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An innovative spot for burgers, beer opens on Allen Street

Allen Burger Venture opened its doors in time for St. Patrick’s Day festivities Saturday, with 24 draft beers and an arsenal of canned beers. At 175 Allen St., it offers beer collection that’s heavy on craft brews, but there is also Blue Light.

Another heavy aspect is the handles on the beer tower, a collection of black wrought iron implements like pitchfork and hay hook, hammer and tongs, that have been welded into a battery of beer dispensers. “I wanted something different,” said owner Mike Shatzel. “It’s Allen Street, so there has to be a little edge.”

ABV also features one of the first tap wine systems in the city. There’s four lines, with a pinot grigio, chardonnay, petit syrah and a Spanish red at present. “It’s greener, without having the waste of bottles, and there’s less oxygen spoiling the wine, there’s a better yield,” said Shatzel. “It should be interesting, but I don’t know how people are going to react to it.”

The food menu starts March 24, Shatzel said. It’ll feature a menu of tricked-out burgers from the sandwich architects behind Coles and Blue Monk.

Thrones party set: Also coming at Blue Monk: an April 1 party celebrating the Season Five debut of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” There will be a costume contest, and the debut of a special Brewery Ommegang draft called Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison. The event starts at 7 p.m.

“We’re going to be one of 13 bars in the country,” Shatzel said. “They’re doing a huge release of the beer, and stuff like a costume contest. Shatzel is a big fan of the show as well as Ommegang’s beer. “My wife is working on her Mother of Dragons outfit,” he said, and they haven’t decided who he will be. “One guy I look like is Hodor, so I don’t know about that.”

The show premieres April 12.

New power breakfast: Public Espresso’s third-wave coffee kiosk inside Hotel @ the Lafayette now brings to downtown Buffalo some of the finest breakfast pastries, bagels and treats in Erie County.

Public Espresso offers fresh-roasted coffee made into drinks like a goat’s-milk cortado with an unusual level of care about source materials, handling and production. Elm Street Bakery and BreadHive offer some of the best breakfast baked goods around; last week their offerings included a bacon cheddar chive corn muffin, sour cream pecan coffee cake, cinnamon sugar baked doughnut, and bagels in everything, sesame and plain flavors.

Starting at 7 a.m. you can get them by lining up in the lobby of the hotel, 391 Washington St.

Vegetarian cause advances: Grindhaus Cafe is moving forward. After a slow winter, progress is resuming on Buffalo’s only all-vegetarian restaurant, at 160 Allen St., corner of Park, the old New York Pizzeria. “We were at a construction standstill for the past several months, but we’re finally getting back on track and resuming work this week,” said owner Megan Stewart. “I’ll have running water, isn’t that exciting?”

The goal is to be open by June, Stewart said. The delay cost her two prospective staff members.

“Overall, the support from the vegan and vegetarian community has been overwhelming,” said Stewart. “It’s given me, I guess, a little more wind beneath my wings when I start feeling like crap about this project and wishing I had done something differently.”

Brunch starting: Sunday brunch starts at The Black Sheep, 367 Connecticut St., on March 29, reports chef-owner Steven Gedra. Dishes will include rosemary-basted Oles Farm eggs with Parmigiano Reggiano, greens and polenta; assorted scones with housemade jams and butter; smoked T-Meadow ham with eggs, biscuit, creamed greens; and corned beef hash and eggs, called H.R.E.A.M. That stands for “Hash rules everything around me,” making it the only brunch dish in Buffalo named after a Wu-Tang Clan song.

Shea’s duet debuts: Osteria 166 is joining Mulberry Italian Ristorante’s operation at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

Della Mostra, at 658 Main St., next door to the theater, will now feature dishes from Osteria, the downtown Italian restaurant, as well as Mulberry’s famed meatball and other dishes. Osteria’s risotto sticks and burrata will be there, along with pork osso buco ($18) and strozzapreti Bolognese ($18).

The new menu kicks off Wednesday with the opening of “Phantom of the Opera.”

Anyone can walk in, but since it’s only open during major Shea’s events, it’s mostly ticket holders. During shows included in season tickets, the restaurant tends to be full, but Phantom is a special event. The collaboration will continue, said Joe Jerge, a Mulberry owner. “We’re planning on making this a long-term thing.”

Reservations suggested, at 847-1410 ext. 187.

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