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Q&A with Tommy Lombardo

Co-owner of Ristorante Lombardo and The Little Club

Photo by kc kratt


The co-owner of Ristorante Lombardo recently opened what has become one of the hottest tickets in town: The Little Club, located across Hertel Avenue from the Ristorante, focuses on wine and a limited menu of select meats, cheese, and seafood.


Buffalo isn’t really a wine town, is it?

Those parameters are starting to break down. People are well-traveled and have better access to information. Those ideas about what makes a blue-collar town are starting to fade away in the context of Buffalo being an emerging, revitalized city.


How do you connect with this new audience?

The Little Club has a very adventurous wine list: good wine from lesser known areas—the Canary Islands, Greece, areas of Spain, parts of South America.We’ve worked with wine for a really long time. It’s our job to know this stuff.


Overall, would you say your goal is to make wine more inclusive?

For sure. We don’t want to turn people off. The other thing is, why do cocktail bars get to have all the fun? Why does a wine bar have to be this sleepy little place with pillows and quiet music? Why can’t it be a fun, stylish place with the Wu-Tang Clan playing? I want to have a fun time in an energetic atmosphere and drink really good wine. Like, great wine.


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