Mid-century modern furniture and accessory lovers can now rejoice. Owner of CooCooU, Michael Merisola, has purchased a warehouse building on Chandler Street in North Buffalo, directly next to Horsefeathers, with the intention of featuring a massive collection of retro finds on the building’s sprawling second floor. If that wasn’t enough, Michael has also created an breathtaking showroom for select pieces on the first floor, rivaling serious mid-century showrooms in Toronto and New York. Michael’s intention for the future is to maintain the Chandler Street warehouse and showroom as his primary commercial headquarters that will be open to the public with regular retail hours.
This week Michael opened the doors of the building to give the public a glimpse of what will soon be the culmination of his dreams (if anyone dreams about mid-century modern, it’s this guy). To draw attention the project, Michael hosted a warehouse sale this week (run by Stock Exchange – sale ended today), drawing mid-century lovers from across the region to check out his new location. Being situated next to Horsefeathers certainly added to the dynamic draw of the street (see why). This sleepy neighborhood has limitless potential that is finally being realized (more good news to come shortly).
It won’t be long before CooCooU on Chandler opens its doors for good – if you missed the sale and you live in Buffalo, don’t worry… there’s still a ton of great stuff to be found when the place opens for good. Michael told me that he hasn’t even begun to sort out the design pieces on the third floor of the warehouse, but over time he will be bringing that collection downstairs to sell on the show floors.
As for CooCoo U’s longstanding location on Hertel, I’ve heard rumors that a deal might be in the works for a retro-style antique shop take over the storefront, which would help to keep the street’s mid-century shopping image intact. It was Michael Merisola who first brought the scene to Hertel after moving from a storefront in Allentown 25 years ago. It turned out that Michael was an early pioneer on Hertel, and his efforts have paid off for North Buffalo for years. Now it looks like he’s set his sights on an even more ambitious project.
Town Ballroom’s music promoter Artie Kwitchoff told me a funny story about CooCoo U earlier today while I was at the Chandler Street location. He said that over the years, every time that Mike Ness, singer, guitarist and songwriter for Social Distortion, plans to come to Buffalo he ends up bringing an empty trailer with him and stays an extra day just so that he can shop at CooCoo U (and select other places around the city). Apparently Buffalo is one of his favorite places to shop, and it’s businesses like CooCoo U that blow his mind. That’s pretty cool… just wait until Mike Ness discovers CooCoo U’s new digs – he’s going to have to bring a second empty trailer and stay for a third day when see what has transpired!
CooCoo U Warehouse, Showroom and Mid-Century Modern Gallery
27 Chandler Street,
Buffalo, NY 14207