The long wait is over – Casey’s has officially reopened in Black Rock, as Casey’s Sports Bar & Arcade. Co-owners Vinnie Garofalo and Joelle Zielin Garofalo have deconstructed and reconstructed the place as a sports bar in the front, and arcade in the back.
The sports bar element is pretty awesome – some of the sports memorabilia is definitely wild, from the jerseys to the interactive scoreboard. There’s even a penalty box in the corner, for patrons that spill drinks or act out during a game.
It was March of 2018 when we posted that Casey’s was for sale. Then, in May, the building was purchased by Peter Rouff, who said that the iconic Black Rock establishment would retain its name, but that a new image was destined for the place. Apparently the interior was pretty ragtag, and in need of a lot of TLC. Today it’s a whole new story, springing to life with people who are coming to appreciate all of the work that went into elevating this reinvented Black Rock experience.
It’s funny to see this old tavern transformed in this manner – last evening, there were some old timers at the bar who seemed a bit perplexed by the changes, especially the arcade room in the back. But there is a new generation of clientele that has come to call Casey’s home, especially where sports and entertainment is concerned.
Bar manager Alex Wenzel said that the Bills games have been wall to wall, which is what they wanted. They also showcase all of the UFC and boxing fights, which has also attracted a diehard following. It will be interesting to see how the arcade element works out – I can see how the two ideas go hand-in-hand, but there are definitely two distinct feels between the front and back rooms.
For the most part, Casey’s is a neighborhood pub that has been spiffed up to a new standard for Black Rock. The sports and arcade theme brings something new to the street, which definitely fills a gap. Seeing that Buffalo is a big sports town, they have done a great job on hanging their hat on that longstanding trend. The arcade theme is new to Buffalo… and now, new to Black Rock.
As for the food and drink, chances are that you will wind up doing a couple of shots at the bar with one of the owners, or Wenzel, who was formerly a bartender across the street at Dapper Goose. The bar is a no frills, non gimmicky, shot and a beer type of modus operandi, though the Garofalos and Wenzel are very well-versed in cocktailing, so don’t be afraid to put them to the test if you feel the urge for something more inspired.
When it comes to the food, there’s plenty of traditional pub fare, but there’s also a section called “Carnival Eats”, which features a Blooming Onion, Deep Fried Pickles, Chicken & Waffles, and Deep Fried Oreos! On the weekends, customers can order the Friday Fish Fry, or the Sunday Dinner (Vinnie’s Sunday sauce, rigatoni, meatball, sausage, and garlic bread).
Casey’s Sports Bar & Arcade is open for lunch and dinner, where you can sit at a table, or at the bar. Personally, I like sitting at the bar, because the real chemistry with this establishment is the cast of characters behind the stick who are there to ensure you have a great time, no matter what time of day or night you happen to be there.
Casey’s Sports Bar & Arcade | 484 Amherst Street | Buffalo, New York 14207 | (716) 436-6959 | Facebook