A lot of people may not know this, but Buffalo has a Navy. The legendary Sullivan Brothers is docked here alongside the USS Little Rock and SS Croaker. And right behind the armada is a lively galley adorned with Naval memorabilia boasting a large pier-side patio that resembles a forecastle of a Navy destroyer.
Owners Mike Shatzel and Jason Davidson commissioned the canal-side restaurant here nearly a decade ago. Prior to that, the area was mostly sand and gravel. The Navy ships arrived in 1979, but didn’t bring along much development. The waterfront remained an industrial wasteland.for over 30 years until liberty came calling. Today, the Naval & Military Park is the largest inland Naval park in the US.
The name Liberty hound refers to the Sailor(s) who are always one of the first to leave the ship when liberty is called. They are on a mission is to patronize the local taverns and they yearn to enjoy every last minute ashore before the ships returns to sea. Often they stumble back across the brow minutes before liberty expires. If these ships returned to life, you would certainly see their crew enjoying a last drink here.
So WNY has launched Phase 2. I enjoyed my steel beach burger on the canal-side pier alongside the flotilla To wash down my chow, I swigged down a Thin Man porter – dark and bold – all lights out before Taps was called.
I was glad to see patrons returning in droves, and mariners and landlubbers swapping scuttlebutt on the open pier.