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In a flurry of area sports bars, Witter's Sports Bar and Grill in North Tonawanda paves its own path to stand out from the rest. Snow coated the streets on a recent Monday night. Nobody was out, aside from the occasional passing car. Witter’s was the only place in sight that had lights on, lending a warm welcome to those who braved the cold for evening brews, food and s…

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Near the corner of West Tupper and Franklin streets downtown is a treasured hole-in-the-wall that you might never hear about or even know is there. And that’s unfortunate. Because with dirt-cheap drinks, frequent live music, open-mic nights for music and comedy, and storied decades of service, Tudor Lounge lands squarely at a delightful, dying-breed destination: dive ba…

Food and Drink

Stone City Saloon is not really a saloon, at least not in the cowboy/western sense. The new bar at 220 Lexington Ave. aims for something less specific. "The original meaning for saloon was a gathering place, a wide-open place where people could have drinks and socialize from all walks of life and really feel comfortable together, with nobody feeling out of place," said …

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What if the next must-try local drink isn't a hazy India pale ale, a patiently barrel-aged gin or a crisp hard cider using local apples. What if it's a session mead made with wildflower honey, blackberry and Szechuan peppercorn? That sweet-with-a-bite mead – dubbed the Peacemaker – was the favorite of Queen City Meadery's 14 mead options and already has been distributed…

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Why have milk with your cereal when you can have it with … beer? Cereal, or breakfast beers, including Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ale and Cocoa Puffs Porter, are a popular trend at RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.) where they are created by Chris Herr, the head brewer at the Pearl Street Family of Properties. The latest in the series is the Raisin Bran Belgian Dubbel, was just …

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Every traveling Buffalonian has encountered The Annoying Chicken Wing Discussion. It’s an exchange that includes one well-meaning stranger asking if wings in Buffalo are really that good (usually right after insulting the city’s weather, industrial economy and/or football history), and requires one Buffalo native to answer in the affirmative — and then explain why. Answ…

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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 …

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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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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…

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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. …

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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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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…

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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…

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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…