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Restaurant notes: Buffalo's Best Grill, Stooges Stuffed Burger Bar

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.

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.

Snowy Owl Kombucha perched in the Old First Ward

Lockport burger bar: Work is underway on a family restaurant in Lockport's old City Hall, next to the famed Erie Canal locks.

With owners Joe Blaszczak and Adrienne Seekins guiding construction, Stooges Stuffed Burger Bar is taking shape at 2 Pine St. The historic former municipal building already is home to Flight of Five Winery.

Seekins said that they are working on a "casual family-oriented place" with a full bar. They have applied for a liquor license.

There will be burgers stuffed with cheese and other fillings, plus a chicken burger and a vegan option, she said. Chopped salads, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs and a kids menu also will be included.

Blaszczak is a career chef, and last ran the Main Ingredient in Clarence. Seekins said she had extensive serving experience before taking a job as a court stenographer.

When Stooges Stuffed Burger Bar is finished, there will be about 80 seats, she said. They expect to open this fall.

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