(FULL DISCLOSURE: I am born and raised in Buffalo and I make infrequent visits to the Queen City to meet family and check out all of the up-and-comings in the city. Throughout the months, you'll see a few blog entries dedicated to indie coffee shops in Buffalo.)
|Yes, that is my younger brother Adam|
pictured in the blue hoodie.
For Dog Ears, all of the proceeds from the coffee shop go directly to support the Enlightenment Literary Arts Center, located upstairs in the building, according to their website. (I don't know what the center does, and quite frankly, I don't care. The name sounds wonderful.)
I visited the coffee shop with my younger brother, Adam, Nov. 27, during my trip back home to Buffalo for Thanksgiving week. It wasn't my first time at Dog Ears. I've shared a meal their once before this summer with a friend who is a producer for one of Buffalo's TV news stations, and I also visited the place a couple times when it had a different owner and was called Caz Coffee Cafe. That shop closed down in 2012 and the bookstore took over the entire building some months afterward.
|Here's part of the bookstore in the back,|
but half of the bookshelves are woven incredibly well
into the coffee shop's dining areas.
Below is my breakdown of the coffee shop:
Location - For those who don't know Western New York--South Buffalo and especially this portion along Abbott Road--is not often a highlighted destination for young, hip people to hang out. Buffalo's Elmwood Village, Allentown, Hertal Avenue, Chippewa Strip and more recently Canalside, Amherst Street and Larkin District are the spots people scope out for a good time. (And I haven't been to half of those places, of course.)
Dog Ears is one of a few businesses nestled between residential streets and in close proximity to a major park and hospital. That's part of the charm of Dog Ears. It's a very walk-friendly destination for the thousands of nearby residents and employees in South Buffalo. It works well with neighborhoods, even when patrons--myself included--are forced to park along residential streets because Dog Ears has no parking lot.
|Look at these massive monsters!|
Not to be overly pious about the "not-for-profit" status, but my brother only spent 20 bucks and some change for both of our quesadillas and our 16-ounce chai latte and cappucinno. That's pretty affordable cuisine for an urban indie coffee shop.
Space - In addition of adding more seating in the back of the building, Dog Ears made some noticeable interior improvements to the coffee shop since Caz Coffee left. It integrated its bookshelves nicely with the cafe's tables, fostered more open space, and most importantly, introduced me to the art of eco-friendly design: turning used doors into tables. They are both beautiful and reused.
Why don't I see this more often?
|Yes! Those are indeed coffee beans inside the|
rectangular indents of the door. Groundbreaking!