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Dan Almasi


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In downtown Buffalo, craft cocktail bar Angelica Tea Room has metamorphosed into the exotic, cocktail-focused Angelica Tiki Room.  The summer-spanning pop-up has one of Buffalo’s premier posh drinking destinations donning big, wooden tiki masks and luaus and slinging fruity, boozy Mai Tais and Puka-Puka Punch.  If you’re looking to turn your next happy hour or date n…

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In a nondescript plaza on Niagara Falls Boulevard is a standout deli serving all the staples in a slightly eccentric, time-tested atmosphere. Mayback’s Deli is a one-stop shop for takeout or eat-in pizza and wings, deli meats, hot and cold sandwiches, fish fries (available seven days a week), soups, salads, tacos, fried appetizers and more. Everything is delicious, rea…

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Kerfuffle, the annual daylong music event held at Canalside, no longer feels like a buzzy, new event. Now six solid years in, Kerfuffle has become a reliable early-summer staple promising big-name artists, sweet sounds and rocking rhythms to Buffalo’s alt-rock fans. On the first official day of summer, “the music event of the summer” (as dubbed by presenting radio stati…

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Indie synth-rock heartthrobs The 1975 had a wooing Darien Lake crowd all up in their feels on Wednesday evening. Sensual but disconnected, confident but anxious, hot and cold or perhaps somewhere between—much like this show's 60-ish degree late-May night—the Manchester-bred six-piece makes synthed-out, angst-accented pop music for an eternally conflicted and disaffecte…

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On a brisk Friday late afternoon, three friends and I searched downtown for a spot to grab food and drink before the Mumford and Sons concert at KeyBank Center. Big Ditch Brewing Company was packed to the gills, Deep South Taco was overflowing, and Tappo projected a 90-minute wait. So we gave up our search and began hiking toward the venue. Tight on time, we had forfei…

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In the heart of Allentown is a chameleonic, quirky, anything-goes watering hole called The Alley Cat. On weekend nights, packed crowds clamoring for its signature $7 beer-and-shot combo jostle for position at the long, wooden bar. During weekday afternoons, The Alley Cat serves as a community hangout where friends toss darts, sip $4 bottles of Labatt Blue or $3 cans of …

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At a major downtown intersection up a flight of maroon cement stairs is a bar of character, true-form classic cocktails, and inventive house-made sausages. In major cities across the United States, it’s a common, buzzy bar-restaurant concept: one core food offering served in a variety of creative ways plus drinks with a twist. But here in Buffalo — with few other conce…

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In the First Ward, an out-of-the-way coffee-and-sandwiches oasis rises above the rest. At Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery, the enticing, invigorating scents of house-roasted grinds and hearty, creative sandwiches dance to the imaginary tune of an undead mariachi band depicted on a bright back-wall mural. An eclectic choir consisting of departed icons like David …

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Cafe 59 is a cool spot perfect for any-occasion lunch, dinner or drinks, and without the “this place isn’t for everyone” attitude and atmosphere of many other bar-restaurants which could be described as "cool.” A true Allentown community hub, it strikes me somehow as nearby long-standing staple Towne Restaurant’s trendy younger cousin. On a recent Wednesday night visit…

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As its one-year anniversary approaches, JP’s Checkers is settling in as the clean-cut, modern reincarnation of a Hertel Avenue classic. When the lights went out at Checkers, which was long celebrated as a North Buffalo community staple, the home of the go-to Turkey Trot afterparty, and the quintessential dive bar, former Del Denby Tavern bartender Jamison Phillips swoo…

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Every great city neighborhood needs a gastropub. And as Hertel Avenue moves steadily toward that designation with each new business and facelift of an existing one, Sterling Ave Tap & Wurst checks the box.   Technically, a gastropub is “a pub specializing in high-quality food.” To me, though, a gastropub is a safe bet offering all the night-out-necessities. In m…

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Buffalo’s pop-punk scene turned out in droves—as they always do—to pack Town Ballroom for Tuesday’s sold-out powerhouse concert featuring The Story So Far, Turnover, Citizen and Movements. While four bands performed, it was a show with three acts. Each had a different energy; each elicited a different response from the crowd. Movements and Citizen took the stage f…

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There’s so much depth to both “Proper Dose,” the pop-punk-transcending album recently released by rock band The Story So Far, and the tour supporting it that lands Nov. 13 at the Town Ballroom. Joining the six-piece California-based band are three other equally notable acts within the pop-punk scene: Turnover, Citizen and Movements. Most impressively and intriguingly, …

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Buffalo Iron Works became a music-lovers’ hedonistic haven on Sunday evening as psychedelic indie rocker Ty Segall stopped by, drawing a spirited crowd of incorrigible canonizers. Wielding only a glass of blood-red wine, a fluttering falsetto voice, an acoustic guitar and an awe-inspiring ability to play it, Segall’s solo set was masterful musical minimalism. The bare-…

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Few modern rockers effectively capture the timeless sound and soul of pure, unadulterated rock 'n' roll. When done right, rock 'n' roll needs no synthesizers, atmospherics, or hi-fi production. Ty Segall does rock 'n' roll right — and he'll perform it in its purest form when he plays an acoustic set at Buffalo Iron Works on Nov. 4 with William Tyler, an indie-folk guita…