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Blue Monk last day set - but what a wake to come

The official closing date for Blue Monk, Buffalo’s beloved beer bar, is April 16.

Operator Mike Shatzel, who is “mostly Irish,” despite his German last name, is planning quite a wake. There are keg-tapping nights March 31 and April 1, with more to come, and one more hip-hop Sunday brunch – “An Ode to Phife Dawg” – set for April 3.

He knew people liked the place, Shatzel said, but since he announced he was closing, he’s learned how far Blue Monk wove its way into its fans’ lives. “You get people saying I learned about craft beer here, friends met their wives here,” said Shatzel. “People say you got me off Budweiser and Labatt. People really took Blue Monk to heart.”

That helps make it “a thousand percent” certain that Blue Monk will continue, albeit under a different name, Shatzel said. He’s already fairly certain he can find an even better spot than 727 Elmwood Ave., he said.

“Everyone’s saying, ‘We’ll follow you wherever you go,’” he said. “It’s motivation, it’s gratification. It’s just nice to see your vision appreciated.”

In the meantime, March 31 will feature SingleCut Beersmiths, a Queens brewery serving up Bon Bon 2X TNT Imperial Indian Pale Ale, Mo Shuggie Soulbender IPA, and Softly Spoken Magic Spells IIPA. April 1 will see Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, aged in bourbon barrels. Big Evil Twin Brewery and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery events are coming next, he said.

The kitchen will be serving food for the hip-hop brunch April 3, Shatzel said; when that event was first announced, he wasn't sure.

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