There’s a decent chance you’ve heard of a growing, vibrant Buffalo business community called Larkinville but have never experienced it.
We decided to scope it out, eat lunch, and report back.
Where is Larkinville?
It’s “downtown” without actually being downtown. You know how you only see one impressive-looking building to the right as you’re heading north on 190 toward the city? That’s the Larkin Building.
Larkinville is right behind it. This photo was taken as construction was just getting started.
That spot. Right there.
What’s in/at Larkinville?
Let’s start with the main restaurant, Larkin Filling Station.
It’s an indoor/outdoor facility. That’s its awning and patio area on the right.
There’s also an outdoor bar…
… and a “permanent” food truck called Square 1 Sandwiches. (Ate there– delicious.)
Get your food and then sit under the world’s largest pergola.* (*World record unconfirmed,)
There are guys, some in business attire, playing something called “pickle ball”– which seems awesome.
There’s a concert series running all summer…
… and judging by this table, it’s clearly being run by someone with serious concert experience. We’re looking at you, Seamus Gallivan. Veteran move.
Right now, it all adds up to this.
Some history from Wikipedia:
Hydraulics neighborhood, present day
A large portion of the Larkin company’s extensive manufacturing and distribution complex has survived. The 600,000 sq ft Larkin Terminal Warehouse, not designed by Wright, was successfully renovated and converted into Class A office space in 2002. The Larkin U Building at 239 Rensselaer street was converted into Class A office space in 2011. The Larkin Factory Complex Buildings (The Seneca Industrial Center) at 701 Seneca Street is slated for a residential conversion, while a number of other Larkin buildings as well as the streetscape continue to see investment.
Extensive Larkin Company records and photographs survive in the library collection of the Buffalo History Museum.
On top of what you see in the photos, the area is surrounded by construction/refurbishing projects. Larkinville provides one of those “I feel like I’m in a different city” moments that, while they seem to put down Buffalo, are really a sign of its resurgence.
So, yeah… we’ll be back.