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Hot Mama's Canteen

Area diners will have several new eateries to experience this summer

Hot Mama’s Canteen

12 Military Road (Corner of Amherst), Buffalo


If you’re addicted to HeadStone Heat hot sauce, owner Valerie Meli and her partner, Glen Plato, recently opened the home-style, stick-to-your-ribs food and bar joint, Hot Mama’s Canteen, in the former location of Hilliker’s Pastime in Black Rock.

One of Hot Mama’s specialties are hot sauce pairings and each item on the menu has been matched with one of Meli’s homemade, tomato-based sauces. Comfort food favorites like the Mama Bombs, (i.e. Americanized arancini balls), can be ordered with Sweet Mango Orange, Tequila Lime, Mexican Aftershock, Hot Passion, or All-America sauces.

Hot Mama’s full-service bar offers hot sauce cocktails like the HeadStone Heat Bloody Mary or the Citrus-Zilla, made with Meli’s Sweet Mango Orange sauce. Adding extra heat and sultriness to the theme, Hot Mama’s waitresses have been attired in pin-up style aprons. And if that doesn’t lure you in the door, there’s also a popcorn maker and shuffleboard table.

Hot Mama’s is open every weekday from 4:00pm to 4:00am, and Sundays from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.


5590 Main Street, Williamsville

In early August, billybar will open inside a keenly redesigned space, formerly occupied by Coffee Culture (on the corner of Spring & Main Street in Williamsville).

Bryan and Tara Bryndle of Tabree scouted the venue and designated it as the premier spot to execute a modern-day dining concept that Buffalo has yet to see. The result: A true tapas-style restaurant inside an open interior accentuated by stainless steel, gray and white finishes, a red quartz counter top, cool cooking methods that require very little heat (i.e. zero sautéing and frying), and paperless menus.

If you’re wondering exactly what’s being prepared in billybar’s kitchen and what’s appearing on the menu, a chalkboard will feature the bill of fare, which is subject to change each season. The menu will comprise mostly small plates that pair well with wines by the glass and there will be a classic cocktail program featuring wines from Spain, Portugal, Argentina, and Chile.

Seasonal salads, Charcuterie cured in-house, bruschetta, and seafood, including raw bar specialties, will comprise the menu. Expect to see playful twists on traditional recipes for lobster rolls (think sliders) and bangers & mash (incorporated into a Terracotta).

The atmosphere will be as modern as the menu and servers will be outfitted in custom-designed uniforms. Indie Rock music will be audible in the background and dinner will be served 7 nights a week from 3 o’clock on. To accommodate a post-work cocktail crowd, Oyster Happy Hour will occur from 3pm-5pm and a live oyster shucker will be on site.

The Meadow Cafe

In mid-July, Angelo Ashker of Ashker’s Juice Bar & Bistro, Mark Goldman of The Black Rock Kitchen, and Steve Halpern are teaming up to open The Meadow Café in Delaware Park (adjacent to Nottingham in the former Juicery).

The trio decided to collaborate on the project as a tribute to Fredrick Law Olmsted who designed Delaware Park in the 1800s. The Meadow Café will blend in perfectly with the parks nature and people, providing healthy café fare, refreshing juices, coffee, and ice cream.

Open 7 days a week from 9am to sunset, Ashker’s will sell freshly made to order cold pressed juices while Black Rock Kitchen prepares salads and baguettes with charcuterie, operating as a Parisian sub shop.

Later on this summer, Ashker’s Juice Bar & Bistro will debut The Cold Press Express; a mobile juice truck that will sell ‘juices on tap’ and eventually make personal juice deliveries to individuals who sign up for ‘juice subscriptions.’

Ashker’s is also renovating a beautiful space on the corner of Main & West Ferry St. that will open this fall and operate as a full service Café, Art/Music space, and Farm fresh Market with a pop-up shop for retail businesses. To learn more about Ashker’s juice subscriptions, call Angelo Ashker or Sarah Nasca at 886-2233.

