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Spirited new beer garden, cocktail bar, and bakery heats up Washington Avenue

New beer garden, cocktail bar, and bakery heats up Washington Avenue

Buffalo Heights Bier Garten construction
After construction, the teller area will house a cocktail bar.  Photo by Eric Sandler

The Kirby Group, the hospitality company behind Heights Bier Garten and Holman Draft Hall, has picked Washington Avenue for its next project. Construction has begun on Buffalo Heights Bier Garten.

Located on the site of former Bank of America drive-thru facility near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Waugh Drive, Buffalo Heights Bier Garten is slated for an early summer opening, partner Steven Salazar tells CultureMap. As the company’s first new patio bar since opening Pitch 25 in 2018, it will combine elements from the existing concepts with new elements that stem from the company’s continued growth. For starters, that means an industrial look featuring the company's trademark black steel hangars and a massive, fully landscaped patio.

Like Heights Bier Garten, the property will contain a cocktail bar — similar in style to Wooster’s Garden and Worcester’s Annex — as well as a separate building that will house a wine and beer bar with 100 taps. Customers can expect a large selection of spirits and a rotating mix of familiar and allocated craft beers.

The property will also be home to dedicated facilities for ice cutting, baking, and butchery. Those programs have been taking place behind the scenes at Heights Bier Garten, but they’ll be showcased at Buffalo Heights.

Emma Jane Bakery will occupy a white house that will be constructed on the property. The Kirby Group makes already makes hamburger buns and other breads for both its establishments and wholesale clients such as Blood Bros. BBQ and Riel. Emma Jane will expand those offerings and add a selection of pastries such as cookies, cakes, and croissants. It will also serve coffee prepared by baristas. 

A dedicated butcher shop will produce items such as sausages, charcuterie, and pates and break down whole animals for use at Degust, Kirby Group culinary director Brandon Silva’s recently opened tasting menu restaurant in Spring Branch.

Finally, patrons will be able to look through glass windows as staff members use bandsaws to cut crystal clear ice cubes for use in cocktails at all of the company’s bars.

Salazar says he’s looking to hire a number of people to staff all of these facilities, including a head baker, head butcher, and a new executive chef who could work alongside Silva. As the company looks to the future, Salazar says he’s feeling optimistic that people will be ready to go out again.

“We tend to be associated with the most positive experiences in people’s lives,” he says.