With Buffalo Planning Board approval in hand, a proposed live music club that will bridge the city's Cobblestone and Canalside District could be open by late summer or early fall.
City planners, Tuesday morning, gave approval to a development team headed by businessman Sam Savarino to open the bi-level, 8,400-square-foot club, located at 49 Illinois Street and just opposite the First Niagara Center parking ramp.
The still-to-be-named club will host live, local, regional and national acts. Capacity could reach 800 people, putting at a level larger than the Tralf Music Hall but slightly smaller than the Town Ballroom.
Savarino said he hopes the club plays well into the neighborhood synergy that includes First Niagara Center, HarborCenter and on-going developments in both the Canalside and Cobblestone districts.
When it opens, it will be the second new entertainment venue 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.
The 49 Illinois Street building is owned by local developer/investor Roger Trettel. It goes back to the early 1900s and past tenants including 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 and, during the warm weather months, an outdoor patio will be in use.
A limited restaurant menu will also be offered.