The Hatch to add cocktails, craft beer - The Buffalo News
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The Hatch to add cocktails, craft beer

The Hatch plans to add a full bar under its new operators, aiming to deliver cocktails crafted with fresh ingredients plus a craft beer selection.

Construction at the Erie Basin Marina snack bar is underway, and the opening target is May 18, said Jason Briandi, a consultant working for AcQua Restaurant & Banquets, the operator.

Besides the expanded drink menu, “The bones of it will be the same,” Briandi said. “It’ll have an emphasis on fresh ingredients, fast, friendly service, with summer-themed cocktails, hand-pressed juices, house-squeezed purées.”

On the food front, it’ll still be grilled hot dogs and burgers at the fore, plus wraps and salads, made to order or ready to grab. Hand-cut fries, regular and sweet potato. The ice cream stand opened Saturday, he said.


Edward Forster will be the executive chef at Blood and Sand, shaping a market-driven menu of creative food priced to become a regular part of diners’ lives.

That’s his goal, anyway. Forster will be a partner in the venture, which is aiming for a mid-June opening at 333 Franklin St. He joins ace mixologist Jon Karel in the venture, with Joshua and Jenna Miles, of Rochester’s the Revelry.

“We want to make a place where you feel at home, with unparalleled cocktails and food, and an energetic experience,” Miles said. “We are creating a place where, six days a week, you know you got a place that’s the pinnacle, where you want to go for cocktails and food.” Dishes should be $20 or under, except dishes big enough to serve multiple people, Miles said.

By the time Blood and Sand opens in mid-June or thereabouts, Forster will have a core of regular dishes – in small plates, large plates and group plates – ready to go. Then there will be the specials, inspired by the best ingredients he can find, Forster said.

Don’t expect him to lead a local food cult, though. “I want to use the best products we can get,” he said. “It’s not a movement, it’s not a fad, it’s just easier and tastes better. As far as our restaurant goes, we’re going to use those things because they taste good, not because it looks good on a menu, or increases guests’ perception. It’s all about flavor and being responsible.”

Forster has worked in some of the best kitchens in the country. He was the chef at Mike A’s at the Lafayette when I gave it 10 of 10 plates last year. Blood and Sand’s menu will be his to shape from the ground up.

He sketched out a few examples. A tartine, or open-faced sandwich, of rabbit terrine, Armagnac-braised apricot, pistachios, grainy mustard, goat cheese and arugula. Lots of his dishes have an alcoholic beverage used for flavor, he said, though not for any alcohol content.

Forster said he was looking to use local ingredients whenever practical, like a small plate of Oles Farm carrots with spruce bitters, orange, harissa, Cardamaro streusel and spruce tips. Yes, from a spruce tree. Forster makes his own bitters, too, so expect to see those show up in multiple guises.

Big plates for sharing between two, four or more people also will be part of the plan, Forster said. That aims to feed into the communal aspect of the meals served there, and allow for a different sort of focus in the kitchen. An example might be whole fluke with crispy capers, brown butter lemon purée and limoncello-glazed baby wax beans.

Coming soon: Presto aims to open by the third week of May in the former Cafe 59 space, 57 Allen St. It’ll be a “comfort food bistro” with salads, sandwiches and seasonal dinner entrees, said Lucille Altieri, who’s opening the place with Janelle Dubenion, a former Globe Market manager. It’ll serve lunch, dinner and deliver, with about 50 seats. No alcohol. As the name might suggest, “We’ll get it to you quickly, whether it’s to your table or your door,” said Altieri, a former cook at Coco.

Underway: A classic blue-collar bar near the Cobblestone District could have new life as a classy cocktail stop.

The Malamute, 211 South Park Ave., is on the way to becoming Ballyhoo.

Timothy Stevens is a Buffalo native who made his career in the San Diego craft cocktail scene. He came back and helped revamp Hutch’s bar while looking for his own place.

He’s opened a half-dozen bars and restaurants on the West Coast, but this is his first place. He’ll be offering fine cocktails and craft beer, and a menu that’s a way off, but will include sausage. He’s gutting the place and hopes to be open by September.

Underway: Kanitra McCarter is working on Poize, at 2081 Niagara St., the former Klub Karaoke space. The menu hasn’t been decided yet, but a basic tavern menu with wings and burgers is likely, she said. Interior work has her hoping to be open by August.

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