The History of 149 Elmwood Ave:
Israel ‘Benjamin’ Celniker bought the property of 149 Elmwood directly after Prohibition, in December of 1933, with the sole purpose to build a Liquor Store.
The building, a simple structure, was built with cinder blocks. Celniker was adamant about dressing up the structure with Marble tiles and chrome lettering consistent with the Art Deco movement that was flourishing at that time.
Celniker received his newly sanctioned liquor licenses and was open for business in early 1934 with the name ‘Celniker’s Liquor’ and the Liquor Store License number right on the window.
Celniker was innovative with his thinking and began a delivery service --- Buffalo’s first distributing liquor store. A customer would call in and place an order and Celniker’s son, Philip, would deliver the alcohol -- rain or shine, and even in a snowstorm. This system was perfect for doctors, lawyers, business man and housewives that lived in the affluent surrounding streets.
1952 Benjamin Celniker died but the business stayed in the family for 20 plus more years.
1975 The building was sold to Jim Diggs and shortly after the beautiful facade of marble tiles were sold off to art festival patrons. After that, 149 Elmwood was covered quickly with wood and it's potential was lost for another 20 years as it lay in slumber decaying.
In 2011 the building was purchased by Sutton Development and it was woken up. Sutton designed this structure in a neo classical style to emulate other structures nearby. Today the building boasts beautiful handmade columns that hold up a cornice that spans the length of the building. Finally, 149 Elmwood was once again consistent with the excellence of Allentown.
January 18, 2013 Savoy open their doors and stepped onto the Buffalo bar scene.