8166 Main St., Clarence
Dress: Cowboy boots to flip-flops
Drinks: Go well with bar food
Music: Country and more
Scene: Depends on the night
Best time to go: Thursday through Saturday
Next week: Laughlin's
Outside of the City of Buffalo and past the plazas, parking lots and strip malls lining the empty nighttime streets of Clarence, I found Club Infinity.
Set just past Transit Road on Main Street, the club generally known as a country-western bar was something quite different. But locating it proved to be a bit of a problem, as it is placed between two car dealerships and kind of blends in with them. But after driving past it twice, I pulled into its parking lot.
When you first set foot inside Club Infinity you may believe you have mistakenly wandered into Chuck E. Cheese's. There is a host of video games, foosball and pool tables, dartboards and more that could double as a game room, rather than a club.
Yet ambling a little further into the reaches of this establishment I spotted the bar and the stage area. And there sure wasn't any country music going on. Project Object, a five-piece band with two former members of Frank Zappa's group, was in the middle of a raucous set. Next to the bar there was a table set up selling Zappa T-shirts and autographed posters, as well as some socially conscious literature. Painted on the wall was the "Wall of Fame," a tribute of highlighted bands who have graced the grounds of Club Infinity since 2003.
While the crowd consisted of old-time Zappa-lovers, there was also a new generation of fans on hand. The floor-area in the front of the stage is immense and was filled to only half its capacity. On either side of the floor was seating, which was fully occupied. There were probably close to 200 people in attendance.
Club Infinity does cater to the country-western set, at least a few days a week. On Thursday and Saturday nights there are line-dancing lessons followed by either a DJ playing the latest country music or a live country band. I was both relieved and disappointed to miss it. Although I was interested in experiencing a rural ritual in the heart of the suburbs, I wasn't wearing tight jeans and cowboy boots.
Club Infinity is only open when there is an event. If there are no live bands playing Sunday through Wednesday it sometimes shuts down. Drinks are a bit expensive, but on Thursday nights there are $2 beer specials. There is also a discreet kitchen serving bar food like beef on weck, french fries, hamburgers and nachos.
Club Infinity is an incredible place to see a show. It has the perfect setup to accompanying a night of live music or line-dancing.
When the band took an intermission much of the congregation poured outside to enjoy the warm weather and catch a smoke. Many reminiscing over how many Zappa songs were performed in the first set or to talk about the times they had seen Zappa playing live during his glory days.
For upcoming shows at Club Infinity go to www.clubinfinityonline.com or call 565-0110.