BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Pegula Sports and Entertainment is getting out of the restaurant business, reaching a deal to hand over operations of (716) Food and Sport to Southern Tier Brewing Company.
As first reported by Tim Graham of The Athletic, PSE officially announced the change in operations Tuesday with the Southern Tier project set to open late summer 2021.
“Terry and I built LECOM Harborcenter to contribute to the rebirth of Canalside and our waterfront.” said PSE President & CEO Kim Pegula. “Part of our plan has always been to find local partners to run these businesses when the time was right. It makes sense now to have our longtime partners at Southern Tier take over ownership and rebrand (716) Food and Sport. We are confident that Phin, Sara and their team will enhance the great experience our fans have come to expect by doing what they do best, serving them their favorite locally brewed craft beers along with a new menu of hand-crafted, beer-inspired food items and appetizers.”
Southern Tier will convert (716) into a tap room location to showcase its craft beers, ciders, seltzers and spirits.
“Since we opened our doors in 2002, Buffalo has been one of our top markets,” said Phin DeMink, founder of Southern Tier Brewing Company. “We’ve always viewed Buffalo as home and always wanted a physical presence in the Buffalo market. We were looking for the right spot to share our great brands with our many friends and fans who have been such loyal supporters of Southern Tier over the years. We believe we finally found the perfect location.”
Southern Tier plans to keep (716) much the same with updates to allow for on-site brewing, enhanced craft beer experience and retail area for merchandise and "to go" sales of beer and spirits. There will be a new from-scratch, beer-inspired food menu and a full line of its craft beers, ciders, seltzers and spirits.
(716) Food and Sport opened at the Pegulas' Harborcenter in 2014. The two-story bar and restaurant has the largest restaurant television screen in the continental United States.
The restaurant has been closed since the pandemic began. Last March, the company laid off several employees from (716), The Draft Room and The Healthy Scratch. No changes in ownership of The Draft Room and The Healthy Scratch have been announced. In April, PSE announced executive salary reductions, layoffs, and furloughs as the company dealt with the financial ramifications of the pandemic.
The Pegulas continue to own Harborcenter, the building in which (716) Food and Sport resides.
Southern Tier Brewing Company was founded in Lakewood, New York in 2002. It operates facilities in Lakewood, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Charlotte, North Carolina.