Best nightlife in Buffalo

Sky Bar and The Steer among students’ favorite bars and nightclubs


Dressing up and traveling to one of Buffalo’s vibrant bars or nightclubs can be an occasional occurrence or a weekly staple for some students.

There is a wide variety, from outdoor dance clubs to pubs with U.S. history trivia. For students who are at least 21 years old, here are the top four bars in Buffalo:

No. 1 The Steer

Location: 3151 Main St.

Open until 4 a.m. every night

Cover: Usually around $3

Few, if any, UB students are able to make it through their college experience without hearing about the torch-laden pillar of South Campus known as The Steer.

The Steer is located within a walking distance of South Campus and its surrounding neighborhood. The Steer serves as the local choice for students who wish to go out with their friends on Friday and Saturday nights.

At night, The Steer features an open floor anchored by a stocked bar located in its center. Music is loud and dancing is permitted, but the bar gets packed very quickly, so one should plan arrive early to claim an open table or space. It is the perfect place to meet other UB students.

In addition to its nightlife scene, The Steer is open daily for lunch and dinner and serves brunch on the weekends. The Curtin family owns the bar and Lake Effect Diner next door.

Students under 21 can head across the street to Surrender, an 18-and-over club.

No. 2 Slick Willie’s Sports Bar

Location: 2316 Niagara Falls Blvd.

Open until 4 a.m. every night

Cover: None

Slick Willie’s (known affectionately by many students as Slick’s) is only a seven-minute drive from North Campus.

The student-dubbed “dive bar” is the place to be on Thursday nights. It has become immensely popular within the last few years for students who wish to begin their weekends one night early.

On Thursdays, every female customer pays only $1.50 for a large variety of drinks.

Its proximity to campus makes it accessible for those who don’t want to pay hefty taxi prices to travel downtown.

No. 3 Founding Fathers Pub

Location: 75 Edward St.

Open until 2 a.m. on Friday and 4 a.m. on Saturday

Cover: None

One of Buffalo’s hidden gems is located on Edward Street: Founding Fathers Pub.

Founding Fathers is featured on both Buzzfeed’s “19 Bars In America You Should Drink At Before You Die” and Esquire Magazine’s list of the “18 Best Bars in America.” It is an eclectic bar where people can sit with friends and enjoy a cold beer or a meal. The pub also serves free nachos and popcorn.

The bar is covered from ceiling to floor in American history décor, from pictures of the Founding Fathers to former U.S. Presidents.

The bar also features U.S. history trivia and a very social owner who may know more about the nation’s past than many history teachers.

Founding Fathers isn’t just a pub for the U.S. history buff. It is perfect for any UB student looking to unwind on the weekend.

No. 4 Sky Bar

Location: 257 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

Open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday

Cover: Usually between $5 and $10

Sky Bar is a seasonal nightlife experience unlike any other in Buffalo. The bar only opens during the warmer months and closes when cooler temperatures approach.

Sky Bar is a multi-level establishment that features a main bar, an upstairs bar, private cabanas available for VIPs and dance floor enclosures.

The official closing date for the season has not yet been announced. Students should take advantage of the bar while they still have a chance.

Jimmy Corra is a news staff writer and can be reached at