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Niagara Falls restaurant opening with focus on local beer

The Craft Kitchen and Bar opens tonight, giving downtown Niagara Falls a showcase for the efforts of New York breweries.

The building, 223 Ferry St., was last Unc's, a bar that closed about five years ago.

Its focus will be on burgers, bourbon and New York craft beer, said manager Weston Hilts. His father, Sean Weber, is an owner of the new restaurant, and Wine on Third, across the street. "There's a lot of places like that in Buffalo, and we wanted to bring that atmosphere to Niagara Falls, where there's not a lot of things like this going on," Hilts said.

Draft beer will flow from 24 taps, with 19 dispensing beers made in New York, including Southern Tier, Hamburg, 12 Gates, Ellicottville, Flying Bison, Big Ditch, Woodcock Bros., and several from downstate.

The food menu covers tavern standards like wings and several burgers, a beer-battered fish fry every day, and a few less-standard offerings like fried cauliflower in chipotle honey.

The building's interior was gutted and rebuilt, Hilts said. The place can hold about 80 now, with more room on a patio. A garage door on the side can open in good weather. It's about two blocks from the Seneca Niagara Casino and Sheraton hotel.

It will be open at 4 p.m. seven days a week, Hilts said, with lunch a possibility this summer. Phone: 600-2337.

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