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Clinton Street's Old School Tavern aims to live up to name

Old School Tavern opened on Clinton Street in January, aiming to become the neighborhood staple it was decades ago.

Owner Charles "Dusty" Rhodes said that when he was a kid, he remembers going to a corner bar for pinball and french fries while his father had a couple of beers. He hopes the place he runs with partner Guy Zagara, at 1263 Clinton St., can be a gathering place for families again.

The building has been a tavern since 1949 or so. It was last Pittner's, but had been closed for years.

Zagara formerly owned Blue Wall on Seneca Street in West Seneca. Rhodes is a drugstore manager, working on his first restaurant.

Renovations included revealing the tin ceiling and a new hardwood floor. (Old School Tavern)

With family members, the partners worked on the building for a year before opening, he said. They restored the old tin ceiling that was under the drop ceiling, and installed a new hardwood floor. Peeling linoleum off the bar revealed cherry wood, which they refinished.

Old School Tavern offers wings, sandwiches, beef on weck and daily food specials, including the Friday fish fry. There's 10 draft beers, including a few local offerings, plus the full bar.

Amusements include a dart machine and a bowling video game. A pool table may be joining them once a back room once host to jazz bands is refurbished.

"One of the things that made me happy was when some of the Pittner family came in for a fish fry, and they said they loved it," he said. "People walk in and say 'This is an old-school bar,' before they even realize they're saying the name, and that's what we wanted."

The place is open seven days a week, Rhodes said, though that may change. Phone: 822-2337.

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