This has been one of my favorite places in Buffalo since I was in High School back in the late 90s. Live performances (mostly music but not always) every night, and a vibe that is unparalleled. I am an atmosphere junkie. If I am gonna pay 2x as much for a beer than I would in the store then I don't need clean bathrooms, drop ceilings, white lights and 5 giant televisions. I also don't need cement heads chugging Bud Light who yell at their girlfriends and want to fight all the time. This place has none of that. Many people describe it as hipster-ish (that's a better description for the place across the street) or Bohemian (maybe a bit more accurate), but the fact is that is defies labeling. It's just freaking "cool" and that is it.
It was an old vaudeville theater that dates back to the 1920s. Small stage up front for more intimate performances and a large one in the back for the bigger acts, either local, regional or national. Expect to pay a cover most nights, which can be annoying if all you want to do is have a beer, but it is usually not exorbitant, and they tend to get smaller as the night wears on. The only other knock is that the headlining bands tend to start quite late, as much as an hour or more past the scheduled time. I was tempted to knock it down to 4 stars on account of this but it seems like they have tried to remedy that after being publicly called out by a local music critic. Beer selection is pretty good, by current standards, about 10 taps or so, with a good variety of imports, domestics, and interesting regional crafts. I've heard people complain about the bartenders not being overly nice, but I have been around these people for years and they are fine, it is part of their charm. One dude ket the place open one night after everyone else was gone and helped us finish one of the bottles of whiskey. The neighborhood is fascinating and unique, historic Allentown, kind of like Buffalo's answer to Greenwich Village, obviously on a much smaller scale. Check it out and see if it's for you.
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