Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Plans October Opening

Plans for a Dinosaur Bar-B-Que downtown have been approved by the Buffalo Planning Board.  The restaurant will open in October in a Buffalo Development Corporation (Mark Croce) owned building at 301 Franklin Street.  The single-story building with a small mezzanine used to store film reels. 
 
The Syracuse-based restaurant has been eyeing the Buffalo market for a number of years before selecting Franklin Street in July.  
 


DIN0Bldg.jpgdinoplans.JPGThe 7,200 sq.ft. location will seat approximately 180 diners.  A small addition at the back of the building to house four smokers is planned.  The interior space will be broken into two dining areas along with an elevated café/lounge.  An outdoor patio will be constructed along the north side of the building.  Batavia-based Smart Design Architecture is designing the project.
 
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que opened in Syracuse in 1988 and in Rochester 1998. Harlem followed in 2004 and then Troy in November 2010.  Their first out-of-state restaurant opened in Newark last May.  A Stamford, CT location opened in November and a Brooklyn restaurant is planned.
 
Croce says 301 Franklin is an ideal spot being close to the Medical Campus, downtown and the Theater District.  It is a location that Croce dubbed “restaurant row” fifteen or so years ago when his Coliseum complex opened in 1996.  Today, Franklin Street is home to Laughlin’s, Rue Franklin, Buffalo Chophouse, Bacchus, Bambino’s, Soho Burger Bar and others.  Croce believes Dinosaur will spur significant additional interest, investment and development in the surrounding blocks.
 
“There are fabulous development opportunities in the surrounding blocks,” says Croce.  “We expect that this will be a game changer for all of downtown Buffalo.”
 
Croce says it has the potential to be the second highest grossing restaurant in the region behind the Cheesecake Factory at the Galleria Mall.
 
“There’s an expectation that this will be a tremendous draw,” says Croce.  “It will bring tens of thousands of people, young and old to downtown annually.”

About the author  ⁄ WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

61 comments
sonyactivision
sonyactivision

LOL at all the handwringing comments above. Just build the damn thing, I'm hungry!

zamedy
zamedy

Love the idea of a diner like Lake Effect at Chippewa and Pearl. I always feel bad and wonder where the touring cast of shows at Shea's, for example, go to get a good breakfast when they're in town. It would be nice for people staying in downtown hotels to have an alternative to the complimentary continental breakfast.

JSmith
JSmith

I would think probably because there are no buildings at Canalside yet, and it is much cheaper to lease space in an existing building than to build a new one (reason #143 why preservation is important). And Dinosaur BBQ has generally chosen historic buildings, not new builds, for their locations.

Downtown716
Downtown716

The servers are not the only problem at Perfetto. The food is terrible, often overcooked, and wayyyyyy overpriced.

jjmullinsjr
jjmullinsjr

Somehow, even a cascading waterfall manages to be ugly in Rottenchester.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

re: the combined sewer:

I don't think it's one of the few, but rather one of the many. I know on Main Street (at least near Ferry), they're combined. You'd think they might have addressed that, say, when they dug up the subway. But nope. Combined and pretty stinky, too.

benfranklin
benfranklin

I think the sewer on Franklin needs to be replaced. Possible that it's one of the few in the city that is combined sewer and storm? Someone else may know more about this... but it was my impression they were waiting to do the street after the new sewer went in.

DMZ
DMZ

I spoke to the owner and he's well aware of the issues. He seemed really genuine in his search for good servers (Which when I went seemed like the biggest issue). Once he gets that fixed I think he can do ok. I'm still not sold on the location and size of that building, the overhead is killer.

digitalkid2112
digitalkid2112

Love that its coming here but still baffled why its not at Canalside. Seems like that would be a slam dunk.

StealYourFace
StealYourFace

Maybe this will get the city with pave Franklin finally.

yellow ed
yellow ed

Do Mike A's and Vera not fill that niche?

Slu
Slu

Have you seen this building in person? It is an absolute dump. The fact they are saving it all should be celebrated.

This is a welcome addition to downtown!

Rcc
Rcc

Corner of Chippewa and Pearl would be a great pace for a diner like Lake Effect

The Damned
The Damned

I'm aware of the fact that Pizza Hut is a national chain. I was just..... Oh never mind.

