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Hofbrauhaus German restaurant underway in downtown Buffalo

A Hofbrauhaus is coming to Buffalo after all.

After utility issues delayed building the German beer-hall-styled restaurant across the street from HarborCenter, operator Kevin Townsell has moved his attention to a building a few blocks away, at 190 Scott St.

"I liked that location, but I've grown to like this one better," said Townsell, who owns the Shannon Pub. "It's bigger, it allows me to brew, have a better beer garden and some banquet space."

If everything goes well, it will open by January 2018, he said.

He said the building, a former Upstate Milk plant, is well suited to becoming the ninth U.S. site of Hofbrauhaus, modeled after the famed Munich beer hall. Eight of the franchised operations are currently serving other cities.

With 25-foot-high ceilings and 50-foot-wide clear spans, "it's a perfect beer hall," said Townsell. Former clean rooms will become brewery and kitchen space.

The restaurant will only sell its own beer, brewed in various standard and seasonal German styles. Its food menu will be about two-thirds Hofbrauhaus standards, like sauerbraten and schnitzel, with the rest local favorites, like chicken wings.

It will seat about 500 inside, at long tables, and about 200 in an outdoor beer garden, Townsell said. Customers will be served by staff dressed in traditional German outfits like lederhosen and dirndls.

"It's designed for casual meals, and big groups, so teams can stop by after their hockey tournament," he said.

It'll be open for lunch and dinner, he said. There will be live music every night, and some afternoons.

"It's designed to be casual dining, affordable – and fun," he said. "Fun is the key word."

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