Savarino Companies

Live Music Club Slated to Open Near First Niagara Center

Business First


The growing popularity of Buffalo's Canalside and Cobblestone Districts is laying the foundation for a live music club slated to open this summer.

Developer Sam Savarino said he belongs to a partnership that will be opening the two-level, 8,400-square-foot music club at 49 Illinois Street, opposite the First Niagara Center parking ramp. The still-to-be-named club will host local, regional and national acts. Capacity could reach 800 people, which would be larger than the Tralf Music Hall but slightly smaller than the Town Ballroom.

"We think this will work well in the neighborhood," Savarino said. "We will certainly be feeding off of the energy of Canalside, the Cobblestone District, the Harborcenter and the Sabres."

It will be the second entertainment venue to open its doors in the Cobblestone District in recent months. The Helium Comedy Club opened in late December along Perry Street, replacing the former W.J. Morrrisey's restaurant. Helium books both national and regional acts.

"This could certainly be an entertainment complement to Helium," Savarino said. "Our building is a perfect fit for a music club, and the neighborhood is perfect for it."

The 49 Illinois Street building is owned by local developer/investor Roger Trettel. It goes back to the early 1900s. Past tenants include Queen City Engineering and the Phoenix Hardware Co. The building has been largely vacant in recent years.

The club and building will be owned by a new partnership, 49 Illinois Real Estate LLC, whose members include Trettel, Savarino, Ed Plata and Dan Mania. Savarino, Plata and Mania comprise the partnership that owns the Lagerhaus 95 restaurant/bar that opened last year at the corner of Perry and Mississippi Streets.

Patrons will be able to view the music from either level. During warm months, an outdoor patio will be in use.

A limited restaurant menu will also be offered.

James Fink


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