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Buffalo's Best Grill owner working on Barrel Factory restaurant

Tony Formato, owner of Buffalo's Best Grill, said he's working on opening a counter-service restaurant and catering facility in Barrel Factory, the 114-year-old former warehouse building in the Old First Ward.

It will be the food service provider for the mixed-use facility at 65 Vandalia St., home to Lakeward Spirits Distillery, Snowy Owl Kombucha, Elevator Alley Kayak and event space. A brewery and a winery are expected in the near future, said Formato, who opened Buffalo's Best Grill in 2011.

Snowy Owl Kombucha perched in the Old First Ward

The menu of the Barrel Factory restaurant, still under development, will have dishes that include neighbors' products. "We could do a beer cheese dip to go along with a Bavarian pretzel, and we could do something with the wine that will be made there," he said.

Food will include pizzas and sandwiches, including a Reuben, he said, a must in the Old First Ward. There also will be salads, soups, antipasto and smoked salmon trays.

Customers will order and pick up their food from a counter. "We're not going to have waitresses," Formato said.

Interior work and permitting remains to be done before the restaurant can open, which Formato expects to happen this fall. Initially, it would open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday.

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