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Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar owner buying ex-Exchange on Allen

The owner of Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar is buying the bar across the street with plans to turn it onto a nightspot for “all of Buffalo.”

J.J. Alfieri said that 256 Allen St., formerly Exchange on Allen and the Bend, is under contract. “It’s 95% done,” he said of the deal.

Called Flavors of Allentown, “It's going to be a really fun place,” Alfieri said. “It's going to be a classy place. It's going to be a place by women for women.”

Gina Beisiegel will be general manager of the new place, Alfieri said, working with Jodie Mancuso, his company’s vice president of operations, and Brandy McLaughlin, who oversees EXPO locations on Main Street and Hertel Avenue.

“It's time for them to kind of share,” he said. Allen Street, which has recently seen an influx of “troublemakers,” needs to be “balanced out a little bit,” with a classy place that welcomes everyone.

“There needs to be somewhere where everyone really feels welcome,” said Mancuso. “That's our goal.”

The new place will hopefully be open for drinks and music by Halloween, Alfieri said. There might be panini sandwiches available behind the bar, but a fuller food menu wouldn’t arrive until spring.

A martini menu, ciders and seltzers like Truly and White Claw will be part of the drinks menu.

Alfieri, whose father James owns 31 Club, started his career at Crocodile Bar. Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, which he opened in 2010, will remain in operation. Expect a menu refocused on 50 flavors of wings and signature burgers, he said.

EXPO sites on Main Street, which Alfieri runs with Paul Tsouflidis, are also evolving, with new vendors like taco site La Divina and Falafel bar offshoot Falafel Guy coming to Main Street, along with a live music venue called DB's Downtown.

In the meantime, work on Flavors of Allentown will be under way soon, he said. Its slogan is ready: “Do yourself a flavor: 256 Allen. Something for everyone.”

Related:
Smiles at Duke's Monster Ball last year
90 minutes in Allentown feature
Happy hour focus on Duke's from 2015

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