Buffalo, NY — We know the city of Buffalo is getting some great positive reviews with an image boost in some national publications. And now that extends to one particular neighborhood which is getting high marks.
The Yelp review website is spotlighting North Buffalo as No. 10 on its list of the top 50 most improved neighborhoods around the country for economic opportunity.
A Yelp representative says this survey looked at the volume of customer reviews and actual page views for businesses in North Buffalo. It also factored in the number of businesses actually opening and closing in that area.
You combine all the new restaurants, bars, and unique shops and all the diversity and then mix that with the stable residential neighborhood and new folks moving in, and you have a recipe for success. That is no surprise to some.
Even during the day North Buffalo starts humming. Businesses on Hertel Avenue draw them in. But it's also that complete neighborhood image with an interesting vibe. Resident Margaret Marshall says, "You have all these condos opening up but the houses are just selling like hot cakes. I feel like it's a little laid back and we don't seem as serious about everything."
Peter Cimino is one of the owners of the Lloyd Taco Factory on Hertel.
"The residential population has always been here ...it's very inviting. It's very friendly," he said. "There's a bunch of families here but the commercial strip never really caught up to that . And now that there's this synergy of different shops and restaurants and bars...people are walking to get outside."
And they're walking day and night to take it all in from pub crawls to farmers markets to art installations and more.
Of course the Yelp survey does specifically note nightlife in North Buffalo. Dustin Swaciak is one of the managers at The Burning Buffalo Bar.
"I spent a lot of of my early 20's coming out here and just the growth of nicer bars and you see so many new restaurants coming...which is I think bringing a great element and different demographic of people to come," Swaciak said.
One of those newcomers is Stephanie Anderson who is a new manger of the Hertel Avenue Poutine & Cream shop. She has been in Western New York for four months after moving here from the weirdly cool city of Portland, Oregon. And she sees the sizzle.
"The nightlife just comes alive around here. I mean you have so much going on. It's diversity you know," Anderson said.
Delaware District Councilman Joel Feroleto has also seen the economic evolution.
"All the residents in North Buffalo always thought it was great and they've always supported local business and really maintained their homes. So for them it hasn't been a secret but the word's getting out and we see people from the suburbs every night walking down Hertel," Feroleto said.