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The Buffalo Bartenders Hall of Fame

If you’re one of the hard working bartenders who has been serving up drinks in Buffalo over the years, and/or you’re a loyal customer or a friend of a legendary Buffalo bartender, then consider coming out to honor the hardworking guys and gals who have kept our watering holes running smoothly. This evening, starting at 4pm (and going until midnight), John Hofmann, owner of the The Buffalo Bar and Grille (307 Louisiana Street in the old First Ward) will be opening the doors of his obscure establishment to pay tribute to our friends in the industry that make bellying up the the bar an enjoyable experience.

Bartenders-Hall-of-Fame-Buffalo-NY-1To add to the fun, John had created a wall within his establishment that features the names of some of the industry’s leaders who have made a mark in the Queen City by the lake. Stop down later today to see what the Hall of Fame is all about. Then raise a pint (or a glass) to your favorite barkeeper pals who have been tending to this city’s patrons over the years.

The following is from a Buffalo Rising post written in 2008:

… we also paid a visit to a long lost pub that is slowly but surely rekindling its flames. That’s not to say that The Buffalo Bar and Grille will be a hotspot anytime soon; rather owner John Hofmann has opted to keep the lights on to see what sort of crowd shows up. John does not advertise… and he’s almost reserved when he talks about his 100-year old pub.

A walk inside the Buffalo Bar and Grille is like walking into the past… the images hanging on the walls range from posters of the Mary Jane Girls (Rick James’ posse) to old photos of City Hall. John definitely has Buffalo blood running through his veins. Everything he does is geared towards promoting the city. He even produces Buffalo t-shirts on the side – remember the shirt that defined Buffalo as ‘any various wild oxen, sometimes domesticated, feeds on grass, beer, rock & roll and parties seven days a week’? That was just one of John’s creations. As far as the pub goes, John has now owned the place for five years (as of today, nine years). He went through three and a half years of negotiations in order to obtain the property – an ordeal that paid off when he finally acquired the pub of his dreams.

The reason that you may not be familiar with this pub is that it is not the easiest place find… and it’s open during irregular hours. The pub is located in the Old First Ward on Louisiana Street, and as far as I know it is the only commercial business on the street. Seeking out this place is well worth the effort though… that is if you’re into original mahogany walls and ceilings and totally kitsch patios. The lounge area looks as if it might be somebody’s living room, while the patio is under a huge tent with cushy lawn furniture to sprawl out on. The entire place is different. Even the hours are different. The pub is mostly open on Friday evenings unless you call ahead to let John that you’re bringing a bunch of people by. He opens the doors if he knows that visitors are to be expected. Most Friday nights a ladies softball tam plays across the street so the pub is open. Still, it is best to call ahead.

Besides having beer and wine, John cooks up a Soup of the Day, steak fries, onion rings, a chicken breast sandwich, chicken wings, a garden salad, and a NY strip steak dinner (among other items). Sales tax is included in all of the prices ranging from $3 for the soup to $20 for the strip steak. Look for the sign above the door that reads, “Dedicated to those merry souls who make drinking a pleasure, who achieve contentedness long before capacity, and who whenever they drink, prove able to carry it, enjoy it, and remain ladies and gentlemen.”

The Buffalo Bar and Grille is located at 307 Louisiana Street. Phone is 716.602.9724


Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • meinallentown

    I’m pretty sure that he’s always open for happy hour on Fridays. Any time that I managed to find John open I always have ahead a great time

  • venicecat2

    The person who set the stage for the youth oriented bars in the 60s thru the 80s was an incredible character by the name of Casimer Sucharski, better known as Casey…I was friends with Butch (as his family and close friends knew him) from the age of 17 on…When he turned 18, in 1964 his father, Casey Sr. pretty much let Butch call the shots in running the family bar on Hertel at night..Caseys became known  for having the hottest juke box in town,,He had a running account with a wholesale record place on Main and went there once a week to get the latest cuts..Soon the place had lines waiting to get in..You have to remember the drinking age was 18 ,so the pool of customers was large,,Butch began making trips to New York City to cop ideas from the happening bars in the Village,,Soon the ceiling of the tavern was adorned with a sled, skis, mannequins, a diving helmet and other crazy stuff.When the hippie scene hit Buffalo, this was THEE place to be…The juke box gave way to the first DJ booth in Buffalo just in time for the disco boom of the late 70s..When the business was moved to the Elmwood and Bidwell location Caseys became an anchor of the Elmwood strip, the newest mecca for Buffalos restless youth.Soon he was hob-nobbing with OJ Simpson and Danny Gare. and living in an incredible mansion on Delaware Ave.reportedly with an indoor pool ..His room-mate at this time was  Mike Millitello, owner of the other hottest place in town, Mulligans…In the late  80s, Butch convinced his dad to move the business to Florida..By this time Casey was widely known as Captain Cabaret..He had the opportunity to open a place in an unincorporated  section of Broward County, which enabled him to stay open until 8am..(yikes)..The cash poured in.He had his Mercedes, and a stretch limo, .Again, his became one of the hottest bars in town..The place the other bartenders would go to when their shifts ended..Casimer Sucharski was murdered in a home invasion in the early 90’s..He had just arrived at his residence  at 8:30 am with two young ladies half his age.Waiting for him were two punks he had thrown out of his bar a few weeks earlier..The entire robbery and triple murders were captured on a home video  system Butch had recently installed..As tragic an ending as this was, I still smile when I think of Butchie.Simply put ,.when he entered a room, it lit up..