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The Weekend in WNY: How to watch the Bills and eat for free

First and foremost, this weekend is about the Buffalo Bills, who visit Houston on Saturday for the AFC wild-card game – but there's plenty of related activity here in Buffalo. (Thankfully, as this weekend is usually among the quietest of the year).

You should know where you can eat for free or purchase discounted food and/or drink while watching Josh Allen compete in his first playoff game. There's more to do this weekend, too, for nonfootball fans, so peruse below.

Bills playoff parties

Bills-Texans starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, which is the rough start for the parties below.

Thin Man Brewery, 166 Chandler St. Perks: Three new TVs, free halftime pizza slices, a shot of Lockhouse Distillery coffee liqueur after each Bills touchdown. (There's a party at the Elmwood Avenue Thin Man, too, but it does not offer free pizza).

Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St. Free wings – DBGB's calling card – at halftime.

Byrd House, 4190 N. Buffalo Road, Orchard Park. Free pizza at halftime.

Chrislees Submasters, 7714 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls. Free pizza buffet at halftime for all, half off first drink if wearing Bills gear.

Buffalo Iron Works, 49 Illinois St. No free food here, but the peg is that the Tim Britt Band is playing a pregame show at 3:30 and then a halftime performance as well. Can they play the "Shout" song?

Naturally, there's already a Facebook event page set up for Bills fans to welcome the team home at the airport from Houston.

• • •

Lexi's Tailgate Party, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 at 807 Elmwood and 1678 Hertel locations of the Lexington Co-op. Free to attend.

It's not a watch party, but the whetting of palates is strongly encouraged. Free samples on Hertel include beers from three local breweries, Lexi's own dips and a sterling $8 meal deal (sausage, side and a cookie).

On Elmwood, Hamburg Brewing, Lexi's dips and Lexi's chicken fingers and tofu nuggets will be sampled. You don't have to be Lexington Co-op member to shop or participate in this tailgate party.

[Related: Lexington Co-op's plea to its customers]

• • •

Revolution Gallery grand opening with Soul Butchers, reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3 at 1419 Hertel Ave. Cover is $5 at the door.

On the eve of its third anniversary, Hertel art gallery Revolution – run by Craig LaRotonda and Maria Pabico LaRotonda – stumbled upon the chance to expand when its neighbor, New Buffalo Graphics, closed. The 1,000 square feet of additional space will further what the LaRotondas have been working toward all along – a free-thinking gathering place to accommodate expression in several forms, from art and music to comedy and burlesque.

Soul Butchers, a regular performer at Revolution, and the Gennies will handle the music at the expansion celebration, and the gallery's bar will be in operation.

[Related: More about Revolution in our Art in the City guide]

A look into the new space added to Revolution Gallery. (Photo courtesy of the LaRotondas)

• • •

Settlers of Catan tournament, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 at Gather & Game by Westside Stories (212 Grant St.). Sixteen spots remain, capacity is (obviously) limited. Entry is $5.

Fancy yourself a Settlers of Catan dynamo? Think you're more of an ore-magnet than everyone else? The charge toward Settlers supremacy rages on Grant Street in this monthly competition, which is open to all skill levels but tends to favor those with higher ones.

[Related: Get some background on Gather & Game]

• • •

Sabres Skills Challenge, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5 at KeyBank Center. Tickets are $10 in advance.

Sabres supporters might lack the enthusiasm of Bills fans, but the team's interactive event Sunday was a big hit last year with entertainment around every corner. Beginning at 11 a.m., competitions among current players include hardest shot, fastest skater, a shootout challenge and more.

• • •

LOCAL SHOWS TO KNOW

Tributes to the Strokes, Pearl Jam, doors at 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 at Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.). $5 cover at the door.

Two Buffalo bands – Slow Animals and Unleash the Lion – will cover the Strokes and Pearl Jam, respectively. Slow Animals comprises members of three local bands (Canetis, Post Prom and Elemantra) and rolls through hits and deep cuts.

Strictly Hip begins its January residency, 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3 at the Tralf (622 Main St.). Tickets are $10 plus fees.

Strictly Hip zooms all the way back to the Tragically Hip's 1989 debut record, "Up to Here," for its first show of the band's annual residency at the Tralf. See why News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers sees residencies as a smart maneuver.

Slow Animals concert Buffalo

Slow Animals will do what they do best this weekend – cover the Strokes. (Photo courtesy of Slow Animals)

• • •

GRAB BAG OF OTHER CHOICES

Puppy happy hour at Black Button Distilling
Hotel California Live at Lancaster Opera House
Invisible Touch covers '80s at Lloyd Taco Williamsville
Live band karaoke in Rec Room
Buffalove Weekend at Kissing Bridge

• • •

5 TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK

Cobblestone Live January series in Iron Works
Green Drinks at Resurgence on Chicago Street
New Year, New Giggles at Nietzsche's
Buffalo History Talk with Steve Cichon at JAM
Humor in the Arts exhibition at Carnegie Art Center

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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