August 4, 2022

Mike Shatzel’s Buffalo restaurant, the empire of good food and good humor

One Sunday morning in early December, Mike Shatzel, the owner of Cole’s, the longtime Elmwood Avenue bar and restaurant, fired one of his cooks. The employee did not take it well. He stabbed Shatzel in the hip with a knife, injuring him. As the news circulated of the incident, the dreaded chef of the Shatzel restaurant group quickly posted on Facebook: “Thank you all for your wishes. I am already at home and am recovering well and quickly. Just a reminder, Cole’s gift certificates make great Christmas gifts. He ended the message with a smiley face emoji.

The restaurants Shatzel owns or is a partner of are so ingrained in the fabric of Buffalo and Western New York’s culinary life that you’d be hard-pressed to miss at least one on a visit. here. From burger restaurants in Allentown and above-average pub food, to Irish bars in the Outer Ring and a canal-side joint with a view of the lake, Shatzel’s presence is strong in this area. (Mike is the third generation of Shatzels to claim his place on the Buffalo food scene.)

Many of these places consistently appear on regional year-end “Best of” lists for their burgers, so we’ll just say it here, rather than repeating it in each of the following highlights. Here is a preview.

Allen Burger Venture

175 Allen Street

Buffalo, New York 14201


We mentioned the initial shock to Buffalo’s economic sensitivity when ABV introduced their $ 16-18 burgers. ABV offers a vibrant scene in the hotbed of nightlife known as Allentown, and the Buffalonians have come to accept the price one pays for “fresh, grass-fed Angus beef, free of hormones.” no antibiotics, sourced from cruelty-free and sustainable verified ranches ”with toppings ranging from the unusual to outrageous. Their smashburger (single, double or triple) will only cost you $ 10 to $ 13.

ABV prides itself on its craft beer selections and unique burger toppings. The most extravagant is the famous # 12, with Parma prosciutto coated with Urbani White Truffle cream cheese and arugula. The weirdest is # 5, featuring Jiffy peanut butter, pickled jalapeños, applewood bacon, and white cheddar cheese.

Brennan’s Bar Bowery

4401, transit road

Buffalo, New York 14221


This old-school Irish pub and restaurant with deep Buffalo roots offers a classic take on the burger, with plenty of options (the Black & Bleu, coated in cracked black pepper and crumbled blue cheese, topped with roasted red peppers, is l ‘one of our favorites). Brennan’s has been a staple in the region for over 40 years.

It’s a great place for big parties and, of course, for hanging out at the bar or the squeaky booths and watching sports on TV, if that’s your thing.

Try the classic fish and chips when they’re on the menu. The sandwiches (“pocket computers”) are also very nice. We love The Clancy, a round of certified Angus beef minced and slow roasted with provolone on garlic toast with beef jus, and we are suckers for the Pot Roast Sandwich: slow roasted and tender, with cheddar, sautéed onions and creamy horseradish.

by Cole

1104 Elmwood Avenue

Buffalo, New York 14222


Cole’s was founded in 1934 and Shatzel’s father purchased it in 1973. It’s a beloved place for family lunches, or just to relax and enjoy a beer of their selection on tap. Take a burger, wings, or other American fare from their extensive menu. At the north end of Elmwood Village, it is located close to Buffalo State College, the newly renovated Richardson Campus / Hotel Henry, and the Buffalo Museum Row. Whether it’s the lively bar area with table and bench, or the spacious dining area next to the original bar, Cole’s is a comfortable destination.

Colter’s Bay

561 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, New York 14202


After nearly three decades of a mostly successful run as a well-known, but cramped hangout at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Allen Street, the previous owner decided to go out of business in 2015. Here , Shatzel has teamed up with Tony Martina. to resume operations. They kept the name, opened up the floor plan, moved the bar, and redecorated the place with whimsical nods to the ski lodge culture of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They added 44 beer taps; knowledgeable bartenders can help you with your selection and flavor profile.

The menu, while containing all of the classic pub fare you’d expect in a Shatzel place, expands to include nods to prairie culture; with items such as Elk Alley, a Durham Ranch Ground Elk Burger, and Corbet’s Corridor, a Ground Buffalo Meatloaf. Its easy-to-access location makes it another great spot for weekend lunch or brunch.

