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Raising The Bar on Chippewa

There’s nothing like a plug from MSNBC to boost your business’s morale. Not that The Chocolate Bar owner William (Bill) Panzica needed the extra boost – you see, Chocolate Bar just may be the unsung hero when it comes to restaurants and bars on Chippewa. The nightlife strip, notorious for its late night escapades, is also home to a number of successful bars and restaurants, and from the sounds of it The Chocolate Bar is busy raising an entirely different bar. Take a look at the video (see below) produced by MSNBC and chances are that your view of The Chocolate Bar will be elevated – no matter what you thought of the business previously.

Not only is Bill’s business up… it’s literally through the roof. The best part about this success story is the hope that it gives to the rest of the street and downtown Buffalo. It goes to show that with the right business formula, a downtown business can flourish. Customers are willing to travel for creative food and atmosphere executed the right way, along with reliable service. The Chocolate Bar does have the advantage of being attached to the Hampton Inn, but at the same time I mostly see the locals supporting it. It is also interesting to note that there is no parking lot for customers to park in. Success stories like The Chocolate Bar should send signals to others that even in this down economy there are people out there looking to spend money if the offering is worth it.

The Chocolate Bar
114 West Chippewa Street
Buffalo, NY 14202-2007
(716) 332-0484

Written by RaChaCha


RaChaCha is a Garbage Plate™ kid making his way in a Chicken Wing world. Since 2008, he's put over a hundred articles on here, and he asked us to be sure to thank you for reading. So, thank you for reading. You may also have seen his freelance byline in Artvoice, where he writes under the name his daddy gave him [Ed: Send me a check, and I might reveal what that is]. When he's not writing, RaChaCha is an urban planner, a rehabber of houses, and a community builder. He co-founded the Buffalo Mass Mob, and would love to see you at the next one. He represents Buffalo Young Preservationists on the Trico roundtable. If you try to demolish a historic building, he might have something to say about that. He is a proud AmeriCorps alum.

Things you may not know about RaChaCha (unless you read this before): "Ra Cha Cha" is a nickname of his hometown. (Didn't you know that? Do you live under a rock?) He's a political junkie (he once worked for the president of the Monroe County Legislature), but we don't really let him write about politics on here. He helped create a major greenway in the Genesee Valley, and worked on early planning for the Canalway Trail. He hopes you enjoy biking and hiking on those because that's what he put in all that work for. He was a ringleader of the legendary "Chill the Fill" campaign to save Rochester's old downtown subway tunnel. In fact, he comes from a long line of troublemakers. An ancestor fought at Bunker Hill, and a relative led the Bear Flag Revolt in California. We advise you to remember this before messing with him in the comments. He worked on planning the Rochester ARTWalk, and thinks Buffalo should have one of those, too (write your congressman).

You can also find RaChaCha (all too often, we frequently nag him) on the Twitters at @HeyRaChaCha. Which is what some people here yell when they see him on the street. You know who you are.

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