Coles on Elmwood is one of the bar-restaurants where most Buffalonians have a memory. After all, it's been there forever.
Maybe you were a local college student, squished between dozens of peers on a Thursday night, trying in vain to maneuver your way to the bar, trying all sorts of tactics to get the bartender's attention.
Maybe you're a classy adult, rolling in for a Sunday brunch, content to hang out on the patio during summer. Or maybe you're a burger lover eager to further explore the robust menu, or simply a fan of unusual decor – an area where Coles thrives.
Thursday night marks the bar's 85th anniversary celebration, and it leads off our events for this week.
Coles' 85th anniversary, 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 at 1104 Elmwood Ave. Free to attend.
Stacey Shatzel Gandolfo, manager at Coles, has much in the works for this milestone. She rented a throne and royal garb so attendees can pose for a photo as King Cole, who's pictured at various places in the establishment.
Live jazz and blues will set the mood between 6 and 9 p.m., with DJ Cutler changing the mood from 9 until midnight. Food stations will help satiate the crowd, too.
Five years ago, News reporter Jane Kwiatkowski interviewed Dave Shatzel Sr., who's approaching a half-century of Coles ownership. His fun-loving nature is apparent in many of the traditions that have carried on at the bar-restaurant.
Christmas in the Country, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds Event Center (5820 South Park Ave., Hamburg). Runs through Sunday. Admission is $8 presale (fees may be avoided by buying at certain locations) and $10 at the event. No charge for children under 12 years old.
It feels early to start discussing Christmas, but we're less than two months away from the holiday. For those eager to grab shopping by the horns, the mammoth Christmas in the County market – which takes over five buildings in the Hamburg Fairgrounds – draws roughly 400 vendors from around the nation, showcasing handmade creations of all kinds.
As the event has grown in attendance, more amenities – such as a food truck rodeo and the Tavern, with craft beer, wine and spirits – have encouraged attendees to stay longer.
EPIC, which stands for Every Person Influences Children, hosts a major fundraiser and awards show Thursday in the spacious Atrium @ Rich's. Five recipients will take home awards based on leadership, lifetime achievement and service to the community, families and education, some of them in honor of late founder Robert Wilson.
Cocktails, food stations and auctions will take place at 6, with the ceremony beginning at 7. John Murphy, the voice of the Buffalo Bills, will emcee.
[Related: EPIC receives two grants in 2018 for their mission]
There was a serious buzz around country duo Thompson Square in 2012 and a few years after, with an Academy of Country Music award snuggled in between. Mickey Rats, the University at Buffalo football tailgate series and Braun's Concert Cove were concert destinations for the husband-and-wife tandem Keifer and Shawna Thompson, who then slowed down after the birth of their first child in early 2016. They're back on tour in support of "Masterpiece," their self-produced 2018 album.
Supporting Thompson Square will be Jimmie Allen, a breakout artist from Delaware who encountered plenty of failure before success; and Jordan Davis, whose debut album, "Home State," reached No. 6 on the Billboard country chart. Davis' music video for "Slow Dance in a Parking Lot" has accrued more than 8 million views on YouTube.
Area fans of this alternative rock band have been a little spoiled; Blue October and wild lead singer Justin Furstenfeld return after a rousing gig in Niagara Falls just 18 months ago. Wednesday is another chance to hear live the hugely successful "I Hope You're Happy," last year's album that placed on virtually every rock chart imaginable.
Blue October has made a habit of crowdsourcing its albums, a fairly common approach in recent years – but the rewards laid out by Furstenfeld and his bandmates are intense.
[Related: What do Blue October and Bills receiver Cole Beasley share in common?]
This is the last time Buffalo music fans can see Hollerado, as the Ottawa alt-rock band will call it quits at the end of this year following 14 years together (12 under the Hollerado moniker). According to frontman Menno Versteeg's interview in the Ottawa Citizen, the four-piece is separating amicably, having accomplished all they desired.
As far as Buffalo is concerned, they've played venues big (Canalside) and small (Leopard Lounge), as well as this Town Ballroom show Tim O'Shei reviewed in 2014.
California metalcore band Atreyu recognizes its pseudo 20th anniversary – which doesn't factor in a hiatus from 2011-2014 – on Thursday in Niagara Falls. Its most-recent release, "The Wake," reached No. 2 on the Billboard hard rock chart and even cracked the top 100 on the overall U.S. chart.
Atreyu just unveiled a video for "The Time Is Now," a single off "The Wake," which stems from a performance recorded during this tour. Tennessee deathcore band Whitechapel is the support.
5 quick-hitters for this week
Pompous Rat – Modest Mouse tribute at Mr. Goodbar
Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center fundraiser at Flying Bison
Michael Ian Black at Helium Comedy Club
Tears for Beers at Kenan Center
Anastasia Komarova exhibition opens at Eleven Twenty Projects
5 events to look forward to this weekend
William Fichtner, Kim Coates debut film at Aurora Theatre
DinoFest, Adult DinoFest at Buffalo Museum of Science
Holiday Valley Beer & Wine Festival
Knox Farm Holiday Art Show in East Aurora
Red, White & Blue Gala for WNY Heroes