We were sad when The Warehouse closed. Located just off the Blasdell Thruway exit, it was a nice place to meet our Southtowns friends, especially during the Sabres season to catch a game.
After several months of driving by an old faded sign, we noticed a new one this spring along with a slightly new name: The Original Warehouse.
Would it be the same? It was time to investigate.
Inside, we noticed a fresh coat of paint and a more open feel thanks to the removal of shelving used to divide the areas. Arcade games looked updated, yet the thankfully quirky mini bowling lanes remain.
Kids can play games to win prize tickets while adults can hang out at tables and keep an eye on them. A dart board area straddles the the dining area which buffers the bar from the arcade. In short, everyone co-habitats.
The bar was updated and a fire burned in a large lovely stone fireplace. Was it new?
Our bartender Alex said it had been there all along. (She had worked at The Warehouse prior to its closing.) Apparently, "the previous owner kept it blocked off.” Why? It was awesome, especially on a cold night and it totally changed the vibe.
Draft beer is on the safe side: Sam Adams, EBC Blueberry, Blue Moon, Bud Light, Coors Light, etc., with Big Ditch Hayburner IPA, 42 North Oatmeal Stout and Goose Island IPA mixed in. Angry Orchard Rose Hard Cider was on tap, too. Pints start at $4.
Bottles include lots of domestic and Canadian choices. For non-beer drinkers, an assortment of the low calorie Truly spiked sparkling waters round out a list. Prices start at $4. Drinks start at around $6, with specialty cocktails in the $9 range. Wines start at $5.
Alex told us cocktail and the food menus are being redone, so look for them shortly. In the meantime, like the former Warehouse, pizza and wings are (and will be) on the menu and they're still darn tasty. A large pie starts at around $16 for cheese, with an additional charge for toppings. Specialty pies like the house white, barbecued pulled chicken and stuffed hot pepper are from $13 to $22, for small to large.
Wings come half, single and double ($7/$13/$24) with a variety of sauces from the usual hot/medium/mild/suicide to several barbecue styles, garlic Parmesan and Chiavetta's Barbecue.
Pizza and wing packs combine one topping pizza, wings, fries and a pitcher of pop or domestic beer with prices from around $35 to $54 (no refills).
Our pizzas were solid, with a light crust that’s not too thick or thin. We split our triple order of wings into 15 hot and 15 Carolina Gold barbecue (a sweet, tangy sauce).
If pizza and wings isn’t your deal, there are burgers and sandwiches ($10 to $15 with fries) and salads ($11 to $13). Appetizers and finger foods ($3.50 to $10) include fryer faves like sweet potato tots, clam strips and fried pickles. A fish fry is served Friday and Saturday ($12).
Like reconnecting with an old friend, we hope The Original Warehouse sticks around. Especially now that the Sabres season is looking up, we might actually leave our couches during the long slog through winter to catch a game.
Address: 4360 Milestrip Road, Blasdell (823-5500)
Hours: Opens at 11:30 a.m. daily.
The scene: Part sports bar, part pizzeria.
Specials: Happy Hour from noon to 6 p.m. with half-off select drafts and well drinks; select wines are $5.
Game specials: Five for $13 domestic beer buckets for Bills/Sabres games. The sound is down; sound down, game call turned up.
Draft/bottle beer: 16 taps, 14 bottles.
“I see it, but how do I get to it?”: Visible from the NY State Thruway, The Original Warehouse is set back from Milestrip Road next to the Blasdell Exit 56 (Milestrip). Pull into the Econo Lodge drive and head straight back.
Nearby: New Era field is four miles away so it's a good location to meet up before or after the game.
Parking: Ample parking.
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