Spotlight Tour: Barrel Factory

Built in 1903 for the Quaker City Cooperage Co., the building’s red bricks were made onsite during the factory’s construction at its Old First Ward location near the historic Buffalo River and its signature grain elevators. Bordered by Hamburg, Republic (formerly Tecumseh), & Vandalia Streets, the building was known as “The Barrel Factory” to Old First Ward locals. 

For many decades, the company manufactured wooden slack barrels for the shipment of dry goods like grain, malt, flour, fruit, and other commodities. It is the last cooperage building remaining in Buffalo. 

The 3-level brick and beam (45,000 SF) structure is typical of 1890’s and early 1900’s-era industrial buildings, some of which have been re-purposed over the years, but only a few restored to this extent. The building now contains a distillery, brewery, restaurant, bar and event space along with Elevator Alley Kayak rental& an outstanding example of adaptive re-use and preservation of one of the City’s architectural and industrial assets.