Riff City – Buffalo’s new music hall on Chandler Street – is a big hit right out of the gate, according to building owner Rocco Termini. Termini told me that Riff City was made for Chandler Street – it is the perfect fit. The concerts don’t bother the neighbors, there’s a boatload of parking, and the owners of the club can pretty much do what they want, without being bothered with the headaches that sometimes go hand-in-hand with operating a music venue.
Riff City (formerly Tappo Pizza) is a live music lover’s dream. The owners (Jack Rabbit team of Josh Mullin, Simon Wilson, Kevin Sampson, and Jake Monti) have created something that Buffalo can be really proud of. They have rebuilt the bar, and built out a significant stage, with plenty of room to dance. Already, Riff City is becoming known for its fun-rockin’ lineup of bands, including 90’s by Nature (Ed Wyner of The Nerds – see photos).
“Right now, we’re doing a series of sneak preview concerts, because we’re still putting some things together,” said Mullin, who is beyond happy with the initial response to the music venue. “I’ve always wanted to operate a music venue. With all of the complications on Elmwood with Jack Rabbit, and noise complaints from a couple of neighbors, it was time to spread our wings. Now we can host 300-500 people for a concert. It’s exactly what we wanted. Before finding this location, we tried to get Nietzsche’s in Allentown, but that fell through. Then, I got a call from Rocco about the Tappo Pizza location, which is a really good fit. I used to manage Tappo, so I was familiar with the building. And now the street is paved and there are plenty of parking lots with street parking as well. The renovations turned out better than I thought… we love it. That’s why we decided to do some sneak preview parties – tonight is our second one. We wanted to get people in there during the holidays. The rest of our furniture is coming in this week. It’s close… people are already loving it, which makes us super happy.”
As Mullin and his team buttons up Riff City, they are also in the midst of coming up with an operational plan to reopen the pool club (formerly Tappo Day Club) a few doors down, which should be opening when the warm weather rolls around again. The combination of the new outdoor pool club and indoor music venue will make Chandler Street a very happening place to be.
As for the tonight’s show at Riff City, the feature bands are Farrow and PA Line, with doors opening at 7pm. Tickets are available online for $10, and $15 at the door.