From a Funeral Home to a Coffee Shop

Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery, located at 580 South Park Ave, is up and coming. After being open for a little over a year, this coffee shop is the new hot spot in Buffalo’s Old First Ward.

Prior to this building functioning as a coffee shop, it was a funeral home, which is where the name “Undergrounds” comes from. One of the owners, Sara Heidinger, always had the desire to open a local coffee shop and when the former funeral home went up for sale, her and her team jumped on the opportunity. Throughout the shop, there are many references to a funeral home including “The Creamation Station” where customers can add necessities to their drinks.

The coffee shop consists of two areas; the seating area where customers can eat while getting work done and the kitchen area where customers place their orders. The seating area, where customers have to pass through to get to the counter to place their order, has a more relaxed and quiet atmosphere. As I walked up four steps to get to the rest of the coffee shop I felt like I was in a new place. The walls are covered with vibrant, exotic decorations, and the unique mugs with famous dead people on them. The hand-written menu is located on the wall just before you reach the counter to place your order. The menu includes breakfast(which is served all day), salads, sandwiches, beverages, and seasonal options. Behind the counter is where all the magic happens; beverages are made, meals are prepared, and coffee beans are freshly roasted.

All food items on the menu, breakfast, and lunch, have unique names to them from “The Teddy Roosevelt” to “The Tim Russert.” After staring at the menu for about 5 minutes, I landed on “The McKinley,” a wild twist on a grilled cheese, along with a medium watermelon lemonade. A sandwich filled with pulled chicken, bacon, homemade mac n’cheese, cheddar cheese, crumbled Triscuits, and a side of chips. I didn’t know what to expect after I placed my order. Patiently waiting for my sandwich, I observed the line forming at the counter, the chaos taking place behind the counter and listened to the variety of music being played through the speakers from Maroon 5 to The Fray.

As soon as I heard, “McKinley,” from behind the counter, I quickly got up from the booth to get my plate and returned to my seat. After the first bite, I could immediately taste the cheesiness of the mac n’cheese with the crunchiness of the Triscuits.  Only eating one half of the filling sandwich, I went up to the counter to get a take-out box for the other half.

This new sandwich was definitely worth the $11 and even better, I would have lunch for the next day too. The fun atmosphere of the coffee shop reflects the unique menu as I left full with a smile on my face.



580 South Park Ave, Buffalo NY, 14210

Phone Number:

(716) 240-9923


Monday-Friday 6:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday 7:00 am-5:00 pm


Beverages: $1.95-$6.95

Breakfast: $1.00-$7.00

Lunch: $8.00-$12.00

Rating: 9.5/10