Buffalo is getting its own pickle and kraut operation.
R.J. Marvin is working on opening Barrel + Brine at 257 Carolina St., about eight blocks from City Hall.
“We’re moving in Oct. 1, and should get some stuff fermenting in two weeks,” said Marvin. If all goes well, he said, “We’re hoping to launch by the end of November.”
Marvin, who will operate Barrel + Brine with his wife Lindsey, aims to use traditional preservation techniques from numerous cultures to preserve the work of Western New York farmers. Sauerkraut and kimchi are just the beginning, with a wide variety of pickles and kombucha tea also planned.
Marvin, from Dunkirk, said part of his inspiration was growing up in a Sicilian family. Grandparents Mae and Peter Solazzo of Fredonia had a cellar lined with jars of tomatoes and caponatina, a vegetable relish similar to caponata.
Marvin worked in a variety of restaurants before getting into preserving, pickling and fermentation at Elm Street Bakery, where he worked for about a year. “I was lucky enough to get into Elm Street Bakery,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be a cook. But when I was at the bakery, I was able to learn different preservation methods, how the Japanese do it, how the Chinese do it, how the Germans do it. Then I realized that was what I wanted to devote my time to.”
Though his preservation plans are rooted in tradition, Marvin said, he wants to be open to making new traditions. “I would like to see the space become a place for food experiments,” he said. “What kind of misos can we make? What can we do with these ingredients that hasn’t been done yet?”
Tacos coming: Deep South Taco, the Mexican street food restaurant under construction on Ellicott Street, should be open by the end of October.
“We’ll probably do an official grand opening around the first of November, but my guess is that we’ll open in October,” said operator Richard Hamilton.
The space, at 291 Ellicott St., is still under construction. Hamilton plans a menu of authentic tacos on house-made corn tortillas and other Mexican favorites. Outside there will be space for about 135 people, with 75 inside, and room for 50 on a second-story deck, he said.
Among other features, the place will have a sound system dedicated to playing vinyl records.
Construction plans are being reviewed for a second planned Deep South Taco location, at 1707 Hertel Ave. “We’re going to take the winter to build it,” said Hamilton.
Open: Sato Ramen, 3268 Main St., opened last week. It’s a Japanese-style ramen-ya, a restaurant specializing in house-made noodles. Ramen in a variety of broths and buckwheat noodles called soba are the pieces de resistance, though snacking opportunities abound at the University Heights spot near UB’s South Campus, like the deep-fried-and-glazed daigaku imo, or “university potatoes.” Owners Joshua and Satomi Smith already run Sato on Elmwood Avenue, which has a more broad Japanese-centered menu.
For sale: The owner of Colter Bay Grill is listening to offers.
Owner Dennis Brinkworth has sold or closed the rest of his bar and restaurant holdings in recent years, including Brinks, House O’ Quinn and Morrissey’s. The latest location was looked after by his father Dennis Sr. until his death in 2007. Since then, Brinkworth has been running the restaurant in addition to a full-time job as a beer distributor.
The beer bar and grill has occupied the same corner of Delaware Avenue and Allen Street since 1988. It is listed at $399,000.
Brinkworth has already received two offers for the business, both from local entrepreneurs who intend to keep the restaurant as is.
“They’ll massage it a little, but I think it could use a little massaging,” said Greg Zadrozny, the listing agent for Realty USA.
Colter Bay will remain open during the sale process. - Samantha Christmann
Closed: Dug’s Dive, 1111 Fuhrmann Blvd., has closed. Owner Tucker Curtin opened it at the Small Boat Harbor nine years ago, and expanded the city’s ideas of what was possible on the waterfront.
Closed: Eckl’s, Orchard Park family restaurant in historic tavern, served its last beef or weck Saturday.
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Story topics: Andrew Galarneau/ barrel + brine/ Colter Bay/ Deep South Taco/ Dennis Brinkworth/ Dug's Dive/ Eckl's/ R.J. Marvin/ Restaurant notes/ restaurants/ richard hamilton/ sato ramen/ university heights