Last night marked a memorable occasion with the reopening of Mohawk Place, one of the city’s most iconic and revered live performance nightclubs. Owner Rick Platt, who also owns Electric Avenue next door, has done a fine job in bringing the place back up to snuff. While talking to musician Andrew J Reimers (Country Punk Extravaganza), he made a comment that pretty much summed it up. He said, “It’s nice… but it’s not too nice.” What he meant by that comment is that Platt took the renovations far enough, without sacrificing the integrity of the joint. A lot of Mohawk fans were praying that the place wouldn’t be forsaken… too much.
Of course, things did need to be tidied up a bit in order to reopen. Platt put down new faux flooring that actually looks like real wood. It’s hard to tell that it’s not. He also replaced bits and pieces of the original tin ceiling, which looks spectacular. In general, Mohawk looks a lot cleaner, but the bones and the vibe of the venue remain the same. Upon walking in, you might notice the changes, and you might not. Most of the character was retained, including the stickers on the back bar, the photos on the walls, and the few colorful eccentric architectural details, not to mention the bar itself.
The grand opening night brought together some of the city’s most respected musicians, who can also be somewhat of a brotherhood. The line up started with ‘Ol Chili (see band image), and also featured The Albrights, CPX and Second Trip. If you’ve ever caught a show at The Mohawk, then you can imagine what went down last night. The place is a raw, familiar and highly regarded concert venue that has brought countless high ranking music outfits to this city. It has also managed to help retain local musicians who feel as if Mohawk is a second home. It’s places like this that allow Buffalo musicians to thrive, instead of merely hitting the road in search of gigs, or even moving away for that matter.
There was a moment in time, when Buffalo mourned what might have been a huge blow to the local music scene. Fortunately, Platt was able to pick up the pieces and now has a somewhat captivated audience at this auspicious (but not too auspicious) corner. Seeing the lights back on, and the same crowd filtering through the doors, is a welcome sight for downtown Buffalo. Not to mention the quality of the musicians who will once again come a callin’ to a place that has made its mark not just in the local spotlight, but the national one as well.
Mohawk Place | 47 E Mohawk Street | Buffalo, New York | (716) 312-9279 | Facebook