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River 'View'; The Isle View Bar is a friendly, easy-going hangout

On a comfortable recent Monday evening, my friend and designated driver Dawn and I navigated our way to the Isle View Bar and Grill located on Niagara Street in the City of Tonawanda was a good a place as any to wet our whistles.

The bar is perched upon a slight incline and looks out over the Niagara River which was peaceful and added to the ambience of the evening.

We approached the front door and stepped up on a wooden deck which, quickly reminded me of an Old West saloon. The only thing missing was the double swinging doors and the old time saloon piano music pouring out into the street.

Dawn and I moseyed up to the bar and staked a claim on two of the available bar stools as Jessica, the pleasant and friendly bartender greeted us and accepted our drink requests. She also offered up a menu but, we waved it off for the moment.

As much as I wanted to order a sarsaparilla in a tribute to the Old West, I abstained and went with a bottle of Molson Canadian ($3). Dawn quickly ordered her one beer for the evening and a bottle of Michelob Ultra Light ($3.50) was quickly placed in front of her.

A few guys were chatting it up watching a game on the main flat-screen television strategically placed on the wall behind the bar. A few moments later their chatter died down with the arrival of food from the kitchen.

As Dawn and I swapped stories about our children, Jessica planted a basket of fresh popcorn in front of us. While plucking away at the corn, we decided to make a charitable donation to the New York State education fund by the way of Quick Draw. After all, it's for the children, right?

The Isle View's own "Jukebox Tom" was playing the Touch Tunes Jukebox in the corner as we quickly learned his favorite song was a little ditty by Tim Wilson called "Booty Man." We would hear it several more times before the evenings end. An interesting side note about Jukebox Tom is that he's attempting to visit the establishment 100 days consecutively. We wished him luck in his endeavor and he informed us it was his 77th day.

I set my empty bottle at the edge of the bar and the bartender was quick to ask if I needed another. My reply was favorable and another bottle of Molson Canadian replaced the empty one.

Dawn had a hankering for a snack and ordered fries from the fairly expansive menu. They arrived in no time, piping hot and ready to be consumed with ketchup, much to Dawn's delight. I stole a few of the enticing potato products and agreed they were in fact exemplary.

Our exploration of the waterfront establishment drew to a close as I finished my drink and conveyed our satisfaction with a tip for the bartender.

If you're looking to "have a few with a view," be sure to check out the Isle View Bar and Grill.


The Isle View Bar & Grill 791 Niagara St., Tonawanda 693-6843

Hours: 11 a.m. to close Monday through Saturday; noon to close Sunday. Friday Fish Fry is served from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Scene: Easy-going, working class folks enjoying good times.

Music: Touch Tunes jukebox. Happy hour specials: Wings for 50 cents and $12 buckets of beer.

On tap: Molson Canadian, Labatt Blue Light & Coors Light

Dress code: A blurred spot somewhere between too provocative and ultra conservative.

Friendly tidbit: Cash only ATM on the premises .

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