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How You Spend Your Nights

No matter what struggles we contend with in the light of day here in Buffalo, once that evening sun goes down there’s no shortage of destinations to take us away from all that. Whether we crave the highbrow satisfaction of an urbane martini, or the lowbrow thrill of a boilermaker at the bowling alley, we can quench either thirst right here. Here in our 4am town, the nighttime is the right time for just about anything.

When people punch out of work at five, they like to get happy. Fortunately, they can stop into a number of establishments known for their happy hours—like Cozumel, Soho, or Bar Louie. Some people prefer the wide selection of beers available at those next-door neighbors on the Elmwood strip, Mr. Goodbar and Cole’s.

Many of our readers like to dance, and when they do they gravitate to Bottoms Up, Encore, or the exotic Club Marcella. Others prefer to get their grooves on at Pure or Bayou. As dancing can lead to other things, it’s not surprising that Pure, Encore, and Bayou also landed top five nominations in the Best Hookup Joint category.

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. If that’s your style, our readers recommend Cole’s and Founding Father’s—where you can mix your drinks with popular trivia questions. Other favorites are the friendly Sterling Place and the Essex Street Pub—where your cozy atmosphere comes with a cool rock-and-roll edge, plus darts and pool.

If you’ve been hibernating through the long winter, it’s time you made it out to some of the new hotspots in town. These include Barcelona, City Tavern, Rohall’s Corner, and the much anticipated and widely appreciated Blue Monk. DBGB’s, in the heart of Allentown, has quickly built a reputation as a jumping live music spot.

What would a sports town like Buffalo be without its favorite haunts to watch a game? Fans cite the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, Thirsty Buffalo, Bada Bing, and the Aud Sports Bar in the city. Suburban sports nuts like the Amherst Pizza and Ale House.

If live music’s your bag, you’re in luck in Buffalo. Nietzsche’s, Mohawk Place, and the Sportsmen’s Tavern will have something cool happening any night of the week, while bigger shows acts make a point of stopping at the Town Ballroom—a theater and bar rolled into one. Papaya is popular on the Chip strip.

—buck quigley

Nominees listed in no particular order. Winners will be announced at the Artvoice Best of Buffalo Party, Monday, May 9, 6-9pm, at Town Ballroom.

Best Bartender Jimmy Hill, Cathode Ray
Josh Lewis, Papaya
Pat Gilmartin, Allen Street Hardware
Sam Arno, Bayou
Roxy, Essex Street Pub
Best Absolut Bartender Sam Arno, Bayou
Connor White, Pearl Street
Jamie Rudd, Mulligan’s Brick Bar
Gabe Foley, Mothers
Shannon MacFarlane, JP Bullfeather’s
Best Beer on Tap Pearl Street
Buffalo Brew Pub
Blue Monk
Best Dive Bar Mulligan’s Brick Bar
Essex Street Pub
Allen Street Bar and Grill (Old Pink)
Tudor Lounge
Best Bowling Voelker’s
Transit Lanes
Kenmore Lanes
Thruway Lanes
Best Dance Club Bayou
Club Marcella
Bottoms Up
Best Upscale Bar Snooty Fox
31 Club
Left Bank
Best Bar Only You Know About North
Sterling Place
The Place
Founding Fathers
Rohall’s Corner
Best Gay Bar Q
Cathode Ray
Club Marcella
Best Neighborhood Pub The Place
Sterling Place
Essex Street Pub
Founding Fathers
Best Happy Hour Soho
Bar Louie
Best Hookup Joint Underground
Allen Street Bar and Grill (Old Pink)
Best Jukebox Frizzy’s
Allen Street Bar and Grill (Old Pink)
Essex Street Pub
Mulligans Brick Bar
Best Karaoke Q
Klub Karaoke
Essex Street Pub
Tudor Lounge
Best Live Music Nietzsche’s
Mohawk Place
Sportsmen’s Tavern
Town Ballroom
Best New Bar City Tavern
Rohall’s Corner
Blue Monk
Best Place For Darts Faherty’s
Mulligans Brick Bar
Essex Street Pub
Best Place to Shoot Pool Essex Street Pub
Slick Willie’s
Pearl Street
Best Place to Watch a Game Pearl Street
Bada Bing
Thirsty Buffalo
Amherst Pizza and Ale House
The Aud Sports Bar
Best Strip Club Colonie Lounge
Tiffany’s Cabaret
Rick’s Tally Ho
Best Wine Bar Trattoria Aroma
Allen Street Hardware
Just Vino
The Wine Thief

Best of Buffalo 2011 Nominees

Our City, Our People
The Fine Arts
Dining Out
Shops & Services
Nightlife & Drinking

The 2011 Winners List

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