We’ve been waitin’. We’ve been anticipatin’. And now it’s finally here. Thin Man Brewery has arrived in the Elmwood Village!
The brainchild of local developer Rocco Termini and Buffalo’s resident beer baron, Mike Shatzel, Thin Man is everything we’ve come to expect from a Shatzel project and more! (see: Allen Burger Venture, Liberty Hound, Moor Pat) Despite craft beer being the crown jewel of his other establishments, this is Shatzel’s first brewery. Although Thin Man’s house-made beer is getting its beauty rest in preparation for an inaugural tapping in August, we’re looking forward to some tasty experimental brews thanks to a collaboration with Community Beer Works co-founder, Rudy Watkins.
Stopping in for dinner earlier this week, I was able to soak in the positive vibes that Thin Man is dishing out. First things first, let’s talk about the space. Thin Man has stepped in where not one, but two bars once stood. The space is huge and unlike anything else in the Elmwood Village, blending an industrial feel with a modern rusticness that is warm and inviting.
So if you’re not in the know, Thin Man was the working name of the first crash test dummy which was invented in – you guessed it – the city of Buffalo. And the decor of both the upper and lower floors of the bar has been fully inspired by its namesake. From the bright yellow accents of the patio umbrellas, bar stools and painted railing of the second floor balcony to the shattered glass of the bartop to the deflated airbag chandeliers, the legend of the Thin Man lives on.
Now let’s get to the good stuff – the reason you’ve been salivating. It was hard to choose, but I went with three (yes, only three!) menu options to pair with the top-notch guest beers on tap. The Watermelon Cucumber Gazpacho, the Moules Frites, and the Tokyo Burger. The gazpacho was juicy and refreshing, perfect for a warm summer night. The mussels I had to get because I miss the Ommegang mussel pots of Blue Monk, one of Shatzel’s previous endeavors. Inside the shells were massive, meaty morsels of briney goodness, made all the better by beer broth they were resting in.
But the highlight of the meal was The Tokyo Burger. And it’s a beast of a burger if I do say so. Served open-face and piled high on a thick slice of brioche is a bone marrow infused patty, a thick slab of glazed pork belly, the requisite fried egg, spicy remoulade, gruyere cheese, crowned with a crispy onion ring and skewered with a steak knife to keep it all together. This is a burger that went right to my heart – and maybe a little to my hips.
Needless to say, Thin Man Brewery is well on its way to cementing itself as a premiere brewery destination in Erie County. And that’s based on the food and atmosphere alone! Once their own brews begin to flow, I’ll be looking forward to adding Thin Man to an already expansive list of breweries that are putting Buffalo on the map as a suds-lover’s hotspot.