Buffalo's Neighborhoods


Larkinville

Live at Larkin Square

Buffalo, Reinvented

The area known as Larkinville – a collection of businesses and public spaces centered along Seneca Street southeast of downtown Buffalo– is one of the city’s most impressive transformations. Formerly empty warehouses and vacant parcels are now home to weekly concerts, food truck rodeos, beer gardens, breweries and distilleries.

Buffalo, Reinvented

Buffalo, Reinvented

Seven Days of Larkinville

 MONDAY

Begin immersing yourself in the neighborhood renaissance by grabbing lunch at the Filling Station, a converted 1930s gas station that emphasizes local ingredients and fresh flavors. It’s a hotspot for the Buffalo lunchtime crowd.

TUESDAY

A spring-to-fall staple of life in Buffalo is Food Truck Tuesday. Nearly 30 trucks from Buffalo and beyond convene on Larkin Square to serve their burritos, falafel, sliders, grilled cheese, gourmet hot dogs, falafel and other creations. Relax in an Adirondack chair and hula hoop while you’re there, too.

WEDNESDAY

Burn off those calories gained on Tuesday by dancing and jamming at the Live at Larkin concert series, which features popular local bands through the summer. There are wintertime components to this series too, like the “Holiday Live at Larkin” in December and “Live at O’Larkin” in March.

THURSDAY

Start your day with by shopping at Uncle Sam’s Army Navy Outfitters. This sprawling store housed in a warehouse sells authentic military apparel from over 26 countries. Then play a game of Pickleball or a round of golf in the Nano golf course and then check out (716) GAL-LERY, Buffalo’s smallest art gallery inside the Hydraulic Hearth.

FRIDAY

Brick oven pizza, anyone? Head to Hydraulic Hearth for some inventive pies served in a funky atmosphere, washed down by beer brewed in-house by Community Beer Works. Make sure to stop by Buffalo’s smallest art gallery while you’re there, housed in a former telephone booth. If brunch is more your thing, Hydraulic Hearth partners with Breadhive Cooperative Bakery for a “Bagels and Brooze” event every Saturday. In the warmer months, enjoy shuffleboard and giant Jenga at the Hearth’s beer garden.

SATURDAY

Then head to Flying Bison Brewing Company for a tour and tasting.  Flying Bison was a pioneer in the modern era of Buffalo brewing and opened a new Larkinville facility in 2014. Make sure to sample the Aviator Red, Rusty Chain and, in the winter, Blizzard Bock.

SUNDAY

Rest.  You’ll need the energy to return to Larkinville and try all the food and beer you couldn’t fit in the previous week!

— Brian Hayden

larkin square

The Quirks of Larkin Square

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larkin square

Larkin Square

Larkin Square, anchor of the newly dubbed “Larkinville” and leader of one of the city’s best revitalization stories, is loaded with unique sights, sounds, activities, and eats. All of which are based solely on one premise: FUN!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “marquee” events such as Food Truck Tuesdays and Live at Larkin Wednesdays. There’s also an Author Speaker Series and boxed lunches on the boardwalk. But go deeper. Explore. Investigate. You’re going to uncover some wicked coolness.

Revisit your childhood and wiggle around one of the Larkin Hula Hoops. Burn off some calories and laugh at yourself in the process (or the others trying if you’re too shy).

the larkin links

One of the holes at the Larkin Links.

Play nine holes of nano golf (plus two bonus holes) on the Larkin Links. Open from spring until September, use a vintage putter to putt your way around the course filled with artist designed, local landmark obstacles. Let me tell you, this is tough! But if you succeed here you’re sure to shave a few strokes of your game.

Everyone has fun at Larkin Square!

Hula-Hoops are part of the fun at Larkin Square.

Next to the course are the pickleball courts. Yes pickleball. I don’t know how the game came to be pickled, but think of a mix of tennis and badminton, not shriveled cucumbers.

Just across the the square is the Hydraulic Hearth, Larkinville’s newest restaurant. It has some must-try food and drinks, but also offers its own mix of uniqueness. The (716) GAL-LERY – a converted phone booth – functions as the world’s smallest art gallery. A new exhibit is displayed every three months, and the telephone itself is always part of the art.

And then of course, my favorite, the beer garden. Beer gardens are all the rage and this one is top notch (see friend and fellow blogger, Jay Josker’s words on beer gardening). Enjoy beer, music, atmosphere and old fashioned, retirement community style shuffleboard!

I’d venture to say more things like this will continue to appear on Larkin’s playlist. Just remember one additional thing. There’s an underlying theme that gets lost in all the shenanigans: It’s all free!

Map TK