Freedom dog

1 cove in the naval park

Buffalo, New York 14202


As part of Canalside’s explosive success, the Liberty Hound nautical-themed spot is a destination for a waterfront dining and drinking experience in town. The disused warships USS Little Rock and USS The Sullivans, which are moored at Canalside as part of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, dominate the patio.

Due to the proximity to the water and the fact that the place is literally the terminus of the 1825 Erie Canal, the Liberty Hound’s menu leans towards seafood, although it is mostly of the fried variety. There’s a basket of shrimp, a beer-fried fish or sandwich, and the shrimp po’boy. The atmosphere can be a bit hectic; if you can find a spot on the deck in good weather, sit back and enjoy the view. The passing kayakers, the bike ferry just below, and a number of paddle boarders, and the main Canalside promenade across the canal make for a very enjoyable experience.

The Pat Maure

78 Spring Street East

Williamsville, New York 14221


The landing page of their website dispenses with any incidental information. Simply enter in their detailed list of beers, along with their food, times, and location. The touch menu is constantly updated and time stamped. You might be fooled into thinking that the name derives from an old traditional Irish story. Just read the name backwards and you will understand what awaits you here.

The food menu is strictly designed to support beer consumption, mostly with deliciously salty and pleasantly fatty items that will make you thirsty. Wings (“beer brined, the best blue cheese”), poutine, fried pickles, pretzels, fries, empanadas and other easy bar fare are all featured. They also have a full bar with an impressive selection of scotch. The Williamsville location is comfortable; look for a new location that will soon open on avenue Hertel, in the old village beer store.

Delaware Park Terrace

199 Lincoln Drive

Buffalo, New York 14222


Within the Delaware Park Marcy Casino, this stylish and relaxed restaurant and bar is well worth it for the view. Overlooking Hoyt Lake from the park, it has become an iconic Buffalo summer spot for the serene scene unfolding in front of you: canoes on the lake, people walking their dogs along a lovely paved path, and cyclists strolling around. around the lake are just a few of the idyllic activities going on. They just closed the patio to provide patio seating all year round. Sunset is a particularly spectacular moment.

The cozy wooden bar is an ideal place to enjoy a cocktail menu with a nod to the classics. Try an Original Sazerac with VSOP Cognac, Absinthe Rinse, Simple Syrup, Peychaud Bitters and a Lemon Zest, or a Barrel Aged Manhattan with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Carpano Antica, Angostura and aged orange bitters.

The menu changes seasonally. Current winter offerings include Coq Au Vin, half a chicken braised in red wine, with spätzle, pork belly, mushrooms and Cipollini onions, and scallops and gnocchi with ‘Day Boat’ scallops, potato dumplings, mashed cauliflower and a caper-raisin vinaigrette.

Thin Man Brewery

492 Elmwood Avenue

Buffalo, New York 14222


Taproom / Pizza Tapo Thin Man

166 Chandler Street

Buffalo, New York 14207


While the noise level at the two Thin Man locations may make you look like you’re eating on an airport runway, there’s no denying the success of the operation.

The Elmwood Avenue spot, which opened in 2016, is a partnership between Shatzel and area developer and food advocate Rocco Termini. Founding Chef Bruce Wieszala was hired to create a menu that is a cut above your average tavern fare. While Wieszala has evolved, several of its menu items remain, including banh mi sandwiches, duck rillettes and for brunch, a Benedictine pork belly.

And of course, there is the beer. A true brewery, they have a popular and growing range of beers. They also have a huge selection of offers from other breweries. Their provisional list is updated online.

Watch their calendar for shows, street fairs, and other lively outdoor events.

The location in up-and-coming Chandler Street, another partnership with Termini and popular Italian restaurant Tappo, finds Thin Man pouring beers alongside Tappo’s pies, while hipster and athletic types watch the game, play them- even at bar games, hang out in the alley adorned with artwork and, yes, enjoy the booming and resonating sounds of great pleasure.

Also check out the Thin Man faucet room at the aforementioned Brennan’s.


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