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Cheer on Tap
by Erik Wollschlager
A visit to Moor Pat's
The Bills are really going to win this one, huh?” The question was posed by the co-owner of Williamsville’s newest craft beer destination, Moor Pat’s Peter Braun. Peter slid onto an adjacent stool, sat back against a rough-wood rail that lines the wall, and introduced himself. When Peter had come in, I was sipping Ommegang’s Spiced Saison and enjoying some of the pommes frites that are available with a selection of dipping sauces. While helping me choose a drink, the bar team of Jacqueline and Shaun Parry shared their experiences at the bar so far.
“We’re actually from Rochester,” Jacque confesses, leaning on the beautiful bar, which was constructed largely from reclaimed wood. “I had been bartending for 17 years and I was sick of it—I was ready to get out. Rochester has nothing going on like Buffalo. The music, the beer, and especially the people; it’s just dead in Rochester.”
“Buffalo used to produce transplants. Now we’re gaining re-plants—people have left and they’ve come back. They want to be a part of what Buffalo is becoming. It’s really great to see,” Peter said.
Peter and his family live just blocks from the Spring Street doorway of Moor Pat. When asked why this bar, and why this location, Peter said there were several factors. “Ultimately, I just wanted a really great pub within walking distance of my house,” he says with a big laugh. “Williamsville has committed $2 million dollars to the Picture Main Street Project, which will make the village more pedestrian friendly. The timing and the location were perfect—Williamsville needs a place committed to craft brew on a whole new level, and the increase in foot traffic will definitely drive the business.”
Peter and his partner, Mike Shatzel opened the pub over Thanksgiving weekend, and the place has been packed since. Shatzel is best known for his other locations, Buffalo’s Coles and The Blue Monk. Coles has a very American bar feel, and offers food and beer you’d expect from such a place. The Blue Monk is a Belgian-influenced pub, with a huge selection of European beers and food inspired by those beers. Peter said they were trying to incorporated a little of each influence. “We added the televisions in the corners, and we’ll have sports on most times—especially when Buffalo teams are playing. Once the weather warms up again, we’ll have our biergarten open.” Picture Main Street is bringing in raised flower beds that will line the street, so the outside of the establishment will match the beauty inside.
A steadily rotating selection of 20 taps covers the gamut of great beer, offering Belgians, IPAs, Sours, and a great selection of Winter Warmers, and will also feature a local beer option on Tap 20. Moor Pat has a selection of wines available, and has shelves of scotches, bourbons, and craft spirits, which include whiskeys that have been flavored with hops. The Corsair whiskeys’ strong hop smell and smooth taste make them great for sipping. The food menu is small, but the selections perfectly accompany the beers available. Aside from the pommes frites (offered with truffles for a small charge), the pub carries German brats and Italian sausage from Spars European Sausage Shop, located on Amherst Street in Buffalo. They also offer a Buffalo chicken sausage, and a vegan sausage, which is served on a Bread Hive roll. The pommes frites are also vegan—something that Peter thought to be important. “We wanted Moor Pat to be an option for everyone, even if there are dietary restrictions.” Moor Pat also hopes to appeal to families, and while the floor is dotted with taller reclaimed wood pub tables and islands, they’ve found specially designed high chairs that allow children to eat comfortably at these higher levels.
The great beer, great food, and gorgeous bar are reason enough to stop in, but there is more to Moor Pat than meets the eye. There aren’t many bars in Western New York that feature soccer, but Moor Pat can be added to the list. Peter is a fan of Chelsea FC (of Britain’s Premier League,) and hopes to feature some of the upcoming Saturday morning matches. The menu will be adapted to allow for breakfast foods to be served at these special events. Moor Pat will be holding unique tap takeover events with smaller breweries that may not be available in other places in the area. Peter is a self-professed beer geek and he wants to share that passion with WNY. “We want to present rare and interesting beers to craft beer lovers in the area, and we also want to be able to turn people on to craft beer.”
The best feature of Moor Pat, though, is the people. Peter, Shaun, and Jacque have only one interest—to provide each visitor with the best experience. Whether they’re offering a beer suggestion, grabbing some pommes frites, or just taking a moment to chat with the clientele, their passionate care for each person who comes through the door is by far the greatest attraction. No one enters without a handshake and no one leaves without a heartfelt good-bye. Even if you come alone, the intimate setting and genuine staff offers the feeling that you’re among friends. Whether you’re searching for a great spot for craft beer, craft spirits, or just a quiet spot for a quick bite, Moor Pat will provide you the best of each, and make you feel like you’re a part of the family as they do it.blog comments powered by Disqus
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