Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Elvis is Still in the Building
Next story: Former Bisons Leading the Charge in The Big Apple

The ABSOLUT Best Gay Bars in Town

Gay Pride Month is upon us, and Buffalo’s 20th annual Gay Pride parade—and the attendant parties, or course—takes place next weekend. (If you want a complete rundown of events, visit or pick up this paper next week.) It seems a perfect time, then, to tour the city’s vibrant LGBT nightlife, and what better guides than the men and women who mix and pour the drinks?

Once again we’ve teamed with our friends at ABSOLUT to create a challenge for some of the city’s finest barkeeps: Mix us the best cocktail you know, using one of ABSOLUT’s fine flavored vodkas. And now we’re inviting you, dear readers, to visit each bar and sample each cocktail. By what other fair and democratic means can you decide which is the ABSOLUT best gay bar in Buffalo?

Photos by Nancy J. Parisi.

Mike Matters


503 Franklin St., Buffalo

Mike Matters has been pouring drinks at Fugazi for nearly six years. His creation, the Asian Pom, comprises two parts ABSOLUT Orient Apple, one part each pomegranate liqueur and triple sec, finished with a twist of lemon. The secret? “I look to see what type of ABSOLUT will quench their thirst, ask what color they want it to be, and just go from there,” he says. His hobbies: biking, working out, and lunching with friends.


44 Allen St., Buffalo

Eric Rawski has been behind the bar at Q since the Allen Street mainstay opened eight years ago. He invented his grapefruit martini—two parts ABSOLUT Ruby Red, one part grapefruit juice, a splash of sour mix and soda, and a dash of grenadine—when he was looking for a summery drink to round out the menu. When he’s not shaking cocktails, you’ll find Rawski working local stages as an actor, particularly at Buffalo United Artists, where he’s been a member of the company for nearly 10 years.

Eric Rawski

Jimmy Hill

Cathode Ray

26 Allen St., Buffalo

Jimmy Hill’s infectious laugh has been a signature at Cathode Ray for years. A perennial finalist and frequent winner of Artvoice’s Best of Buffalo Bartender award. The cocktail Hill has devised is as refreshing as its name: The Citrus Breeze is equal parts ABSOLUT Ruby Red, ABSOLUT Mandrin, sour mix, orange juice, and cranberry. Sounds almost healthful.

Club Marcella

622 Main St., Buffalo

Frankie Colosimo has been tending bar at Marcella since he’s been old enough to drink—legally. That’s almost 10 years. His partner in crime, Don Rice, says Frankie taught him the trade. The secret to Colosimo’s entry, the Asian Apple Jack, is a splash of Jack Daniels, added to equal parts ABSOLUT Orient Apple, sour mix, cranberry juice, and 7-Up. Meantime, Rice says his Blue Lemon Drop Martini—ABSOLUT Citron, sour mix, 7-Up, and Blue Curaçao—is made special with a sugar-rimmed glass.

Don Rice & Frankie Colosimo

Jamie Doktor & Megan Piret


884 Main St., Buffalo

As members of Buffalo’s premier burlesque troupe, the Stripteasers, Jamie Doktor and Megan Piret may spend as much time dancing on the bar as they do mixing drinks behind it. Piret started working the bar when the troupe began performing at Roxy’s on Thursday nights, eight years ago; Doktor has been shaking cocktails even longer than that. Piret says their entry, the Absolut Tease—ABSOLUT Apeach, amaretto, iced tea, and cranberry juice—was invented by the bar’s owner, but Doktor says, “The secret behind the drink is to put a bit of my personality into it. Hence the name!”


274 Delaware Ave., Buffalo

Who knew that when you descended the steps into the basement bar called the Underground, you just might be served by royalty? Cybill Kelly Capone reigned over the Imperial Court of Buffalo, the gay community’s royal family, in the 2004-2005 season. Capone was the 14th empress to wear the crown. Maybe that’s what gives the Cybill Berry—a delightful concoction comprising ABSOLUT Berri Açaí, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and a splash of soda—its regal kick.

Cybill Kelly Capone

Jayme Coxx


20 Allen St., Buffalo

Bartending is performing, and there’s good reason that Jayme Coxx is nominated nearly every year by our readers as one of Buffalo’s best in both categories. A frequent finalist for Best Bartender and for Best Drag Performer in our annual Best of Buffalo survey, Coxx appears regularly at Adonia’s and at Club Marcella. Jayme’s cocktail is the perfect match for Gay Pride Month: The ABSOLUT Wild Pride is two parts ABSOLUT Wild Tea, one part triple sec, and splashes of peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and orange juice, served in a martini glass with a wedge of orange.

blog comments powered by Disqus