Black Sheep

367 Connecticut Street, Buffalo


On Connecticut Street, owners Ellen and Steve Gedra are in the final stages of preparing to open Black Sheep for dinner this summer. They’re looking forward to meeting newcomers who come across the restaurant while out exploring the neighborhood and they’re eager to reconnect with loyal patrons from their Bistro Europa days.

If you ask Owner/Executive Chef Steve Gedra about his fearless approach to cooking, he attributes it to years of restaurant experience and experimentation in the kitchen. To quote Gedra, “Black Sheep’s menu will be an extension of the soul of Bistro Europa.” He will continue to evolve the menu by creating recipes that incorporate ingredients sourced from nearby New York State farms and there will be global influences, including Hungarian and Polish dishes and old-time favorites from Europa like Charcuterie cured in-house.

Black Sheep’s menu will also suit an array of palates, thanks to Gedra’s intuition for understanding what people enjoy eating and his ability to serve appetizing fare that may be outside of one’s comfort zone. Black Sheep’s full bar menu will offer wine, beer, and spirits and the atmosphere will be relaxed due to natural elements that take precedence in the venue’s interior, including rich wooden hues and subtle lighting.

Blood and Sand

333 Franklin St., Buffalo

This August, Blood and Sand will welcome eager craft cocktail aficianados who have been anticipating its opening near Buffalo’s historical theatre district. The two-story establishment, formerly occupied by Laughlin’s, has undergone an aesthetic transformation to emphasize a sexy, prohibition-themed environment and will be a designated late night cocktail and dining destination.

To quote operating manger Jon Karel, “a combination of great cocktails, quality conversation, and excellent food will act as the bridge that brings people together at Blood and Sand.” Adhering to Karel’s vision, the first floor will feature a lengthy community table where customers will be able to socialize over craft cocktails, wine, beer, and small plates, complements of executive chef Edward Forster’s creative menu compositions.

Blood and Sand’s second floor will appeal to patrons who desire a mellower dining environment complete with an outdoor patio that gives way to spectacular views of the Queen City.

Handlebar at the Hub

149 Swan Street, Buffalo

If you’re searching for a valid reason to venture out on your bicycle this summer and you happen to work up an appetite, stop by Handlebar at the Hub when it opens in early August.

Located next door to The Bike Shop, which has another location in East Aurora, Handlebar will be the ultimate “Hub” for health conscious people who want to meet like-minded individuals... and plenty of bike racks/bicycle parking will be available.

Handlebar at The Hub’s lofty interior is full of vitality thanks to floor to ceiling windows that let in natural light and bicycle-inspired décor ranging from artisan designed stools shaped like unicycles to chandeliers made from bicycle chains by the talented artist Facuro.

Handlebar at the Hub’s menu constitutes nutritious, fueling pub fare that’s ideal for sharing. Gourmet loaded baked potatoes will be one of the main specialties and toppings will include organic curried chicken, southwest-style quinoa, and Morraccan chick pea puree. Gourmet pizzas, seasonal salads, vegetarian fare, and desserts will also comprise the menu. Juices and smoothies can be made fresh to order and adhering to pub tradition, there will be plenty of local craft beers and cocktails to choose from.

Hydraulic Hearth

716 Swan St, Buffalo

Late this summer, Hydraulic Hearth will open for lunch and dinner. Located across the street from Larkinville, it will have a casual, industrial atmosphere that compliments the restaurant’s unique location.

Owner Harry Zemsky has imported a brick oven from Italy for the sole purpose of baking authentic brick oven pizzas, which will be the primary focus on his menu. The oven’s been specially designed to evenly distribute heat so pizza crusts bake perfectly and do not burn or turn out undercooked. Pizza dough will be crafted using a secret artisanal recipe, fresh mozzarella will be made on the premises, and seasonal ingredients will comprise the toppings. A diverse array of small bites will also appear on the menu including Swedish meatballs made from an authentic recipe that was shared by The AKAG’s Director Janne Sirén, fondue, and charcuterie. Locally made gelatos and chocolates will be available for dessert.

