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Winning formula; Cold beer, classic Buffalo are on tap at Gordon's

Sometimes you have to head north to find a good watering hole: North Buffalo, that is. Gordon's bar, located on Delaware Avenue, is almost hard to spot were it not for some obligatory neon beer signs in a nondescript building. But inside, Gordon's is part Irish pub, part Buffalo sports bar and just a little bit of a man cave.

Yet as a whole, it's one of Buffalo's more original bars. Gordon's offers a great place to unwind after a long week with its friendly staff and a fun yet relaxing environment to kick back and forget the daily grind.

With its walls painted a warm, inviting red, just like many pubs in the United Kingdom, Gordon's certainly could be mistaken for a Dublin destination were it not for the framed sports jerseys of such Buffalo sports figures as No. 12 (Jim Kelly), No. 11 (Bob McAdoo) and the infamous No. 32. Mind you, they have a bit of fun with O. J. Simpson's jersey —there's a set of handcuffs that accompany the famous/infamous former Bills' number.

And while there is an emphasis on sports, that's hardly what defines the bar.

Along with the jerseys, there are posters of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, a subtle hint to the bar's inclination to providing good music. Most weekends Gordon's offers live music with musicians who focus on talent vs. volume.

Gordon's has a main bar area and then a section where people often congregate to sit and talk or catch a game while sipping a cold one around a table of friends.

On a recent Friday, a friend and I decided to toss a few back and couldn't think of a better place to go. The bar staff was prompt and courteous and generally does a proper Guinness pour (it takes approximately two minutes). My pint was $4, a fair price. My friend elected for a Sam Adams, which set him back another $4 and the weekend began.

Gordon's is almost what I would call an anti-Chippewa bar. That night, the closest any guy came to primping was likely someone who had combed their hair before entering the bar. The women, while dressed mainly in jeans and nice tops, weren't dolled up for maximum attention. Yet with spring in the air, most of the female patrons had put away their sweaters in exchange for blouses and tops that showed a bit of skin. Another sign of spring from that night— a number of people were using the bar's outdoor smoking area (to each their own lungs).

It's tough to pin a specific age group for Gordon's. On occasion there are numerous twentysomethings; other nights lots of thirtysomethings, and occasionally you'll see a few of what I refer to as true bar veterans who have likely seen a lot over a lot of years. But everyone gets along, and that has to say something about the bar.

Gordon's opened six years ago and hasn't looked back. It has both a steady crowd of regulars and has the appeal that some will stop in for a few before deciding where else to head that night.

There is a kitchen, but I've never seen anyone eating while imbibing. Likely most people go to Gordon's for the same reason I went— alcohol, good service and a laid-back atmosphere. That's a winning formula any night for a Buffalo bar.

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GORDON'S BAR

2263 Delaware Ave., 874-3020

Scene: Guys mainly in jeans, T-shirts, Sabres jerseys or golf shirts. Women in jeans, some skirts and blouses.

Music: Either good live music or a jukebox with a decent selection of artists.

Saturday night specials: Huggie Bombs, $3.50 ("Huggie" fruit drink with a shot of vodka); specialty beers, $3.50.

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