The chic EXPO Market located in Buffalo’s theater district is the vision-come-to-life of developer Nick Sinatra who was inspired to build a local food hall in Buffalo as he experienced at New York City's Gotham West Market.
The artisan food hall tags itself at five restaurants, one bar, all in one place – and it's true. But can you drink in this stylish place? Yes.
Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar on Allen Street and the Gypsy Parlor on Grant Street combined to bring the Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar to EXPO. Located near Shea’s, it's the perfect place place to meet up with friends.
GBGB’s bar runs along a wall at the Main Street entrance. We love that when the weather is warm, EXPO throws open the doors to create an instant patio scene.
There are around 24 craft draft beer choices (including six rotating seasonals). Bottled beers are pretty standard with a couple of odd balls. We cracked up at the $5 Genny beer and shot special.
Cocktails are $10 and made with fresh squeezed juices. For the undecided, Gypsy Juice mixes a patron’s favorite booze with apricot, ginger or black currant juices, etc., for a fresh cocktail of your own imagination.
For those who don't like to think, there's a specialty drink menu. The Allentown Ice Town combines gin, rum, tequila, Pavan (a French liqueur), homemade sour mix and raspberry tea for swanky (yet powerful) version of a Long Island Tea.
I got a look from my fella when I offered to order the Ex On The Street – vodka, Cream de Peche, fresh orange juice with cranberry. Instead it was the scrumptious Blackberry Wine Cooler made with sparkling rose, Cedilla (a berry liqueur) and muddled blackberries.
We bought a GBGB snack bag ($2) from the bartender to fill at dispensers that hold spicy nuts, wasabi peas, goldfish and those mysterious addicting crunchy things.
But when in a food hall, one must eat. So we hit up the Sun Roll stand of the famous Sun Cuisines on Niagara Street.
Had we come on a Sake Monday we could have enjoyed $5 saketinis with our Chicken Curry Mega Sun Roll. Instead we switched drinks to take advantage of Thirsty Thursday's $3 well drinks with any food purchase.
We'll be back to check out other daily food and drink specials such as Tuesday's $2 Breezy Burrito tacos, $2 tequila shots, $2 Corona splits and $5 margaritas. On Wednesday, wines drop $5 glass/$20 bottle wines (usually $7/$28) with an item from Mercato. On Friday, it's a buck off Community Beer Works drafts with a Frank’s gourmet hot dog purchase.
Even Saturday features a special – a $5 Bloody Mary and mimosa with a Newbury Street salad purchase.
Entertainment includes Monday foosball tournaments at 5 p.m. Salsa dancing lessons are the first and third Fridays of the month. Our sweet bartender noted one doesn't need to be a professional for either diversion.
A new Market Barcade features 12 arcade games such as Pac-Man, bubble hockey and darts.
So sit at the bar or a table indoors. Stare at Space Invaders while you suck down a beer. Hang on the patio. Grab food when you feel like it. Whatever. The liberating vibe at GBGB is a breath of fresh air.
617 Main St. (Facebook)
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday for food vendors, while bar opens at 11 a.m. Food vendors are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, while the bar opens at 11 a.m. Bar closes as business dictates.
Scene: The super hip Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar runs drink specials to compliment the food vendors. Murals by local artist Casey William Milbrand grace the walls.
Access: Entrances on Main and Washington streets. Limited street parking; EXPO is a short walk from NFTA Metro Fountain Plaza Station.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes.