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MES Lounge looks to bring NYC Nightlife Vibe to Buffalo

Restaurant/Club embraces Asian/LGBT Community to Create a Scene Downtown

A restaurant/club has opened at 228 Franklin Street that promises to be Modern, Exclusive and Sexy, hence the name MES Lounge. The club caught my eye when I saw some of the electronic media flyers that were circling around. After checking out some of their events via social media channels, I reached out to NYC owner/operators Mike Punzalan and his wife Krystal, to see what the club was all about. The couple has recently come to embrace Buffalo, and are looking forwrd to embarking upon their first nightlife venture here. From the looks of the weekly themed event productions, MES appears to be a pretty swank place that is drawing a good crowd and offering up some ‘funtastic’ evenings revolving around models, fashionistas, designers, photographers, and even nurses (Nurses Week Happy Hour – Friday, May 12 (6pm to 9pm). 

Currently MES Lounge is still underway with its soft opening. According the the MES team, “The grand open will include the opening of our large patio and a full true authentic asian tapas kitchen with primarily hand selected Cantonese, and secondary Korean, Japanese, Laos, Vietnamese and Thai dishes. We will push a true concept of authenticity as an attraction not only to our venue, but our {expanded} vision to attract an international and traveling clientele. We believe that with this kitchen we can revive interest from our neighbors in Canada which is how we feel we can contribute to Buffalo’s evolution into more of a tourist destination.”

Don’t think that the locals will be missing out on all of this great cuisine, and international flavor. Mike and Krystal have an even broader vision for the club that they feel will extend throughout the region, as they build something that they feel does not currently exist in Buffalo. “The locals will benefit from a cultural melting pot we wish to introduce,” they explain. “In the evenings we are also trying to network with disconnected Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Laos, Thai and Vietnamese communities in order to spark collaborations in downtown, and possibly open a Chinatown. We believe that Buffalo will greatly benefit from a Chinatown, and we wish to be one of the pioneers to lead our Asian community to building one. It will attract more international companies, dining options, and bring more jobs to Buffalo. If you research big successful cities, you will find they have something in common: an NFL team and a Chinatown. Buffalo has the Buffalo Bills, MES wants to be a true contributor to Buffalo.”

Mike and Krystal have given some good thought about what they want to bring to Buffalo. They did this by looking around and figuring out what the city was lacking. They’re setting out to be a downtown destination where everyone will want to make an appearance. They’re reaching out to various factions of Buffalo, and want to give back to the community as they build their new hot spot. “Our evening attractions are also focusing on the influencers – artistic, musical, fashion, chic, trendy crowd/vibe,” said Mike. “We want to keep our vibe in sync with the current [international] market and not get stuck 2 years behind. We recently hosted Locations: MES Lounge as a precursor to generate the vibe that we generally want. Locations collaborates with models, photographers, musicians, fashion designers, and make up artists to transform our venue into three unique photo shoot sets. It is important to cultivate this generation and pique their interest in Buffalo instead of losing them to bigger cities. These young people are our future influencers, who are helping to put Buffalo back on the map.”

As I mentioned, it’s not just about retaining our youth, it’s also about giving back. “We are open to supporting local charities by hosting fundraiser,” Mike continued. “We are open to having these non profit organizations utilize our venue for free without the hassle of a fee. My wife and I used to work for non profit organizations in NYC. In particular, we want to continue to collaborate and support the LGBT community in Buffalo on behalf of my brother Melvin and his husband who are true advocates in the LGBT community in NYC. Our Hot Nights will include Viral Thursday (in collaboration with Vibrations) to highlight up and coming music artists, DJ, producers, models, etc. Locations‘ Icon Friday Nights is bringing together our models, fashionista, designers, photographers for more of a mixer and networking night. Saturdays we have our resident DJ CRESPO (originally from Queens) to attract a trendy, chic Allentown and Elmwood clientele back to downtown Buffalo. We are very enthused to make Buffalo our new home, as we believe we can contribute to Buffalo more so than just being another bar. We are here to be a true benefit to the public and an advocate to draw an international market to Buffalo!”

MES Lounge | 228 Franklin Street | Buffalo, New York, NY 14202 | Facebook

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, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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