Uncovering The eCafé
Sometimes being a small business owner can be tough... especially when you are thrown an unexpected curveball. And when that curveball keeps coming at you for two years? I don't think that many businesses would have been able to handle what the eCafé just went through. For the last 24 months, the café has had to deal with scaffolding in front of its business. This past week the scaffolding was finally removed, thus exposing the eCafé from two years of being covered up. I spoke to co-owner Shawn Shearer who told me that there were some major problems up towards the building's roofline. But he never expected to see the scaffolding up for two long years.
All of the times that I passed the eCafé I always wondered why the repairs were taking so long. If it were not for the existing corporate clientele (HUD, Bryant and Stratton, Business First, and M&T in 1/2 the building) that already supported the café before the construction work began, there might not have been a business remaining when the facade was finally uncovered. But if you remember this post that we did on the eCafé, then you'll know how they managed to stay in business. I am still a firm believer that this is one of the best-kept breakfast and lunch secrets downtown. On one side of the space they have the use of a beautiful indoor atrium lobby with rushing fountains. On the other side they have cyber windows where customers can hop online and still watch the urban landscape unfold on the street in front of them.
When we posted the original story back in '06 there was scaffolding obscuring the view to the street. Now everything is back to the way it should be. Good McCullagh Coffee, great seating areas, and as mentioned in the post from '06...
"The menu though is built for speed, with a number of cash-and-carry items that will get a busy person in and out faster than Dale Earnhardt Jr. passes through pit row.
The breakfast selections, served until 11 a.m., include muffins, bagels and wraps with various combinations of sausage, bacon, ham, cheese and egg. Healthy choices include Egg Beaters, oatmeal, low-fat cream cheese and donuts (just kidding).
Lunch choices include deli-style cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches (including a potato-crusted fish sandwich), panini sandwiches and specialty wraps."
Plus, when you're supporting the eCafé, you're supporting a local, homegrown business. If you're anywhere near Court Street or City Hall, be sure to stop in and try this place out. I'm not sure that you could find a more dedicated business anywhere else in the city of Buffalo. You can’t miss it… the front of the Lafayette Court Building looks amazing with the flags and the awnings. As it should after two years of work.
The eCafé is located at 465 Main Street in the Lafayette Court Building. Phone is 716.852.7663.