Share this article

print logo
Gusto

The sun beams into the tall front windows of Hydraulic Hearth, shining on the wooden bar and hardwood floors while glistening off the bar back displaying the selection of spirits. Large tomato cans on shelves against one wall look like an art installation. Exposed brick and metal lend an industrial feeling to the bar and restaurant, known for its wood-fired pizzas that …

Gusto

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…

Gusto

We always wait for our ship to come in (preferably with piles of cash carried by hunky sailors) but until then, we will make do with the dollar-pinching happy hour offered by Templeton Landing on Buffalo’s waterfront. Alas, we are old enough to remember when Crawdaddy’s and Shanghai Reds occupied the same location. The look has changed (the indoor bar was flipped so pat…

Gusto

As Buffalo’s beer palate matures, the idea of the dive bar appears to follow a similar curve. Such is the case with Gene’s Junkyard Bar and Grill in Tonawanda. The unassuming façade sits just off of Young Street on the beautiful twists and turns of the waterfront. A sign that looks as though it predates the millennium is the only indication that a bar resides within. …

Gusto

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 …

Gusto

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…

Gusto

College bars have a feel. Whether it’s the sound of gleeful camaraderie or smell of spilled Labatt and Lemon Drop shots settled in floor planks, visitors can usually walk into these joints blindfolded and determine its designation within seconds. Case in point: The blue-hair of Buffalo’s University District, The Steer Saloon & Restaurant. Enter the decades-old ba…

Gusto

A neighborhood pub’s personality pulsates through its people, whether boisterous guests at the bar, couples seated quietly at tables—or in the case of JP’s Pub in Lake View, its hard-working wait staff, ready to treat you with brutal honesty. “You’re lucky I’m even waiting on you while you’re wearing that hat,” said the smiling, pro-New York Yankees waitress, ready to t…

Gusto

The growing Hertel district is defined by its diversity. Dive bars sidle alongside craft beer pubs; ethnic restaurants neighbor on both sides. The Little Club fits in neatly between. A wine bar in a beer town, The Little Club makes a concerted effort to abandon pretense. It does so quite successfully. The decor is equal parts modern and urbane - the bar’s metallic curve…

Gusto

Where you choose to spend the bulk of your St. Patrick’s Day weekend (or week) isn’t always about finding the hippest venue. Is this because it’s hard for hordes clad in goat-hair sweaters, Kelly green Chuck Taylors or sheepherders’ wool caps to appear hip? Possibly—but it has more to do with the impetus of the celebration. It’s one for family and friends to laugh and s…

Gusto

A first-time visitor to 12 Gates Brewing Company may notice that it can be hard to find. Inducon Business Park on Earhart Drive near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is a sprawling campus of warehouses and office space. Set off the road, past parking lots and garage doors, is a 30-barrel brewhouse with a warm and welcoming taproom. Western New Yorkers may think…

Gusto

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…

Gusto

Bowling alleys. The last bastion of antiquity. Pitchers of domestics poured into plastic cups as pins fall in cacophonous crashes. Relics of ages past mingle with the heavy scent of anti-fungal spray. There are certain expectations stepping into a bowling center but those expectations are mercilessly dashed like a late frame 7-10 split at the Tonawanda Bowling Center. …

Gusto

There are the harsh elements throughout the Buffalo area's changing seasons, whether frustrating accumulation of snow to plow or shovel, whipping winds off Lake Erie, or sub-zero temperatures that make leaving home more torture than great escape. But there’s also the romance. Slowly falling snowflakes aside a backdrop of moonlight, or a chill only alleviated by a bundle…

Gusto

Dependent on your experience or ethnic construction, the term “Irish family drinking atmosphere” can conjure a variety of imagery. Hearty laughs between colorful, cross-generational stories. Frothy pints sipped between sing-a-longs around the kitchen table. Sibling revelry that may take an occasional turn for the worse, dependent upon everyone’s version of history and/o…