NBuffguy
NBuffguy

I've made it out there in the world enough to know that a lake and a river are two different things. Knucklehead.

Old First Ward
Old First Ward

Pizza Hut is a national chain not local. I like Pizza Hut. It is a good place to take kids and the prices are reasonable. Is it my choice for a take home pie, never unless I'm miles for my favorites. Bocce and Imperial win that one all the time.

I'll say this, Pizza Hut does have a nice crispy crust.

Old First Ward
Old First Ward

Louies Texas Red Hots, Mighty Taco, Jim's Steakout, Teds, Anderson's all in that order from best to worst.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Fat Bob's is a dish best served cold.

- Khan

No_Illusions
No_Illusions

Mighty Taco, Jims Steakout, Teds, Louies, Andersons. All local chains. So I do not see your point. As long as the quality is there we should not deride chains.

STEEL
STEEL

What do you have against chains?

yerkster
yerkster

how about a lake with a beautiful marina and a river with a lakefront park and vistas of canada, maybe you havent made it past the and realized there is a whole big world out there

zamedy
zamedy

Would have loved to see this at the corner of Chippewa and Pearl across from Prima Pizzeria (where there's currently yet another surface parking lot). It's such an ugly gaping hole in the urban fabric at the entrance to the Chippewa district. I get it that it probably didn't afford enough room (and absolutely no on-site parking -GASP-) but I'd love to see some sort of wrap-around establishment with open windows (similar to Kelsey's on Clifton Hill).

bradman
bradman

Shanghai Red's closed a while ago and re-opened as Templeton Landing.

ivan putski jr
ivan putski jr

Well.....now all those lame weekend warrior bikers will have a place to suck down their Buds and show off their hogs...Queue up Mustang Sally now.....the only thing worse than those awful blues cover bands are those pop country schmucks who go the Buckin Buffalo Saloon....

NorthBuf
NorthBuf

Ugh, chains!! Not in buffalo!

The Damned
The Damned

Hopefully, the building will be a little more aesthetically pleasing than that 'Bucking Buffalo' barn across the street. Had the pleasure of attending a happy hour there once. Watered down drinks and sawdust on the floor. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

If the food is up to the standard of Kentucky Greg's, then more power to them.

Old First Ward
Old First Ward

Art Moderne buildings have curved or rounded edges, portal windows, corner windows, or runs of horizontal windows as distinguishing features. This building does not. It may be more Art Deco than Art Moderne.

laldm
laldm

I'm torn on this. On one hand, investment is good downtown and Dinosaur is like crack to suburbanites, so that can only be a good thing.

On the other hand, they're completely destroying the facade of one of downtown Buffalo's only Art Moderne buildings. Granted, the facade is already not in great shape and it's not incredibly ornamental or distinguished to start with, but there is still more than a hint of something pretty unique there. They should pay at least some respect to its history. I realize mid-century isn't "in vogue" right now, so it's hard for people to see uniqueness in this, but Dinosaur is supposedly historically-sensitive, so you'd think they would exercise a little more cultural sense. But I guess they figure it's Buffalo so they can get away with it. Whatever - there are bigger losses, and if the revenue from this helps continue heating the Statler, then perhaps it's a wash.

Luckily, Dinosaur will never be able to compete with Fat Bob's in terms of quality, so our local better version can live on happily... the suburbanites can enjoy this chain version and the plentiful parking surrounding it.

BuffaloQPublic
BuffaloQPublic

Way off-subject . . . today I went on-line for a menu for Perfetto's (in the Theater District) I radomly came across the yelp.com link.

A number of the reviews were negative. I hope the owners are aware of the areas that are being reported as their shortcomings (several people indicated the same things). I very much want them to be successful.

Also, during my menus pursuit, I found Shanghai Reds was noted as closed. This may be a dah . . . Is it only open during the warmer weather?

