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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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"Dark corners, loud music"


Broadway Joe's, open since 1974, located near the intersection of Main Street and Minnesota Avenue, has recently undergone renovations and can now officially add "bar and grille," to the end of its title.

"The kitchen went up about six months ago," said Sam Marabella, the owner of Broadway Joe's for over seven years.

According to Marabella, the bar and grille idea had been in the works for a long time. When the time for renovations came, adding the grille atmosphere was a given. However, the inside of Joe's still has a homey feeling to it, with a combination of a garage and classy style.

"Our saying is that it is eloquently trashy," Marabella said.

The flooring is cement, and the walls are plastered with graffiti and bumper stickers, including the bathrooms. Whether the graffiti is intentional or not, it encourages a relaxed, laid back atmosphere.

The actual bar and bar stools are new, with black leather covering for the seats, and black counter tops, which contributes to the classy aspect of the bar. There is a stage in the back for the bands, and games such as pool, fooze ball, and darts on the opposing side of the bar.

The front of the bar has a garage door that can open up during the warmer days, and allows patrons to hang out on the front sidewalk patio. The renovations added a back patio, which provides more room for outdoor socializing.

Broadway Joe's is known for its live music, playing an average of six nights a week. Every Friday and Saturday a live band plays. Thursday is Punk Night where punk music is themed throughout the bar, and Sunday is Hip Hop Night. Tuesday night is a crowd favorite, with open mic night.

"Anyone can sign up, plug their guitar into the amp and play," Marabella said. "This place has put bands on the map, such as moe, and Rusted Root."

Marabella said that other famous artists have played there, such as the Goo Goo Dolls, and Bob Seger.

"Tuesday is the best because of open mic night," said Steve Watkins, a Buffalo State senior biology major and a Broadway Joe's regular. "Open mic is an opportunity to hear new local people."

Marabella said that he decided it was time to add the grille aspect to the bar, because people would come to see the live shows, but then would have to leave in order to get food, and come back.

The chicken wings have become the most popular fare at Broadway Joe's, not only because they come in jumbo size, but also because they are free during the Friday night happy hour, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Erin Warner, a bartender at Broadway Joe's, recommends that patrons come early for the free wings on Friday, because the wings are gone about an hour into happy hour.

In addition to the wings, hot dogs, polish sausage and fries also grace the menu. The burgers and sandwiches come with fries.

"The fries are the best," Watkins said. "They beat any fries I've ever had."

For those with a sweeter appetite, Broadway Joe's has a Dive Bar, which is a hand battered, fried Snickers bar or Take 5 candy bars.

According to Warner, Broadway Joe's offers drink specials almost every night. On Tuesdays, there are $3.50 pitchers and $.50 drafts of Paps Blue Ribbon, Wednesdays there is $2.50 Molson Canadians, Thursdays is two for one well drinks, and $4.00 pitchers of PBR, along with $2.25 Labatts.

For the patrons, the music and atmosphere is what's best.

"It's nice because you get to see people play music from not very popular bands," said Alex Lyon, a senior psychology major. "It gives it a nice hometown feel."

Warner and Watkins both feel that Broadway Joe's is a very personal bar with a welcoming feel.

"I like the live music and I know everyone who comes through the door," Watkins said. "It's like my very own Cheers."

Warner said she was a regular before she decided to get a job there. Since she knows everyone so well, it feels like she is not even working.

Priscilla Bauer, a senior psychology major, said that she likes how close and convenient Joe's is, because it is so close to South Campus and University Heights.

"It's a relaxed atmosphere," Bauer said. "It's not overly crowded and I like the live music."

Although Lyon had only been to the bar a few times, he said that it is quickly growing to be one of his favorite places because of the new gaming atmosphere.

"I'm a foosball fanatic," Lyon said.

Marabella said that there are a lot of fun events in the upcoming weeks. Also on Thursdays, there will be Guitar Hero 2 competitions. Green beer will be served on St. Patrick's Day.

For more information, including how to sign up for open mic night or for booking a band, visit Broadway Joe's Web site at bjoes.com.




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