Gettin’ prehistoric: Tour Dinosaur Bar-B-Que - PHOTOS
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • February 12, 2014 @ 9:45am
Maybe it’s just a Northeastern tendency, but Buffalonians seem to be an impatient breed.
Originally, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que intended to open its first Buffalo location last summer, an ambitious but realistic date considering the news was announced in July 2012.
Due to a slower-than-expected refurbishing project, Dinosaur’s start was pushed back to October 2013, then delayed again to February 2014.
We wondered, “Are we just being teased here? Will Mark Croce’s project in a former film-storage joint ever be realized?”
Well, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que CEO John Stage stayed true to his final deadline, as the barbecue eatery with a biker-vibe officially opens at 5 p.m. today, but an invitation-only gathering Tuesday night provided the teaser photos of luscious brisket and rich macaroni and cheese to whet Western New York’s collective palate.
Let’s start the photo tour—and why wouldn’t we start with the food?:
Commentary: Here, gaze at some brisket. Donnie from Buffalo Eats noted on Instagram how excited he was about the burnt ends. It’s really, really hard to blame him.
Commentary: Ribs = also very photogenic.
Commentary: As you’ll see from the food menu below, even if you’re not a full-on carnivore, there are other options to satisfy (and, there’s alcohol, too).
Commentary: Sorry if it’s a little blurry—one of Dinosaur’s charm is the dim lighting, which furthers the desired grungy-biker-bar feel. Not to be confused with local fitness establishment BikeorBar, of course.
Commentary: Humor me for a second—this is a pig, with an air-horn, seated daintily in a chair. Why wouldn’t this weave its way into the photo tour? Picturing him belting Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out” through said horn was the highlight of my evening.
Commentary: Given that much of Buffalo’s non-Chippewa bar scene has welcomed craft beer with open arms, we’ll give Dino’s a solid B+. Kudos for Founders, Community Beer Works, Flying Bison, Dogfish Head, Ellicottville Brewing Company and Dino’s own smoked porter on tap, but come on, man, your bottle list is atrocious (except for Genny, of course. I’ll never insult her).
Commentary: Let’s talk about the restaurant’s inside. It’s markedly different from Rochester’s Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in that the Buffalo version feels less compartmentalized—the open room makes it more boisterous, essentially like one large party. I don’t think people consider Dinosaur as an intimate, white-table-cloth dining experience, so don’t arrive with those expectations.
Commentary: Maybe it was the clientele of the preview party, but the biker-centric atmosphere apparent in Rochester’s was absent from Buffalo’s. Too soon to judge, of course, since the restaurant hasn’t opened yet, and maybe biker-friendly status is something that’s built over time. I can’t see a group of Harley fanatics just popping into bars willy-nilly.
Maybe I’m playing to stereotypes, but if it doesn’t smell like smoke and roasting meat, and if you can see clearly across the restaurant, then our scruffy pals will vroom elsewhere.
Commentary: Before I get too carried away with thinking I’m funny, here are some useful notes.
1) The bar is very long and narrow, and while the walkways can get a little tight, you don’t feel like you’re navigating a corn maze to order a drink.
2) There’s a small alcove with a sign above it that reads “Live Music,” which, I presume, will be used for live music. It’s close to the entrance side of the bar, so if you want to have a conversation and drink by the bar, I’d recommend posting up on the opposite side of the bar (closer to the food-ordering station). Real journalism right here.
3) If neon signs aren’t your thing, then you should probably stay away from Dinosaur. I don’t have any beef with vibrant fluorescent lights, and here’s a photo to prove it.
Commentary: The exterior of the building remains pretty nondescript, but if you’re locationally-challenged, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is situated immediately next to Bambino on Franklin or Alleyway Theater on Pearl. If this doesn’t help, then use Google Maps or ask Siri.
Commentary: But someone rolled in with a limo, which automatically increased the class ten-fold.
Commentary: Buffalo.com girlfriend got really excited about this pro-Buffalo sign. She has a better feel for aesthetics than I do.
(All photos are courtesy of Ben Tsujimoto, except the beer list comes from Buffalo Eats’ Instagram account, as I sometimes have a shaky hand.)