One quote overheard at Page's Paradise Island on a recent Saturday night summed up the Page's experience: "I think this is a great place -- if you have kids."
That is Page's in a nutshell. It's a cheerfully enjoyable assault on the senses, a place that is sure to send small fry into spasms of feverish delight -- and gives moms and dads a chance to take a breather and relax.
But it's probably not the best place to drink with the guys, go on a bender or prowl the bar for members of the opposite sex.
Page's bar area is on the second floor, and keeping up with the tropical theme, the bar itself has a bamboo and palm tree look, as well as some nice mellow lighting. There is a large television and some small tables spread here and there.
The upstairs also includes a laser tag game, "Laser Adventure," a pool table and room for birthday parties. But downstairs is where the kids truly run wild.
Let's see. There's a splash pool with water slides, a rock wall, games galore, a restaurant (the Castaway Cafe), a fountain that looks like it may have come from the Kahunaville close-out sale, the "Luau Room," a Chuck E. Cheese-style prize area and probably more delights that I failed to notice. (The ceiling in the pool area collapsed in February, leaving several people with minor injuries. Following repairs, the pool area reopened in March.)
One of the nicer aspects of Page's bar area is the acoustics. Housed in a former fitness center, the ceiling is high and plushy, meaning that the sounds below -- the screams, the laughter, the cries of sorrow over a disappointing Skee-ball performance -- are relatively muffled.
Oh, it's not church-quiet. But it's quiet enough that one can actually have a conversation, and that's a rarity in many bars.
Clearly, placing the bar on the second floor, away from the majority of blinking lights and games, was smart. It gives parents a breather, and offers a pretty good spot to watch a game. It should also be noted that the main floor featured a long stretch of TVs, for those adults looking to keep a closer eye on the young ones as they cavort.
There were a few odd occurrences, one being the lack of sound for the Sabres game being shown. At one point, the voice of Rick Jeanneret burst through the speakers out of nowhere, before quickly fading away again.
Also, for the most part, music was not noticeable, except when Akon's "Smack That" played in all its glory. Maybe not the best lyrics for a kids fun spot. Cover your ears, children! Page's does have karaoke on Thursdays, as well as occasional live music.
Page's offers much to set it apart. When the kids are loaded with sugar and caffeine, mom and dad are craving an adult beverage, and there isn't a baby sitter to be had, Page's Paradise Island just might seem like family heaven.
Page's Paradise Island
4701 Transit Road, Depew
Scene: Kids, moms and dads
Music: Nothing too loud or memorable
Drinks: Beer and mixed drinks at the bar
Dress Code: All manner of dress seems appropriate