It has to be said: East Aurora is a strange little village.
The Southtowns municipality is becoming well-known for its dining and chill nightlife, but the lighting on the streets is straight out of A Christmas Carol. Take it from this streetwise city slicker – walking around East Aurora’s dimly-lit roads recently had me sketched TF out: I kept looking over my shoulder, maybe to catch a glimpse of The Ghost of Christmas Past.
Bad joking aside, East Aurora does have a lot going on, and local brewery 42 North recently made it a lot easier to go full staycation mode in EA when it opened up four AirBnB lofts next to its taproom. Last fall, the brewery’s owners bought the adjacent building, razed it and built The Lofts @ 42N in its place. The added real estate also allowed the brewery to expand its production operation.
“When the previous owner of the property we acquired approached us about its availability, that accelerated our growth a little bit,” John Cimperman, principal owner of 42 North, told me in a recent phone interview. “I think that fell into our laps nicely. It’s not often that a business can expand literally right next door. So that was a real fortunate occurrence.”
Each loft apartment has a distinct theme. The first-floor Hopland Room was designed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and it features rustic, hop-oriented décor. The Borderland Room has a more modern feel and live music theme, a nod to the brewery’s signature Borderland Music + Arts Festival. The Queen City Room features steampunk vibes and a grain elevator mural, while the Prohibition Room has art deco décor and a mini-bar stashed behind the door of a safe.
Booked through AirBnB, the new lofts can let you fully enjoy EA’s ballooning nightlife and dining options, without having to drive home. The village’s current vibrancy, Cimperman said, can be credited largely to a commitment to authenticity.
“We don’t have a Walmart. We don’t have a Starbucks,” he said. “I think folks appreciate that; going to places or destinations that are authentic.”
Taking their cues from the village, Cimperman and his team built their own brand on all things craft, community and authenticity.
“It’s funny because when I was originally pitching the brewery concept to the village board of East Aurora, I said the legacy of East Aurora is arts and crafts, from Fischer Price to the Roycroft, and ironically, we’re and arts and crafts town without a craft brewery,” he said. “I must say that I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve held true to our business model and really built the place on collaboration; whether it’s with other local breweries, local farmers or not-for-profits.”
Speaking of collabs, Cimperman said those thinking about booking the lofts should check the brewery’s event calendar for beer and food pairing events that will feature chefs from local restaurant. Expect can release events involving collaborations with other local breweries. Oh, and there’s also regular live music in 42 North’s beer garden, which two of the AirBnB lofts overlook. If you’re looking to book a small business or personal event, you can book the brewery’s barrel aging room, which doubles as a small gathering space. (Pro tip: We sampled 42 North’s barrel-aged saison on our visit and strongly urge you to pick up a bottle for the holidays.)
With the brewery also being close to attractions like New Era Field, Kissing Bridge, Knox Farm State Park and the Roycroft Campus, there’s more than enough excuses to book one of the lofts as a place to crash after you drunkenly roam East Aurora’s creepy streets.
The Lofts @ 42N
25 Pine Street, East Aurora, NY 14052
Taproom Hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday CLOSED