by Andrew Kulyk (@akulykUSRT) - posted 7:40 pm, December 4, 2013
Most patrons stepping into The Lodge, the Chippewa Entertainment District’s newest restaurant and bistro, probably don’t realize that this entire project might not have happened, had it not been for the outcome of a one-on-one pick up basketball game.
So explains principal owner Adam March. “I was over at the previous owner’s house (The Bayou nightclub), I think it was back in 2009, and we were playing basketball. He has a couple kids, I was 26-27 at the time, and he told me if I could beat his nephew in basketball, he would sell me the bar. What he didn’t know was that I had played high level basketball, and still do. And so, it was half joking, half serious, but what I then was not aware of is his nephew was the senior starting point guard at the state champion Nichols team at the time. So I step out, and he steps out, and says, ‘let’s play.’ And heh. I won. And from the results and fallout of that game we put the deal together.”
March and his fellow co-owners have spent over a year and invested $1.2-miilion into creating The Lodge. This two level restaurant and entertainment bistro is over 6000 square feet in size. and the second floor offers panoramic views of the lower level bar and seating area, and contains a separate bar and party area, and game room, as well as a New Orleans style gondola balcony outdoors with sweeping views of the Chippewa streetscape. The stupendous interior design on both levels offers instant photo opportunities for visitors and patrons, with its unique lighting, shimmering acoustical tiles and beveled wall designs mimicking woodlands and flowing water, among other distinguishing touches.
This afternoon, owners, management, staff and invited guests assembled to do a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Representing the government sector were Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and State Senator Mark Grisanti. Brown and Grisanti presented proclamations on behalf of the city and the state.
Designed to mimic the ambiance of a mountain chalet or ski lodge, The Lodge is the architectural vision of a man named Rohit Kapoor. “He’s originally from Buffalo, lives in New York, and we brought him down here, with his Buffalo ties, and asked him to put his own style on this. It took months and months and months, this is not how we envisioned it from day one. It was a buildout, it was a flow and continual buildout of ideas. All our art is locally commissioned by Buffalo artists. All the furniture, the bar design is locally created. It was a nice accumulation of ideas and contractors and then the creation of a unique menu. We can see the public appreciates what we’re doing. Since the soft opening the response and enthusiasm has been overwhelming,” said March.
March and his partners are involved in business, investment and capital projects throughout the Buffalo area, and he admits that this was a fun project to do. “We believe in the growth and momentum that is happening in Buffalo and specially downtown, and we’re right in the middle of it all here on Chippewa,” said March.
“We’re not resting on our laurels. We’ve acquired the space next door at the former Lux nightclub and we are still not ready to unveil our specific plans but will be doing so shortly. It will be exciting and the public will love it. It will be yet another piece of the entertainment district down here that will be unique to Buffalo.”