By Andrew Z. Galarneau
Ulrich’s Tavern, shuttered by bankruptcy, has been purchased by Tom Eoannou, the lawyer and preservationist who restored the North Park Theatre. Sal Buscaglia, owner of the Snooty Fox Lounge, is working toward reopening it as Ulrich’s 1868 Tavern by mid-April.
The place, at 674 Ellicott St., will be open for lunch and dinner, with a menu offering German, Italian, Polish and other fare, Buscaglia said. The kitchen will be modernized, and a modern 10-tap glycol refrigerated line system is being installed for top beer quality.
Eoannou said Ulrich’s October closing led him to see if he could buy the building. He described it as a competitive process, with at least one bidder planning to demolish the building for a parking structure.
“There was a whole list of people who wanted to buy this building,” Eoannou said. “My purpose was to keep this the way it was, Buffalo’s oldest bar, essentially I didn’t want it changed.”
When it reopens, much of the physical heritage will remain, he said. Details include the hand-cranked elevator used to bring up liquor from the basement during Prohibition. Pictures of the Ulrich and Daley families, and the Iroquois Hotel back bar, installed in 1910. “We want to keep everything,” he said.
His decision to buy the building was clinched when he visited Ulrich’s with his father, he said. “My dad, Constantine Eoannou is 87. He grew up six blocks down. I brought him in, and said, ‘What do you think?’ He said, ‘It reminds me of when I was a kid. It’s not a restaurant, it’s a museum.’”
That clinched it, Tom Eoannou said.
As News reporter Stephen Watson wrote Jan. 31: “Officials with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus have kept a close eye on the shuttered Ulrich’s. They say they don’t want to be in the restaurant business but they are ready to do whatever it takes – including buying the building and leasing it to a restaurateur – to make sure something opens at that location.
Ulrich’s is located near the Medical Campus’ Innovation Center and near several facilities that opened in the last decade for the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute."
(City Hall reporter Jill Terreri contributed to this report.)
taggedFood and Drink