The first of many official openings happened Thursday morning at the HarborCenter, with the grand opening of the Tim Hortons location there.
"We're thrilled to open our doors and start a new era for Canalside, downtown Buffalo and HarborCenter in particular. Welcome, welcome," said HarborCenter President John Koelmel, who joined Sabres owner Kim Pegula to officially open the doors to the new shop at 6 a.m.
The line began forming just after 5 a.m. with some folks making a special trip and others stopping by on the way to work.
Young Jackson DiCarlo of Buffalo was first in line, with his dad and a friend. So what made a kid get up so early? Jackson says the "dedication to Tim Horton and (the fact that it's) not just a coffee shop. It's going to be interesting to see what they've done."
Jessica Murdock came with her mom and friends because she says "we love Buffalo and we love coffee."
Folks came from places like West Seneca, Tonawanda, Derby and even Java Center, some saying they wanted to be able to say they were there when it opened and others noting they think HarborCenter is going to change the city.
"I just thought it would be something cool to do," notes Larry Benn of Tonawanda, adding "I work in Cheektowaga, so it's kind of on the way... My wife thinks I'm nuts... All these people from work want stuff. So I'm definitely getting a large coffee for myself and who knows what else."
The HarborCenter location features a wall honoring Tim Horton's life and another wall which features photos from the old Memorial Auditorium.
There are a few special menu items including three kinds of blue and gold donuts, for Sabres fans of course.
We were also told there will be a very special menu item coming in the next month or so at the request of Kim Pegula. The item will only be featured at the HarborCenter location.