Thursday, October 16, 2014

Local beer-meisters differ on fall brews

As the craft beer industry continues to grow in Buffalo, breweries on the West Side disagree on inventory for the fall season. Resurgence Brewing Co., which  opened on Niagara Street in late June, embraces the change with autumn. Featuring beers with the popular fall flavors, such as pumpkin, Alex Jordon, account manager, explains the goal to produce a good transitional beer as the weather moves from hot summer days to a cooler fall afternoon. Around the corner is Community Beer Works, a  brewery with a different perspective on the seasonal changes. President and co-founder Ethan Cox explains how they don’t believe in drinking seasonally. Despite the differences, the leaders at both breweries say they support each other and feel that ultimately they can work together to help strengthen the power of local craft breweries in  Buffalo. By Ryan Gilliam and Nicole Montanino

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mob tour shows seamy days of old West Side

Brad Hahn, executive director of Explore Buffalo, discusses the influence of mob activity as part of a monthly tour through the West Side. The West Side Mob Tour, one of many tours hosted by Explore Buffalo, looks into the harsh lives of the mob families that made their secret livings as bookies, loan sharks and coordinators of other illegal activities, while they led prominent lives in the public eye.   Even today, Hahn says, many traces of the past exist, although the quality of life in the area has greatly improved. For more information on the tour, contact Explore Buffalo online at  The last tour of the season is scheduled for 10a.m., Oct 26 in front of Providence Social Restaurant, 490 Rhode Island St. By Taylor Gesel and Nathaniel Smith

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Press Raw Food & Juice expands, reopens

Zelda, a juicer at Press Raw Food & Juice, restocks the recently expanded selection of healthy food and drink products in the newly remodeled bottling boutique. After a prosperous year since moving her business from Connecticut Street   197 Grant St.,  owner and executive chef Esther Pica closed her shop for a week this September to remodel it, add more parking, extend business hours of the store and increase the availability of cold-pressed juices and raw organic foods, which the staff specializes in selling.  The store sells a selection of 20 daily-made juices, with more recipes being added weekly according to customer demands. By Sarah Minkewicz and Colleen Young

Local organizations prepare fall workshop

Liz Lipsitz, staff member of Urban Roots Garden Center, organizes locally grown pumpkins and gourds for the fall season. From 1-3p.m. on Oct. 18, Urban Roots, in collaboration with Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo, will host its fall garden workshop at 248 Rhode Island St. Participants will learn about preparing their gardens for winter, hear about garlic and how to plant it, how to do vermicomposting and gardening throughout all four seasons. Urban Roots is community-owned and operated, and teams up twice a year, during fall and spring, with Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo to host workshops. Grassroots Gardens cares for multiple gardens located all over the West Side. “It’s really important for us to host these workshops for our community gardeners,” Derek Nichols, program manager for Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo said. “Many of them are novices, and appreciate learning new skills.” Reservations for the workshop can be made by calling (716) 362-8982 or emailing By Laney Hill and Stephanie Vogel

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New farmers market adds to W.S. offerings

     Those with an affinity for farmers markets will have an expanded list to choose from this year, as a new summer indoor/outdoor market that kicked off May 10.
     Connect Market, which will utilize the Horsefeathers building  at 346 Connecticut St., features fresh, organic produce, spices, flowers and bread, among other items, from about 10 vendors. It provides a place at the table for sellers who were unable to get into the Elmwood-Bidwell farmers market.
     Connect Market started as a conversation between Martin Danilowicz, owner of the restaurant Martin Cooks, and Buffalo Rising publisher Newell Nussbaumer. Martin Cooks is one of the five permanent fixtures within Horsefeathers, where Nussbaumer spent time working and writing.
     “It was just a natural progression,” Nussbaumer said. “It started as, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have this year-round?’ and then went from there.”
     Danilowicz called his councilman to get the ball rolling, and Nussbaumer handled the rest, orchestrating what is now Connect Market. The market will run until the start of the annual winter market, around mid-October.
 Nussbaumer hopes to have 15 vendors at the market “soon” and views it as working in synergy with the established markets, including Elmwood-Bidwell and The Peddler flea market on Elmwood and West Ferry. He hopes to create a “market trek” from Elmwood to the West Side, where walkers or bikers can venture to each establishment.
     Danilowicz is excited for the opportunity to create a buzz on his restaurant’s block.
     “I just want to see Connecticut Street busy,” he said. “Years ago, the Italian Festival used to be on this street, but it’s not anymore. Being a tenant on this street now, I just need to see it flourish.” By Angelica Rodriguez and Brandon Waz

Providence Social gets its final touches

Greg Nikiel, center, a contractor from Look At That Home Improvement, works with the rest of his team stripping the roof of Providence Social at 490 Rhode Island St. Property manager Terry Hale said the renovations to the building are 80 percent complete. Redoing the roof and expanding the patio are the two projects remaining. The structure was built in the late 1800s and used to be the Roseland Restaurant, owned by the Romanello family, and was briefly called Prime 490 before Hale’s sister Martha Martin bought the building one and a half years ago. Providence Social was officially opened Fall 2013 by Martin’s son Josh Hanzlian who operates the restaurant. By Sashana Campbell and Andrew Manzella

Monday, May 12, 2014

Federal grant to assist in river clean-up

Michael Basile, a spokesperson for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, discusses the potential behind a recent grant given to the Buffalo Sewer Authority to help clean the Niagara River. The federal grant, which comes from the EPA, totals $500,000. The grant money will be used to bolster a $380 million plan by the sewer authority to improve the city’s sewer system and reduce runoff into the river from storm drains, particularly those in urban sectors like the West Side. By Jeff Pawlak and Brittney Singletary