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Leaders of new 'Brewery District' hope to revive historic Erie Freight House

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Members of the Bi-National Alliance are launching a new marketing plan to boost tourism on both sides of the Niagara River. The plan includes the branding of a new destination: the 'Buffalo Brewery District.'

The district stretches from around Amherst and Grant Streets in Buffalo through downtown and along Ohio Street. It includes the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, the newly opened Lofts on Pearl, The Pan American Grill and Brewery, Hotel @ the Lafayette, and Sportsmen's Tavern.

Pearl Street owner Earl Ketry says the initiative includes partners on both sides of the U.S. Canadian border, with a goal of driving business in the Niagara region in a positive way.

"We're excited about what we're going to look like five years from now," said Ketry. "We intend to be part of that and be a catalyst."

Some local businessmen who have revitalized several historic buildings in Buffalo also have their sights on the Erie Freight House. The building dates back to the 1860's but has fallen into disrepair and has been slated for demolition.  Saving the structure is part of a new marketing plan.

Ketry and developer Rocco Termini are looking to add the Erie Freight House to their stable of historic properties. Ketry says talks are still underway to purchase it.  

"We are great fans to tired buildings. We're a preservationist that does things and doesn't just talk about it. Our goal is to try to save that property. We think it's a magnificent piece and it's worthy of our history," Ketry said.

Ketry says he'd like to move the 150-year-old building just down the River closer to downtown and open another brewery and event center. He says the goal is to  "make the Erie Freight House the exclamation point on Buffalo's new Brewery District."