7. 1. 6.

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When I began this blog of mine over six years ago I never imagined the amount of love and passion I would have for the city that I am so lucky to call home. Having always loved this region I didn’t think it would be possible to find deeper meaning, deeper roots and deeper passions that I have come to find, but it has happened and there is so, so much to be grateful for in our region.

Since it is “716 day” I thought I would share my list of favorite (favorite!!) restaurants, venues, activities, events, and people I like to follow. I know I missed A LOT on this list (it’s so hard to think of it all), but take a look. Let me know what are some of your favorite things in the 716 - places you like to go, events you like to attend and people you like to follow.

Western New York may be a small region compared to big cities, but it has a ton of talent, pride and passion to share with visitors and those that are lucky to call it home.

Favorites broken down by category:

Brewery: Resurgence – Have you checked out their new location at 55 Chicago? If not, definitely put it on your list of things to do

Restaurants:

  • Southtowns: Alchemy Wine Bar/The Grange

  • Downtown Restaurants: Marble + Rye, Hearth + Press (especially before a show at Sheas), Hydraulic Hearth (love their outdoor patio in the summertime), Cantina Loco is my favorite spot for guac, and chips and they are my favorite spot for margaritas. Love Wasabi on Elmwood for Sushi

  • Northtowns: Share on Main Street, TCB on Transit Road and Greens on Transit

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Cocktails – Duende at Silo City is a pretty cool, chill place, Angelica Tea Room, Just Vino on Main Street, Blackbird Cider on Chandler Street, The Terrace at Delaware Park is a beautiful spot as well, those views of Hoyt Lake are BEAUTIFUL.

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Dog Park: Hands down my Harlie girl loves the Knox Farm – whether its running around at the dog park or walking the trails it’s a happy place for her

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Workout Spot: #REVLIFE is the best life. Any class at Revolution Buffalo is sure to be a fun time. It is my happy place. A place where I take in all the positive vibes that I can. I also love Love in Motion yoga. Kate and Kath bring those feel good vibes with every flow

Outdoor spots: Hands down The Outer Harbor is my favorite waterfront spot and a spot that I never get sick of. Whether it’s a run, walk, the views or visiting Tifft Nature Preserve it has a special place in my heart. Delaware Park and Artpark are also places I love to visit outdoors

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Fun things to do: A fishing excursion with Brookdog Fishing is a blast and I highly recommend for anyone (at any fishing level). The Buffalo Pedal Tours are so much fun, Hatchets & Hops is also a fun place to check out as well as the Silo City tours with Explore Buffalo

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Coffee Shops: Remedy House, Tipico, Public and Overwinter

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Favorite places: The Buffalo Zoo (that’s a given; I mean if you know me you know how much I love animals (more than some people)). The Aquarium is another favorite spot. The Science Museum, kayaking, The Buffalo Central Terminal and the Broadway Market

Shops I love to visit: Anna Grace on Elmwood, Mod Nos on Hertel, Winkler & Samuels Wine Purveyors at 500 Seneca, Pegs Hardware

My spots for wings: Nine Eleven Tavern in South Buffalo is a hole in the wall, but the wings are one of the best in town (in my opinion), I am also a fan of Carbone’s on South Park and Duffs

Favorite social media accounts to follow/motivate me, locally here in Buffalo: Buffalo Boss Babes, Christy at Wild Blossom Hollow, Lloyds, The Buffalo Zoo, Adventures are Waiting (Jess Kelly), BKind City, We Must Dash, Indie Twenty (Rachel), Love in Motion Yoga, Balanced Bright Life (Jessica Reagan), West End Interiors, Yoga Steve (Steve Procknal), and Lauren from Rev @liittlelauren

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Favorite summer time events: Jack Craft Fair and new this year – Door Open Buffalo/Explore Buffalo, I always try and visit Shakespeare at Delaware Park too, it’s a classic summertime activity in Buffalo. Wines in the Wild at the Zoo is also one I always go to. For me being an event planner I feel like I attend a lot of events not just plan a lot so when a new event is created or its an event I have never been to – that excites me more than a recurring event, unless it has “wowed” me.

