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Forty Thieves restaurant to offer tap cocktails, stuffed potatoes

The patio is furnished, the shelves behind the bar are full of liquor, and beer is flowing at 727 Elmwood Ave. once again.

Forty Thieves Kitchen & Bar, its newest incarnation, has started its soft opening. Food will have to wait until next week, though.

The restaurant is named after New York's first gang, made up of Irish immigrants, said owner Tommy Cowan, who grew up with partner Brian Scanlon in South Buffalo. The place is decorated with black and white photographs from Buffalo and New York City history.

"We wanted to do something Irish pub style but not in-your-face Irish," said Cowan. "I was watching the movie "Gangs of New York," and the name kind of stuck."

Cowan is a partner in Doc Sullivan's, Midtown Kitchen and MTK Prime. It's the first restaurant for Scanlon, a former manager at Colter Bay, Charlie's Boat Yard and other places.

An image of South Buffalo boxing champion Jimmy Slattery adorns the wall at Forty Thieves. (Forty Thieves)

The space, once Blue Monk, now has a custom-made steel back bar. It will offer 22 taps of draft beer, along with some of the only cocktails on tap in the area. At least to start, Forty Thieves will be pouring a house Manhattan, bourbon sangria and an Old Fashioned flavored with cinnamon and bacon. "We've been playing around with it, and it works," Cowan said. "It's a little different, but it's delicious."

Once the kitchen is online, a tavern-style menu will include sandwiches, fish fries and wings. Beef on weck wings, Smitty style wings and spicy garlic wings are among the unusual flavors.

The menu will also include giant stuffed potatoes, in flavors like shepherd's pie, and creamed corn with bacon. Salads, soups and more will round out the menu.

"We want it to be a pub-style place, where people can come in three or four days a week and have a sandwich and a beer," said Cowan, "a place people can call a second home."

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