Welcome to our weekly grab bag guide of things to do and places to go in and around Buffalo this weekend.
Pizza, craft beer and skeeball
A lot of change happens slowly, but some change happens all at once, especially when $50 million is involved. Black Rock's Chandler Street is metamorphosing from an area of abandoned warehouses, siphoned off by residential streets, to a food-and-drink hub that will one day include a public pool and an indoor mushroom farm. So far, just Tappo Pizza, Thin Man and Buffalo Cider Hall are open, but the trio already justifies the drive.
Tappo Pizza (166 Chandler St.) finds a home in a tall warehouse. Unlike Tappo's Ellicott Street location, you order food at a kiosk, choosing from a menu of wood-fired pizzas and appetizers, then await a text message alerting you that your food is ready. In the meantime, order a pint of a Thin Man brew at the bar and play some skeeball or foosball.
Hop across the street for hard cider
Perhaps you know Blackbird Cider Works from the grocery store beer aisle, an event or its Niagara County tasting room. It has opened a second location, Buffalo Cider Hall (155 Chandler St., Suite 4), snatching the title of the city's first hard cider hall, a welcome break from dozens of breweries. The patio -- or more aptly, back yard -- is a sprawling green space bordered by brick walls, some covered with a colorful, mismatched mural.
Cycle around the Outer Harbor's new bike park
On May 24, politicians and cyclists gathered around the Outer Harbor to cut a thick blue ribbon, officially opening a new bicycle park. Lakeside Bike Park (225 Fuhrmann Blvd.) features loops, winding paths, obstacles and ramps, designed for all skill levels.
Be one of the first cyclists to wear-in the paths, then take a break to watch the sunlight fade away over the water. The park rents out mountain bikes for $15 an hour or $25 for half a day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Through the end of June, the park is open only on weekends.
[Photo gallery: Lakeside Bike Park]
Refuel with sugar, dairy and sprinkles
Jerk’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream (523 Main St.) brings the old phrase "soda fountain." Order anything from a typical diner milkshake to a loaded sundaes with s'mores, chocolate-covered pretzels, sauces and sprinkles -- the paradox of choice is real here. Choose from more than 30 flavors of hand-crafted soda. Or get the best of both worlds in an ice cream sundae.
Grab a drink, listen to readings inside a silo
Buffalo's mentality seems to be "if you've got it, flaunt it" regarding our silos, leftover from a once prosperous grain industry. Silo City flaunts them well. Duende (85 Silo City Row), stands just outside the silos, in a former office building built in the 1940s. It's a cocktail bar with a light but intriguing small-plate menu that also keeps an active calendar of live music and poetry readings.
Just Buffalo Literary Center holds its reading series at Silo City (105 Silo City Row). On June 1, join authors and literary folk at 7 p.m. for readings and performance art by Bob Hicok, Kristianne Meal, Shasti O’Leary Soudant and Simon Joyner.
Shop for antiques bright and early
Antique World (11111 Main St., Clarence) is an idyll for lovers of old things. Arrive around 8 a.m. to sift through the booths before everything is picked over by dealers. Among the antiques, you'll find vintage clothing, old postcards, records, antique furniture, knickknacks, books and art. There are even more choices on the first and third Sunday of the month, when random vendors can set up garage sales alongside the regular booths.
Grab coffee, brunch at an eclectic cafe
Keep the eclectic morning going with brunch or coffee at Penny Lane Cafe (10255 Main St., Clarence). Named after a Beatles song and heavily influenced by '60s hippie culture, the cafe menu is healthy and made-from-scratch, with Beatles references sprinkled into item names. Colorful twinkle lights illuminate the dining area, CDs on string dangle from the ceiling and art is everywhere on the orange walls.
. . .
Related: More weekend itineraries
Guide to the weekend: punk karaoke, art, coffee, brunch
Weekend guide: board games, hiking, mimosas and movies
How to spend a Saturday afternoon in East Aurora
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: the oldest tree in Buffalo, Buen Vivir Gallery, Grindhaus, Rowhouse
How to spend a Saturday afternoon in North Tonawanda: Carrousel Museum, Carnegie Art Center, Pulp 716, Pane's
How to spend a Saturday afternoon in Lewiston
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: Iron Island, Ike & BG's, MLK Park, Golden Cup Coffee
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: Wilkeson Point, Niagara Cafe, El Museo, Tipico
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: The Benjaman Gallery, Pho Dollar, Broderick Park, Bootleg Bucha