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Labatt celebrates decade of calling Buffalo home with city-boosting plans

Mary Catalfamo
Photo of a rendering of the future Labatt headquarters and pub in Buffalo's Cobblestone District

Labatt USA is celebrating its tenth anniversary of being headquartered in Buffalo. In honor of the milestone, Mayor Byron Brown declared July 12, 2017 Labatt Blue Day and declared this weekend Labatt Blue Weekend.

Executives announced several new projects including updates on the John Labatt project in the Cobblestone District. Labatt Vice President of Sales Doug Smith said the latter project creates many new experiences for the brewery.

“It’ll feature retail space on the first floor and our new corporate headquarters on the second floor," he said. "Twelve-thousand square feet of modernized industrial building with an open floor plan and we will have a pub for private events, partner events and for the community.” 

Total development of the building, located at 79 Perry Street, will cost $10 million. Smith hopes it will be finished by August 2018.

Labatt Brand Manager Lisa Texido said the company is going to focus on community beautification.

“In the upcoming weeks, you’ll notice colorful flags and flower pots begin to line the streets of Chippewa,” said Texido. “This has been our home since we moved to Buffalo ten years ago. We care greatly about this neighborhood, and we’d like to do something to be able to help restore, preserve and enhance its already beautiful amenities it has to offer.”

Other investments in the community Labatt has undertaken are environmental. The brewery recently partnered with Buffalo Riverkeeper to focus on the waterway near the former grain silos-turned-huge Labatt six-pack on the Buffalo River.

Labatt will be offering discounted Uber rides during Labatt Blue Weekend. The company was a large advocate for ridesharing in Western New York, which began on June 29.

“As a beer company, responsible use is something that we take incredibly seriously”, Texido said. “It’s the main reason we were such a loud advocate to bring ride-sharing to this area. We always encourage people to practice drinking responsibly and to make sure that they always have a safe ride home.”

Since moving here from Norwalk, Connecticut 10 years ago, the company has grown and been a major influence on the Buffalo Renaissance. Smith showed his admiration for the city and the brewery through Labatt tradition: a toast.

“Buffalo’s alive, it’s growing, and it’s developing, and we’re a big part of it now. We’re so proud to be here, and we’re so proud of the support the people give us every day.”

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