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Sunday goals: Luscious roast beef, live music at Glen Park Tavern

Here’s something to put on your 2018 winter bucket list: Sunday afternoon music at Glen Park Tavern. It’s one of the features Ellie Grenauer, who owns Glen Park with her father, Jim, and her cousin Chris Robshaw, brought to the business.

The trio is in its 19th year of ownership at the property that’s been a tavern since 1887. Another successful feature is a roast beef carving station that offers a sandwich piled high with roast beef that literally melts in your mouth.

Ellie took a break during the hustle and bustle of the holidays to talk about the friendly tavern with an atmosphere that attracts regulars from across the country.

Question: How does a Williamsville tavern attract regular customers from across the United States?

Answer: When we started it was one of our goals to have it be a “Cheers” type atmosphere. With the Hampton Inn right here, a lot people come down from the hotel and feel very welcome.

Our food is not fancy, but it’s well done and it’s tavern made. It helps relax people in a comfortable atmosphere. We have regulars from all over the country so it’s pretty cool. They come in for business trips and we’re they’re first stop.

Glen Park Tavern owner Ellie Grenauer adds the thick batter into the Tom & Jerry, a popular winter cocktail at the restaurant. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Cheers to the holidays: The News' Tom & Jerry Finder

Q: That’s a good way to introduce others to Buffalo’s own beef on weck. Is that your most popular menu item?

A: Our highest selling item is the roast beef. We have a hand-carved station that we put in in 2007 and that really made a difference. We always did hand carving and set up a little station and then we made it our signature item.

The roast beef is excellent and the way my chef spices it, it has a little Buffalo twist to it with [Frank's] hot sauce and garlic and spices before we cook it.

Jan Frappier and Veronica Schwab enjoy a holiday lunch and a window seat at Glen Park Tavern. (Elizabeth Carey/Special to The News.)

Q: How does your menu appeal to a variety of people?

A: Because we are a tavern we are most well-known for our sandwiches; our Gouda burger is delicious, but we do have excellent fish as well. Every day, all day we serve huge fish fries and we also have a mini fish fry.

I buy produce from Seabert Farms - they make our salads one of the best on Main Street because everything is so fresh. We have a well-rounded menu with a children’s menu so we are family friendly.

Q: You serve cupcakes on Cupcake Tuesday. How did that get started?

A: So I was watching the news and saw a bakery called Cake Crazy and the owner was Culinary Institute trained. Our desserts were just OK so I said, “I’m going to talk to her and see if we can partner.”

We hit it off right away. It’s just something fun that my servers look forward to on Tuesdays. I do buy my desserts from her like sweet potato pound cake and chocolate crunch cake.

Shetice Williams' grit, smarts fuel Cake Crazy

Q: Your traditional mahogany bar is beautiful. What drinks are usually mixed behind it?

A: We have a Moscow mule and a couple of different kinds of mules. We’re more like a classic bar with a really good Manhattan or martini. We feature traditional cocktails with a little bit of a twist.

Glen Park Tavern's mahogany bar is a popular spot for both meals and cocktails. (Elizabeth Carey/Special to The News)

Q: What do you have planned for the New Year?

A: In January, mid-January, on Sundays from 2 to 5 we do music – it could be jazz, or covers, typically a one or two-piece band. That’s been really popular.

When I lived in LA, Sunday was my only day off and I’d go out on Sunday afternoon for great music. So I tried this - it started out slow and is now popular. It’s a fun thing to do on Sunday in January in winter – what else do you have to do?

INFO: Glen Park Tavern, 5507 Main St., Williamsville. Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 626-9333.

*Read Elizabeth Carey's last interview:

Holiday cocktails are worth toasting at Vera

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