The Buffalo live music scene is going gangbusters these days. It seems as if there is a great show around every corner. That’s why, when we lost Waiting Room last August (see here), it was upsetting news. A lot of music fans had come to rely on the venue for its impeccable and diverse live music line-up. Living up to its name, a line of music fans could be seen extending down Delaware Avenue, waiting to get into the venue, whenever a band was about to take a stage – many of the bands were from out of town, looking for a respected place to play. There were also plenty of opportunities to catch local acts, who came to call the place ‘home’. Since it first opened, The Waiting Room filled a need for mid-sized bands who wanted to play Buffalo in a more intimate environment, while having room to breathe.
That was then. This is now. Moving forward, concert promoter Chris Ring (After Dark Entertainment – former owner of The Waiting Room) will be transitioning his energies to a new venue in Downtown Buffalo. Ring has teamed up with restaurateur Dale Segal (formerly of O Restaurant and Encore) to open a new live music hotspot (and event space) at 79 W. Chippewa – known previously for Bayou, McMonkees, and most recently The Lodge. The new music club and event space will be called Rec Room. Not only is this great news for live music fans, it’s also very exciting news for Chippewa.
Rings says that the search began for a new live music venue the moment that he knew Waiting Room was closing. He explains, “We were doing about 200 shows a year at Waiting Room. When it closed we were lucky enough to be able to find venues that we could move all our shows to, but moving forward the dates we needed at other local venues just weren’t there, so it was imperative to find a new spot where we could control the calendar.”
At some point, as the search was underway, Ring and Segal (old friends) began to talk about what the venue would look like, and how it would function. Not long after that, the two teamed up to join forces.
“Dale has had tremendous success in the bar and restaurant business over the years. He has always thrown great events and is one of the best in the business at making sure his customers have an amazing experience which is really important to me. Partnering with him on this project was a no brainer,” says Ring.
When The Lodge first opened on Chippewa, people were ‘wowed‘ at the amount of work that went into the sprawling restaurant. One might think that would lend itself to a simple transition into a music-oriented space. While the bones are in place, Segal says that they are working hard to create a venue that is optimal for producing national and local concerts of all genres.
“We are transforming this space to be one of Buffalo’s premier live music clubs. It’s going to be a great, intimate space for shows. We can’t wait for people to see it.” Segal goes on to say “When the scenario presented itself we knew we had to jump at the opportunity to take it over. It’s a legendary address in this district. To bring our concept here and be a part of everything happening in and around Chippewa is very exciting.”
For those who are hoping that Ring would bring back his ever-popular Live Band Karaoke series, you’re in luck. “We want to bring something different to this district,” says Ring. “Concerts, Live Band Karaoke (the only one in Buffalo) and our Dueling Pianos series are just some of the unique things we are going to bring to Chippewa which should be a great compliment to the entertainment that’s already happening here. We will have something for everyone.”
Rec Room will open its doors this August, for a couple of “test shows”. The grand opening will then take place in September. After that, Chippewa will be energized to the hilt, with a proven formula has been sorely missed since Waiting Room disappeared from the live music scene.
To stay up to date on everything Rec Room visit them online at RecRoomBuffalo.com
Aug. 8: For The Fallen Dreams
Aug. 24: Mixtape Reunion
Sept. 14: A night of Comedy and Q&A with the legendary Jake The Snake Roberts
Sept. 17: Face To Face
Sept. 20: Said The Sky
Oct. 13: Andy Grammar
Oct. 25: The Creepshow
Nov. 9: Shooter Jennings