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Food and Drink

Co-owner Joelle Garofalo said it best when describing the new Casey's Black Rock. "It's a party bar with fat kid food," she quipped. That's a departure from the previous iteration of Casey's Tavern, a longtime neighborhood dive at 484 Amherst St., not far from Wegmans, that closed in June 2018. Vincent Garofalo, Joelle's husband and a Casey's bartender for nearly four y…

Gusto

Fresh Arabic Sweets might not be the actual name of the Syrian bakery newly opened at 560 Amherst St., across from Wegmans. But that's the only part of the sign in English, besides the name of the proprietor, Mohammed Altahla. Inside, I found fresh assorted baklava that was buttery, crisp and stuffed with pistachios at a bargain $7.99 a pound. (That's one pound in th…

Crime

An unknown gunman fired at the natural gas meter of a Black Rock residence Sunday morning, Buffalo police said. The driver of a black SUV stopped in front of the Austin Street home shortly before 9 a.m. and fired 10 rounds, attempting to strike a gas meter, police said. One of four meters at the residence was struck and was leaking gas. National Grid workers replaced…

Buffalo

A pair of former industrial properties on Tonawanda Street in the city's Black Rock neighborhood are destined to become self-storage facilities, if a pair of developers get approvals from the city's Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board. Wayne Bacon and Jack Ruh want to convert the three-story former Fedders Radiator building at 31 Tonawanda St. into an indoor, cli…

Crime

A burned-out vehicle with human remains inside. Three people from Florida who are missing. A 3-year-old Florida boy found sleeping alone on a West Side porch. The three incidents all came to the attention of Buffalo police on Monday. Now they are trying to figure out if, and how, they might be linked. Members of a Florida family on Tuesday said they are awaitin…

Buffalo

A Hertel Avenue man was arrested Wednesday night after he was accused of attacking an employee at 7-Eleven with a knife, according to a Buffalo police report. Joshua D. Rivers, no age given, was charged following an incident at the convenience store at Hertel and Niagara Street at about 6:30 p.m., according to the report. The victim told police Rivers tried to get mo…

Buffalo

In an unlikely moment in the sun, the most celebrated resident of the Black Rock Canal is a giant goldfish receiving a 21st century burst of international fame. Yet Marcus Rosten, who helps with social media for Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, said the goldfish would still be living in murky anonymity if not for the Twitter "Creature Feature" that Waterkeeper sends out eve…

Crime

A Black Rock man woke up this week to a burglar wearing a black mask and a brown cowboy hat inside his apartment, according to a Buffalo police report. The Gorton Street resident told police he ran out of his home at about 5:40 a.m. Tuesday after he saw the intruder. The burglar, who had entered through an open window, took the victim's cellphone, according to the repor…

Gusto

The Common Council approved today a permit for the Sportsmen’s Tavern to produce various public events, including concerts, art shows and an open-air market, on a vacant lot owner Dwane Hall recently purchased that sits adjacent to the Amherst Street club. Hall said the first show on the new grounds will be an Aug. 4 performance with Dale Watson, Bill Kirchen, the Lustr…

Buffalo

Dwane Hall was near the door of his Sportsmen's Tavern on Thursday evening when Michael Anelli walked in. Anelli had been Hall’s principal at Riverside High School in Buffalo in the early 1970s, and Hall was pretty sure he remembered their last true conversation. They were sitting in Anelli’s office with a truant officer about 48 years ago, while Anelli kept telling Hal…

Crime

Prosecutors say Buffalo Police Officer Joseph Meli acted out of self-defense when he shot and killed a shoplifting suspect last year. They also believe Marcus Neal, the man who died, was armed with a knife and at one point lunged at Meli during their rooftop confrontation in Black Rock. "He was either going to get stabbed or fall off the roof," Erie County District A…

Gusto

The space and equipment used for Hali Boyz Mexican is for sale, in anticipation of its March 30 closure. Malak Mazeh and his brother Nour opened the halal taco spot at 388 Amherst St. in May 2017, after extensive upgrades on the building. In a Facebook statement March 12, they announced it was for sale, for $48,000 or best offer, for the lease and contents. Holi Boyz…

Gusto

It’s fitting that Black Rock, one of the first neighborhoods in Buffalo to boast a community-based individualism and a progenitor of what we now know as the “buy local” movement, is experiencing a bit of a resurgence along the lines of what’s happened in the Hertel, Elmwood Village and Canalside regions. “Black Rock, by the end of the 19th century, had developed a commu…

Crime

A man with two drunken driving convictions was charged with driving while intoxicated Monday afternoon after he left the scene of a crash, dropped his car off at home about a block away and walked back to the scene, according to a Buffalo police report. The crash happened around 3:35 p.m. at Hamilton Street and St. Francis Place in Black Rock. Robert A. Plant, whose …

Crime

A Buffalo man was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated after a crash early Sunday morning in Black Rock, according to a police report. Austin Skomra, 33, was arrested at about 12:40 a.m. near the intersection of Hertel Avenue and Niagara Street, where police said he struck another vehicle. Skomra failed several field sobriety tests at the scene and later…