If you favor beer over wine with your pizza, Community Beer Works’s Satellite Micro Brewery will be stationed inside of Hydraulic Hearth and will serve exclusive brews to customers. The bar will also offer a wide selection of bourbons and whiskeys that serve as the base for craft cocktails.

Hydraulic Hearth will be open every Saturday for ‘Beers for Breakfast,’ which will take place in a beer garden adjacent to the restaurant during the warm weather months. Food trucks will be there as well, selling breakfast and brunch fare that compliment Hydraulic Hearth’s extensive cocktail menu.

An entertainment calendar will also be on display showcasing scheduled dates for comedians, live music performances, and local podcasts that will air during restaurant hours.


674 Ellicott Street, Buffalo


Ulrich’s is officially open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday (11am to close) and Saturday (5pm to close), welcoming both eager regulars and new patrons who have yet to experience the historical dining destination.

Established in 1868, Ulrich’s remains on the corner of Ellicott & Virginia Street, which was originally the heart of Buffalo’s brewery district. Owner Salvatore G. Buscaglia is the sole proprietor. He restored the interior, preserving its historical integrity while adding modern day finishes to the restaurant, kitchen, and menu.

The menu features German-American fare including a few of Ulrich’s favorites like potato pancakes, wiener schnitzel, and the ‘Oktoberfest’ plate boasting a trio of German sausages & kraut. Health conscious individuals can enjoy choosing from a variety of salads, sandwiches, and paninis.

Ulrich’s bar menu also has an extensive variety of 30 beers by the bottle and 10 beers on tap, serviced by a new glycol cooling system that’s been installed. Wine, champagne, and spirits are also served during restaurant hours.


5 East Huron (on the corner of Huron & Washington), Buffalo


Scheduled to open in late July, Oshun will serve lunch (Mon-Fri) and dinner seven days a week in a beautiful Art Deco space that dates back to the 1940s when The Waldorf had a presence in Buffalo, operating the original venue as a lunch diner for downtown Buffalo’s work force.

The interior, including original wall murals, have been meticulously restored by Restaurateur Jim Guarino who hired BHNT Architects to oversee the project.

Guarino describes Oshun’s menu as seafood-centric and his purveyors are supplying him with a diverse array of fish and fruits de mer indigenous to aquatic regions in North and South America, Asia, and Europe.

Global influences will appear in the restaurant’s cuisine and there will be ample small plates to share on the dinner menu. Classic American favorites like chowders, steamers, and lobster rolls will also be served daily. Patrons will be able to enjoy a variety of dining experiences, complements of the venue’s vastly spacious interior encompassing an elegant bar near the front entrance and a central dining area. Oshun’s New England-style raw bar will have ample seating and feature fresh seafood on display, live shuckers, and an open kitchen concept. A full-bar menu will compliment the provisions being served including 12 craft import beers on tap, craft cocktails, sparkling wines, and spirits.

The Public House of Buffalo

1206 Hertel Ave, Buffalo

In mid-July, The Public House of Buffalo Inc. will become North Buffalo’s newest neighborhood pub and eatery, serving lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on the weekends.

Classic American pub fare with new twists will comprise the main menu consisting of hearty sandwiches and burgers served with fresh cut fries, salads made with seasonal ingredients, seafood, steamed clams, and raw bar favorites.

Seating will range from four tops to comfortable stools at the main bar that’s been restored using beautiful Black Walnut wood that’s been reclaimed from the Erie Canal dating back to the 1920s. Public House will have an Americana rustic feel and beer drinkers will be able to choose from fifteen drafts, thirty domestics, and thirty craft beers deriving from breweries on the east and west coast as well as local breweries like Flying Bison and Community Beer Works.

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