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Wurlitzer Building in North Tonawanda comes back to life with new local business

Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 18:20:21-04

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — The beer is flowing in the historic Wurlitzer Building on Niagara Falls Boulevard in North Tonawanda. Woodcock Brothers Brewing company will officially open their doors on Friday, March 29th at 11am.

"Be able to relax, have good beer, good food, good times," Tim Woodcock, President of Woodcock Brothers Brewing company said. With the 50,000 cars that pass the building daily, the Woodcock Brothers say this is the perfect spot for their second location. The original location is in Wilson and is also in a large historic building.

Ask anyone from the Tonawandas and there's a good chance they had a family member who worked inside this building. At one point the building was the largest musical instrument plant in the world. The building is 126 years old and the Wurlitzer Company constructed the iconic organs, pianos and jukeboxes until the late 1970s.

"We want to continue to see something that symbolizes the past, present and future," RJ Ball, Director of Industry Development for Empire State Development said.

Restoring the historic landmark started six-years ago. In 2016, Platters Chocolate Factory became the first business to move in and open a chocolate shop and cafe. The campus also has a full ballroom for events and weddings.

"We feel like we are in the heart of North Tonawanda and the building is just coming alive," Kelly Diguiseppe, store manager at Platters said.

Developers and other small business owners hope the building will continue to be filled up with restaurants and retail store fronts. Ball said there may be a tribute to the Wurlitzer Company with a small museum added to the space.