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Sitting Down With Mister Goodbar

Many years ago I lived on the 700 block of Ashland Avenue,
just a short walk from JP Bullfeathers, Coles, and Mister Goodbar.  So I spent a lot of time at those bars
back in those days.  If it was a
Tuesday night, I was taking advantage of 25 cent drafts at Mister Goodbar.  When I think of Goodbar these days,
Tuesday nights still come to mind. But just as our lives change, so too do the
lives of bars.


When I recently chatted with Mister Goodbar’s owner Dominic
Massaro, he quickly pointed out that Tuesday hasn’t been his busiest night in a
long time.  Now it’s Fridays that
tend to be the most eventful. Lots of people come and go on Fridays, whether
it’s to enjoy a live blues band during happy hour, watch a Sabres game, or
catch a live jam or rock band later in the night. Although Goodbar isn’t a
sports bar per se, it is a great place to watch a Sabres game (You can’t go
wrong watching hockey on a 100-inch, hi-def projection television).  And while Massaro values his college
student customers, his typical patron these days is in the mid-20s range.  In addition to folks from the Elmwood
Avenue area that regularly hang out at Goodbar, Massaro has noticed an upswing
of customers from Buffalo’s suburbs as well as from Niagara County and Canada.


Massaro, who bought the bar in 1995, credits Amanda Rabb and
her husband Bobby for their continuous ability to infuse energy into
Goodbar.  Amanda has been on staff
since 1999, and Amanda and Bobby became managers in 2003, a stressful time in
Goodbar’s history due to the newly enacted smoking ban.  Their ideas and perspectives about
generating business helped avoid a prolonged slump at that time.  Massaro relies heavily on Amanda to
develop promotions and keep the Goodbar atmosphere cool and friendly.  “Her value to the bar,” Massaro said,
“cannot be overstated.” 


One of Bobby’s many contributions is “The Goodbar
Goodbeerclub,” a beer-tasting event he created that takes place on the second
Wednesday of every month.  There is
a different theme each month (for example, beers of Germany) and the suds are
accompanied by food. 


Mister Goodbar has been on Elmwood Avenue so long that I
sometimes take it for granted (I really shouldn’t take for granted any place
that has thirty beers on tap).  I
don’t make it in very often these days, but anytime I do I have a great
time.  It’ll be interesting to see
how Mister Goodbar continues to adjust to the changing times.  Massaro wants to ensure that Goodbar
stays true to its essential character: an unpretentious, laid-back bar, with a
spirit summed up by a phrase inscribed in the ground in front of the bar that
reads, “Welcome in Peace”.


Mister Goodbar

1110 Elmwood Avenue

Buffalo NY 14222


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