After expanding their East Aurora brewery campus with a bigger production facility and the 42 Below Barrel Room, along with an Outpost location in the Larkin neighborhood of Buffalo (a second Outpost in Ellicottville recently closed), 42 North Brewing is taking their talents downtown – to the bustling theatre district, specifically. They will soon open a second location at 674 Main Street.

The new space, dubbed 42 at the Flats, will occupy the 3,500-square-foot ground floor of the Wurlitzer Flats building, which was built in 1895 and sits on the National Register of Historic Places. The new taproom is a massive open space that features an art deco, roaring 20’s theme with a true centerpiece and focal point in a lengthy white marble topped bar that fits with the overall vibe of the theatre district. There is plenty of seating thanks to dozens of barstools, big communal tables, high top bar tables, and cozy leather booths, which harken back to a bygone era, to go along with a small performance stage and a drink rail to create even more space. 42 North owner John Cimperman estimates the seating capacity at around 100 with more standing room space.

“We want it to be comfortable,” Cimperman says. “We want to cater to beer lovers, but we also want to be stewards to our neighbors in this neighborhood. We are constantly asking ourselves, ‘how can we be a welcoming place for locals?’ We are looking at live music, maybe some improv shows and trivia nights. That’s what breweries are – we really want to be a community living room downtown. We’re not bringing East Aurora here; we’re creating a new identity here. We live off of authenticity and collaboration is part of our DNA and we want to do the same thing at 42 at the Flats.”

Cimperman says to expect sporting events shown on the many televisions that will be located around the taproom, and when there aren’t any games on, they plan to show old black-and-white movies and television shows to help tie in the theme and add to the ambiance of the new space.

The brewery is once again partnering with Fat Bob’s Smokehouse to operate the kitchen and develop a new menu featuring flatbread pizzas, smashburgers, salads and more. Fat Bob’s will also handle food for parties at 42 North at the Flats, which houses a 40-person banquet space. But when you order a meal at 42 at the Flats, don’t expect to see a lot of waitstaff around.

“It’s not going to be waiter or waitress serving. We’re bringing a brewery mentality, but there will be QR codes and you are ordering at your table. You’ll get a number and we will bring the food to you. We’re not a restaurant, we’re a brewery first. If you want to come here and play Backgammon for two hours, great, and if you want to eat, great,” Cimperman says.

One unique design aspect of the new space is a trio of antique Wurlitzer jukeboxes, which are purely ornamental unfortunately, that add another level of flair to the taproom space.

“These are part of the history of this building,” Cimperman explains.

42 at the Flats will feature 16 draft lines, including one dedicated Nitro line, pouring 42 North’s craft beer and seltzers, as well as New York state spirits and wines. Cimperman says they plan on having guest beer and cider from time to time as well and expects 14 lines to be dedicated to 42 North’s wares, a cider line and a guest tap. They will also offer their bottles of their barrel aged, wild ales and sours to enjoy on premise.

There will be no brewing at 42 at the Flats and all brewing will still be done in East Aurora.

Cimperman says a downtown location wasn’t really in the cards for 42 North, but they couldn’t pass up the opportunity or the space once they saw it.

“We were not actively looking, but this building and this neighborhood were too good to pass up. We really feel there is something special happening in the theatre district and hopefully we can be part of that,” Cimperman said. “Many of the bars and restaurants we’ve talked to are excited about us being here because they see us bringing more people to neighborhood. Theatre districts are really important assets to a city and were really hoping what we’re doing here can continue to elevate downtown and Main Street. We think there’s room for this area to grow and be even more vibrant.”

And as the cherry on top of the sundae that is the new space, 42 at the Flats still rests on the 42nd parallel.

They plan on being open before and after shows and events at the Town Ballroom and Shea’s Performing Arts Center with the kitchen being open as well early and late as well.

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Additionally, 42N is planning to open a third taproom location in Skaneateles in Onondaga County.

Brian Campbell is co-founder and Brand Manager of the Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).