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District Is Just That and More

On Friday nights I usually try to head out in search of a new place where I have never been. These days that’s not a hard task, as there appear to be a slew of pubs and restaurants opening around every corner. This past Friday my friend and I made it over to District for a couple of drinks, and to scope out the place. What should have been a quick stop before moving on turned out to be a longer layover than expected.

First off, we were greeted by one of the friendliest and outgoing bartenders that we had run across in a while. It turned out that she had just moved back to Buffalo from NYC and was enthused to be part of District’s welcoming committee. The establishment has still not held its grand opening party, so the place was a bit subdued when we arrived, but I don’t think that that will be the case for long. Plus, we got there for happy hour and the bar crowd began to arrive later in the evening.


As far as bars go, in and around the Chippewa District, District holds up pretty well. It’s done up, but it’s not overdone. Instead of loading the place up with tables and chairs, the owners have left plenty of room for people to mingle and dance. The bar is large enough to accommodate a good-sized crowd. The booths are all upstairs, as is the deejay set-up.

We soon found ourselves wrapped up in conversation with our friendly bartender and a few high spirited patrons that moseyed on down to sit with us. By this time we were already making music requests to liven the place up, which was fine with the staff/owners since the younger Shea’s Theater crowd was, by then, in their seats and had vacated their respective bar stools. But not before they threw back a couple of shots before heading out the door.


The section of Pearl Street where District is located has always had a tough time getting off the ground. I think that it’s partially because the series of buildings is caught directly in-between a cultural district and a party district. That means that there is no distinct identity. In the past, most of the establishments have kinda thrown up their hands, not knowing exactly which direction to go.


District looks to be heading in the Chippewa direction, which is fine, because it can probably be a bit tough to attract the regular theater crowd to drink before and after performances, unless a place offers ample room to sit down and eat. District does have food offerings, but the crux of their business is geared toward the bar and nightlife crowd. I love that the owners named the place “District” knowing that people would wonder which district they were referring to. In the end, they have become their own ‘district’ – an offshoot of Chippewa that will hopefully add some life and pizzazz to the Theatre District, which they are certainly in the heart of. As you can see by their cocktail menu (see below), they are aiming to welcome people from all districts of Buffalo.

District | 454 Pearl Street | Buffalo NY | Facebook | See Grand Opening



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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  • BuffaloBoi

    I’ve been hearing great things about this place already and follow them on Twitter @DistrictBuffalo

  • GotAnyChange

    Buffalo has been stepping up its bar and restaurant game no doubt. Step up the retail and were set.

  • The problem with this stretch of Pearl is all of the parking gaps on the west side of the street and it being the ‘back end’ of the buildings that front Main on the east side.  That and Theater Place’s dead ‘plaza’ and parking lot and City Centre’s crummy corner parking structure are enough that the Chippewa patrons have no reason to head north on Pearl.  Lots of room for infill, redevelopment, and like most of downtown, streetscaping.

  • BuffaloBoi

    wcperspective  That is true, this end of Pearl and Franklin Streets are ‘dead zones’ unless you already know about these businesses, otherwise, it’s a place to avoid if your on foot. Too much empty space.

  • GinghamQuaker

    Is BR paid to write puff pieces about every new restaurant, bar, shop, etc.? I mean this place looks like Chippewa trash.

  • mmmmBuffalo

    GinghamQuaker Pretty sure the whole point of BR is to inform us of new places and openings.  What else do you think goes under the “Food” section?  I may not want to go to some of the places they write about, but there are more than a few that I’m glad they opened me up to.

  • Stateofmind

    I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “meh”, but this seems like the appropriate occasion.

  • Buffalo_Bankster

    This bar will be closed in 1 year or less.

  • Ivan putski jr

    Coldest beer in town

  • jonny99

    Some folks are a little harsh here but speak truths. A new bar/ restaurant must find a way to make itself distinct and current. This place is just not either. Give me a reason to go. The joint is screaming 90’s Chippewa