Eric
Eric

I seriously don't know how anyone could complain about this. They're investing a lot of money into a long vacant Downtown building. It's not a restaurant that will kill other BBQ joints. It's a destination restaurant. I highly doubt Kentucky Greg's clientele are going to ditch the fast, easy and cheap eats to go downtown, wait for a table and pay significantly more on a regular basis. There is room for both. And if Fat Bob's has slacked in recent years they'll have to pick up their game to survive. It'll make all the BBQ in Buffalo better.

So chill out, make a reservation when they begin accepting them and enjoy a new attraction in our city. We do want Buffalo to "rise" don't we?

benfranklin
benfranklin

Personally, adding a business to this empty building, on this section of Franklin is a win. Less concerned what they do externally...if you look close now it seems a hodge-podge.

Second, the original Fat Bob's was legit. Makes me cringe to see the original owners face in the logo, who cared about good food, who is now deceased. Wonder if the current investors have any qualms about profiting on the reputation of dead man.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Don't understand why he has to destroy the building's character. There are three buildings there in a cluster that have ties to the film exchange industry, for which Buffalo was a significant hub. All three of the buildings have a distinctive styling of that era (one is the Buckin' Buffalo building, with the styling elements hidden under the boards on the front). And all three of the buildings are owned by Croce. He has the opportunity to celebrate that important & largely forgotten element of Buffalo's heritage by doing right by all three of those buildings. It would also add to building an identity for the Pearl/Franklin district, which Croce, rightly, wants to see continue to develop as Buffalo's restaurant district (and which nicely complements the Theater District a block over).

Imagine if, instead of butchering this building, he restored and played off of its architectural features & unique history to perhaps have the first "film" themed Dinosaur BBQ -- say, emphasizing westerns & classic film so as not to get too far away from the vibe folks expect at Dino.

To date, in each community where they locate, Dinosaur BBQs have celebrated those communities and worked with the unique buildings that house each of them -- to great effect. This plan would result in the first Dinosaur BBQ to turn away from respecting & celebrating the uniqueness of its building and surroundings. Mark could -- and should -- do better than this!

NBuffguy
NBuffguy

The only thing? How about the Genesee River running right through their downtown, complete with cascading waterfalls? That always makes me completely jealous of Rochester.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Yeah! You don't know GOOD BBQ! What a loser!

But we all know good BBQ. Cuz we're friggin awesome. And Fat Bob's sucks!

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

I know--seriously, what is up with THAT?

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

Maybe Rocco and team can offer Design 101 lessons to other local developers?

Rubberball
Rubberball

You always have all the right answers, yet nobody ever listens. What a crying shame.

downincircles
downincircles

You know what area of downtown already would've had that motif and is more inline with Dino's image? The new Canalside.

I wonder what Croce did to get this guy in his back pocket to move to this average location surrounded by parking lots.

I'm all for Dino, hello it'll be 1 block from my office. I just think it would've been a focal point of something new and exciting like Canalside (admitting it would've taken longer to setup shop and acquire a spot).

GinghamQuaker
GinghamQuaker

Along with Good Luck. Someone seriously needs to open a bar of that quality in Buffalo. Maybe I'll do it some day soon.

On Richmond
On Richmond

This "design" is a tragic assault on one of a handful of Art Moderne duildings that are reamining in the city. Although it has been altered somewhat by previous owners, it could have been restored and adapted. Another win for mediocrity.

Quixote
Quixote

I hope they invest more in the food product than they did in the rendering of the facility.

16thStreet
16thStreet

Smokin' Toms in Springville is really good too.

Did I say I never had Dino? Had it a few times in Ra Cha Cha, eh.

Spent some time down south and had my share of many good joints, Dino ranks low on my list. But opinions are like a holes right?

BFLOwatch
BFLOwatch

Folks from EV never, ever go to the Cheesecake Factory. They run the risk of being tarred and feathered.

Buffalo_Resurrection
Buffalo_Resurrection

Fat Bob's was good at one time but my last two experiences have been total disappointment.

Not so much quality but served cold.

Mothers next door is a better choice but that is a moot point if we're talking barbecue!

Jay D
Jay D

so youre just not going to try it for no reason at all?? Awesome

Trackbacks

  1. […] on the front façade.  Dino co-founder John Stage decided to keep the historic façade, scrapping earlier plans for a complete exterior make-over.   The single-story building with a small mezzanine used to store film […]

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