For months, a buddy of mine has been telling me about The Groove Lounge, but it was only yesterday that I was afforded to opportunity to experience the place firsthand. After a session of Yoga In Da Trap, it was time to eat. So I joined my friend and his daughter for breakfast, at what I believe could be the greatest retro lounge in all of Buffalo.
First of all, the place is huge. Apparently, back in the day, the building housed three floors that were dedicated bingo halls. I learned that after our meal, but if I had guessed the original application early on, I would have said “bowling?” That’s because the unusual brunch bar area where we ate had unusual electric outlets, which signaled that some sort of gaming was at hand. I never would have guessed, bingo.
Upon walking into the The Groove Lounge, there is a wall of photos featuring groovy celebrities. Then, there is a massive bar that extends from one half of the floor (featuring a lounge dining room) to another half (with more of a breakfast feel).
The dinner/club side has a stage that is still used on a regular basis (day and night). The breakfast side has a pool table that is need of a felt change.
We chose a table that was close to the bar, and offered a decent vantage point onto the whole place. My friend told me that the owner had done some more improvements to the lounge since he was last there. As we talked about the overall funkiness, our waitress strolled up. She was super sweet, and very accommodating. I ordered a coffee, while my companions stuck to water. The waters were served in plastic glasses, and the coffee in styrofoam. Being honest, that was my only complaint about the meal (oh, and the utensils were plastic).
Looking at the “Welcome to the Breakfast Club” menu, we found scores of yummy-looking offerings. There were breakfast slams, skillets, plates, ham omelette, chicken & waffles, steak & eggs, breakfast wraps, sausage & egg sandwich and plenty of sides. But only one item seriously stood out for both of us – The Grand Groove’s Slam! (with a side of french toast for the little girl).
While the atmosphere took the cake, the breakfast was not far off. The grits were silky smooth, and the rye toast was excellent. I ate the toast along with the sausage patties and bacon, topped with the over easy eggs… bingo! I asked for the hash browns to be cooked “crisp”, but they came out more of a “soft mash”, which was fine because I immediately realized that their version of a hash brown was a lot different than what I was thinking. Their version was very good however, seasoned nicely – no complaints here.
Once again, I can’t say enough about the service. Our waitress made sure that our little guest was taken care of, as did the rest of the staff (and even some of the other patrons took a shine to her). It turns out that The Groove Lounge is not only for adults, it’s also very family friendly. The “Grown Folks Groove” part of the lounge is just that – I want to go back and catch a show. My buddy told me that the last time he ate lunch there, music was being piped from the stage, and all the stage lights were on. He said that it was pretty cool when the place was “in action”.
Incredibly, The Groove Lounge even publishes its own slick magazine that highlights the breakfast and lunch menus (there’s a huge kitchen menu – from 4pm to close), the upcoming music acts, photos of previous acts, the story of the building, info on comedy shows and battle of the bands… there’s even a Groove Beauty of the month. There’s so much stuff going on at The Groove Lounge, it’ll make your head spin. I can’t believe that it took me so long to take my friend up on his offer. Now, I plan on introducing some others to this fantastic East Side gem. I hear that The Slow Roll will be making a stop to this hip establishment on Monday, which means that ‘the word’ will be out very soon.
To find out about all of the goings on at The Groove Lounge, stay tuned to Facebook.
The Groove Lounge | 1210 Broadway Street | Buffalo, New York, NY 14212 | (716) 939-3149