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5 theaters with the best refreshments

You’ll go for the performance, you’ll come back for the cookies … and peanuts … and

Shea's Performing Arts Center / 646 Main St. / Buffalo

That smell wafting over you as you make your way to your seat for “Wicked?” That is the tantalizing perfume of roasted peanuts at the Shea’s concession stands, which also offer freakishly large chocolate chip cookies along with the full array of sugary snacks and alcoholic beverages.

Irish Classical Theatre Company / 625 Main St. / Buffalo / 853-4282

The Chris O’Neill Lounge, named after the late co-founder of the Irish Classical, is one of the cozier and more welcoming spaces for intermission mingling in Buffalo. The bar dispenses beer, wine, coffee and free Chex Mix, but something about the atmosphere and the clientele makes those basic provisions somehow seem a lot more high-class than they are.

Paul Robeson Theatre / 350 Masten Ave. / Buffalo / 884-2013

During the regular run of any production, there’s not much to distinguish what you can get at intermission at a Paul Robeson show from most other theater companies. Here, opening night is what counts. If you’re lucky enough to catch the first night of a production, you’ll be treated to an entire smorgasbord of homemade food made especially for the occasion. It’s like being invited to a big dinner party, with scintillating company to match.

MusicalFare Theatre / 4380 Main St. #123 / Amherst / 839-8540

When MusicalFare upgraded its cramped lobby into a glimmering lounge and cabaret space, it expanded its bar to match. The swanky new space features a full liquor selection, so you can fancy it up with a martini or stay low-key with a Blue Light.

Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle and Library / 612 Fillmore Ave. / Buffalo / 847-0839

The beer selection alone in this East Side space that’s home to Torn Space Theater would be enough to put it on this list, but it’s the total atmosphere that really does it. Staffed by a friendly bartender, this place is comfy throwback to the old days when the Polish community of the East Side was thriving. Added bonus: you can bring your beer into the theater with you.

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