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On the Road: North Buffalo auto shop turns into cafe and lounge

Posted: 9:18 AM, Aug 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-16 13:56:02Z

The bones of the building are the same, but the menu went from tire rotation and oil changes to cinnamon buns and brews at The Garage Cafe and Lounge.

The Garage Cafe and Lounge has three former auto bays set up as a coffee shop, a lounge area with a stage for live music and a beer garden, patio and bar. The Garage was an auto shop for 25 years, owned by Joe Riniolo. After a motorcycle accident, Joe's wife Lisa took over the building and repurposed it as her own business.

"We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the support of our friends, family and the community," says Lisa. Remodeling the auto shop was a huge undertaking, a lot of DIY, completed with the help of several people. The space is more than just the home of their old and their new businesses, the beer garden used to be the Riniolo's backyard. Joe and Lisa, along with their children lived next door to the auto shop for 16 years. That's why this location is perfect for them-- it's been their home for so long already.

You'll be able to find something for everyone on the menu, from breakfast items like scratch made cinnamon buns to an Italian Western sandwich, lunch and dinner salads like a chopped bbq salad to a bucket of meatballs with honey mustard bbq sauce. The menu is created to be "simple, homemade and good." 

On weekends, the restaurant will serve brunch and their hand rolled cinnamon buns. Lisa says they sell out before 11 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. French toast casserole is a big seller, along with wine slushies and mimosas.

The beer garden is perfect for summer brunches and evening drinks, but Lisa wants to use it during winter as well for Bills tailgates!

As Hertel Avenue grows, The Garage is finding the need for more employees. Lisa is looking to fill at least two kitchen positions and three serving positions. You can inquire by visiting The Garage's Facebook page .

The Garage Cafe and Lounge is at 1127 Hertel Avenue. It's open Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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