My bucket list of things to do before summer is over: Visit the new Explore & More, A hot air balloon ride (this has been on my bucket list for years), learn/try to paddle board – all those years at the Harbor and I never had a chance to do it then, visit Shirt Factory in Medina, and take a class with Ren at Rise Fitness.

-B




The Brains and Beauties Behind Alchemy Wine & Beer

Nicole Casell & Anne McIntosh - owners of Alchemy Wine & Beer  (photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

Nicole Casell & Anne McIntosh - owners of Alchemy Wine & Beer

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

Its Thanksgiving week and while I have many things to be thankful for I thought I would kick off the week by featuring two women who I was lucky to meet a couple weeks ago. Nicole Casell and Anne McIntosh are the beauty and the brains behind the AMAZING Alchemy Wine & Beer in Hamburg.

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

Having opened in June the two gals put everything they had into opening a one of a kind space where all are welcome. Learn more about these two powerhouse women below.

(photo Just a Blonde in Buffalo)

(photo Just a Blonde in Buffalo)

How did you two meet?

  • About a decade ago. Nicole’s best friend is Anne’s sister in law. Since then the two have traveled around the world together.

How did Alchemy start?

  • With their passion of wine. It was always an idea and passion project and as the both of them traveled together they continued to find great establishments. While they were in New Orleans they visited a wine bar and in the backyard of the establishment the inspiration came to them and from that inspiration snowballed Alchemy.

(photo Just a Blonde in Buffalo Instagram @bybuffalob)

(photo Just a Blonde in Buffalo Instagram @bybuffalob)

Why Hamburg?

  • While looking at locations, they looked at the City of Buffalo, but having a couple wine bars already, they decided to plant roots in the southtowns. Why? because the southtowns didn’t have any wine bars and it just made sense. Anne was born and raised in Hamburg and Nicole recently made the move with her family to Hamburg from Buffalo.

What do you love best about Buffalo?

  • The size of Buffalo is the perfect size for a city. The amount of events and activities that take place, its condensed, but big enough to still explore and find new things.

While I was talking with Nicole and Anne, I learned a lot more about them. As you can imagine, opening a business is tough, a lot of time, money and dreams are put on the line and Nicole and Anne did it all on their own. People may have a preconceived notion that they own a business and have staff to do everything, but they are not absentee owners, they are involved and have been involved from the ground up. Alchemy is the outcome of hard work and passion from two normal women who are only in their 30’s.

Here are some other things I’d like you to know:

  • The wine at Alchemy is wine you will not find at your local stores. It’s limited, small batch, boutique wines, opening the customers to experience wine from many regions. It’s meant to show people that wine does not have to be over thought.

  • They also serve beer and cider (for those non wine drinkers).

  • Nicole and Anne are level one Sommelier’s.

  • They have a work life blend - never being unplugged, finding balance and structure is unique, but well worth it.

  • Don’t be afraid to pay for help. Nicole and Anne opened a business not really having a background in business, but pursuing a dream and they learned as they went. Ask questions and do research.

  • Alchemy is meant to be casual, it’s meant to be a gathering space

  • Alchemy is not a sit down, full service restaurant. It is a place that offers an array of appetizers/shared plates - easy and humble food (*check out their Charcuterie board next time you’re there).

  • Alchemy is a wine bar community space

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

Nicole and Anne continue to keep moving forward and growing and as they do so they are paying it forward. They have learned so much in a short amount of time and are willing to share their experiences with others.

In the short amount of time I spent with the both of them, I learned so much and am so thankful for the opportunity to share their story. As a woman in her 30’s these two ladies are very inspiring and meeting with them only motivates me to pursue those passions I have for myself.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with these takeaways that have stuck with me since I met with Nicole and Anne- level set your expectations, find balance, learn to delegate tasks, have a good team and don’t ever give up on something your passionate about. Thank you Nicole and Anne for being the kick ass gals that you are.

-B

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If you follow Alchemy on social media you know they host an array of events, from collaborating with crafters and artists, to hosting live music, tastings and wellness events, any event you attend gives off a feel good vibe. Alchemy is open to collaborating with more people so if you have an event you’d like to host, reach out!