The opening of The Hatch marks the unofficial start of summer in Buffalo.
The casual eatery has long been a pillar of Buffalo’s waterfront, serving up hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream to visitors at Erie Basin Marina.
Although there is indoor seating, it’s strongly recommended to enjoy your meal outside at one of the many tables. Parked right by the water, guests can relish views of the lake before taking an afternoon stroll down the walkway to the nearby marina observation tower. Visit on any weekend while the sun is shining and the restaurant will be full of life with dozens of people strolling in and out.
The owner, who also runs the more upscale William K’s next door, has made several updates to the restaurant over the past few years. Now named The Hatch from The Molly World Grill – a nod to its owner, Molly Koessler – the restaurant has added an outdoor full-service bar, a clam bar for the mollusk lovers and a revamped menu.
The Hatch is now more than just burgers, fries and shakes. A chalkboard covering one of the walls inside lists everything from a chili cheeseburger to a falafel wrap. The menu has expanded to include breakfast as well.
An ice cream stand is still stationed on the side serving sundaes and more made from another Buffalo favorite treat, Perry’s Ice Cream.
Call me old-fashioned, but I opted to stick to the Hatch classics when I visited: a burger and fries. Only a chargrilled Sahlen’s hotdog could have delivered the same mix of euphoria and nostalgia.
The summer is far from over. So, plan a trip if you haven’t made your way down to the marina yet. On most weekends – weather permitting – there is live music or karaoke and the atmosphere is electric.