.” 

When and Where is it? 

The Cobblestone District is located in Downtown Buffalo, adjacent to the Michigan Avenue Lift Bridge. The district is bounded by four different streets – South Park, Mississippi, Illinois, and Columbia. The music Festival will be taking place July 15th and 16th (next weekend). 

Josh: “ We invite everybody, of all ages to come on down. We usually see about 3,000 – 5,000 people over the weekend. This will be our fourth year doing it and we appreciate the support of all of you because it’s a lot of work, and a lot of time goes into it, but it’s really amazing when it all comes together.” 

Cobblestone District is The Entertainment District of Buffalo 

When you look at the entirety of this entertainment district, there’s distilleries, there’s breweries, a comedy club, restaurants, and a night club that is adjacent to a casino. The festival is a great opportunity to see all that this area has to offer. 

Josh: “You’re going to have music from different genres, food from all parts of the world, and it’s really just a great opportunity to come down to this safe area in the Cobblestone District, and to really showcase what we’re all trying to do down here with the different businesses coming together.”

“We are trying to beautify this entire neighborhood, just to make sure that it’s not forgotten about and people know this is the Entertainment District of Buffalo.” 

Preserving Its history / Plans for the future

Council Member Mitch Nowakowski discusses the fate of the Cobblestone buildings and the importance of preserving the history of the district.  

Council Member Nowakowski :  “To my left you see the  last remaining structures in the Cobblestone District. Before we move forward in any forms of new builds, we need to make sure the old buildings here in the Cobblestone District are successfully preserved.” 

A lot of folks say “council member why are we preserving old buildings, how do I as a business owner take on that burden? 

“Being that it is a Historic District provides a layer of protection, but also levels of resources from the state help make projects like this feasible and fundable for the future. This group has done a very good job at holding landlords accountable and moving it into housing court to fight for the preservation, in the hopes that we can then move forward.” 

When asked the question, “Council Member, is there any way that this project here will tie into any future relations to the terminal, since it is right across the street?”

Council Member Nowakowski responded , “I absolutely love that you asked that question. Yes, the relationship between the Cobblestone District to that terminal is intrinsic and they work in collaboration with one another. We want that transportation to that terminal to be successful and in order for it to be successful we need volumes of people. We need to move people to and from the Cobblestone District. So, it’s my hope that as we build the entertainment district and we have large volumes of people, especially at night, that they use that form of transportation.

Thank you to Council Member Nowakowski and Cobblestone District business owners for taking the time to speak today. The Historic Cobblestone District is growing as an entertainment district and we are excited to see how it will continue to grow in the future! If you haven’t gotten your ticket for next weekend’s Cobblestone Live Festival, be sure to get your tickets today. GET TICKETS HERE