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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Bar Buffalo stomping into downtown Rochester

Bar Buffalo stomping into downtown Rochester

No bull — look for Bar Buffalo coming soon to Historic Third.

The new establishment — located in the space formerly occupied by Exquisite Leather — is set to open sometime in late June. With a focus on small plates and craft drinks, Bar Buffalo will offer a relaxed, approachable atmosphere in the heart of downtown Rochester.

"We are trying to add to the culture down here and expand the options available in this neighborhood," said co-owner Chris Fierst. "If you were to ask anyone locally where the heart of the city is, they would tell you it's along the block connecting First Avenue and Historic Third."

Fierst will run the bar along with his partner, Steve Lee. The two also own the Half Barrel, located just around the corner from Bar Buffalo.

Their new spot, named for a pub frequented by Fierst during his time in Wales, will offer its own drink menu featuring dozens of gin and wine varieties — plus other local spirits and a full lineup of craft brews on tap.

"It's not just another bar downtown," said Fierst. "I always want a unique selection. I don't want to see the same, tired things at the back of the bar."

Bar Buffalo's menu will center on small plates and community-style cuisine. While there will be a few staples on the menu, like the locally-sourced bison burger, much of the fare will be constantly changing and evolving.

"We will have a lot of things rotating through, including some vegan and vegetarian dishes," said Fierst. "We want the focus to always be on quality."

With 2,000 square feet of space, Bar Buffalo plans to share some of its staff with the Half Barrel, while also hiring an additional 6-10 new employees.

Like the Barrel, Fierst said, Bar Buffalo will feature local musicians weekly. 

Renovations on the space are now under way. In the meantime, you can check them out on Facebook or at their Thursdays on First & 3rd booth.

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