Author: Sara Ali

Sara Ali

Sara is a freelance writer living on Buffalo's West Side. She works full time in human services, part time in freelance, and is currently working towards her endeavor to create a nonprofit focused on telling the stories of the refugee and immigrant communities.

Move over nostalgia, it’s 2020 and we’re ready to create new experiences at an iconic music venue. If you haven’t heard, The Showplace Theatre made a comeback and is running head first into the New Year, boasting big name acts such as Ying Yang Twins, Bret Michaels, and 80s glam band Slaughter. According to Showplace Theatre owner Joe “Roxbury” Breidenstein, the venue started as a movie theatre in 1911. The late Peter Goretti purchased it in 1993. At that time, Goretti transformed the space into a music venue and ran it until he passed away in 2007. While Goretti was…

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My existence is fueled by caffeine, a phenomenon not unique to me. The smell of a fresh cup of brew in the morning is enough to ixnay my overwhelming desire to stay in bed. I’m guilty of purchasing whatever Wegmans is selling, but now that The Bean Bastard has been brought to my attention, I am happy to discover what another local roaster has to offer, and I’ll tell you why. An attempt to be the black sheep of coffee roasters, Nicholas Mirusso started roasting coffee as a hobby a little over three years ago. Working out of his kitchen,…

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National Grilled Cheese Day 2019 may have passed, but there’s still more incentive than ever to indulge in the cheesy, bready, delicious goodness – and you don’t have to wait around for a food truck to do so. The Cheesy Chick has opened their first standalone brick and mortar at 5385 Main Street in Williamsville, joining a couple of other food trucks that have landed more permanent locations. This grilled cheese haven initially opened in June of 2013. Starting out as a Food Truck, they eventually set up shop at the Eastern Hills Mall, a cozy café that lasted for…

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The act of removing unwanted tattoos has been around since tattoos have been in existence, albeit, not in the technological advanced ways we can remove them now. The earliest form of tattoo removal was a technique called salabrasion, a painfully unpleasant way to get rid of a regret. In short, it was like using sandpaper to remove the tattoo off your skin. While some folks still use this method, a less abrasive technique has been gaining popularity: laser tattoo removal. It wasn’t until the late 1960s when Leon Goldman brought the concept of laser removal to reality. Over the years,…

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This coming Mother’s Day marks the one-year anniversary for the all-vegan restaurant Root & Bloom Café. On Monday, the vegan hub announced it will be rolling out their new “Southwest Summer” menu this Friday. The launch of the full summer menu will come to fruition by the end of May. To add to the excitement, they also began accepting reservations for Mother’s Day Brunch – and with their reputation for having a full house, you better call now! When I first heard about Root & Bloom opening, I was beyond ecstatic. As a retired vegetarian-turned pescatarian, I’m always looking to…

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We live in a world rife with technological advances. Our default for media consumption involves cell phones; reading the news or a new book is now a digital experience. Smart Watches and iPhones are go-to gifts for teens and loved ones. Owning the new, nifty gadgets and computers, downsized to fit in our pockets, are common aspirations. To some, it may be mind-boggling to consider paper gifts as a commodity, but it took all but 30 seconds for Janna Willoughby to transport me to a world of pulp, fiber, and eco-friendly paper art, forgetting about my obsessive use of tech…

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Grant Street continues to be a unique hub for entrepreneurship. The lovely stretch of asphalt and concrete offers new spaces to visit, such as The Tabernacle and new vendors at the West Side Bazaar. Thankfully, the business trend is expanding. Board game enthusiasts, it’s time to maneuver your way over here and rejoice at Gather & Games. Formerly the home for Sunday Skate Shop, the building is now a tabletop-gaming play space at 212 Grant Street. Owners of Westside Stories, Joe and Jeanenne Petri, are the masterminds behind this establishment. I was fortunate enough to hear through the e-grapevine about…

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Cat fanatics now have a haven to satisfy all of their furry feline needs. Purrfect Café and Gallery on Hertel opened up on August 18th and within the next 6-8 weeks, the restaurant side will be up and running. Purrfect is exactly what it sounds like, a café where you can sit and play with cats. The walls of the gallery are adorned with locally sourced cat and Buffalo-themed artwork. Owner Jessica Brandon was inspired to open her own cat café after visiting one during her trip to Scotland. After being diagnosed with cancer, she set money aside to open…

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“This is the best guitar shop you’ll find in town,” Jim said, as Bill and I made our way to the back of the store. He reminded me for a second time before I walked out. “Make sure you quote me,” he added. Jim sat on a chair playing one of the several guitars at the store while owner Bill Covington and I sat in the back on a cozy sofa, chatting about his business. Bill is the owner of The Fretted Buffalo, a unique acoustic guitar shop on Amherst Street in Black Rock. “It was a hobby that grew…

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A 96-year old tugboat named “The Buffalo” ventured through the United State’s historic waterway. Making its way up the Erie Canal from the Town of Waterford, The Buffalo landed on the shores of the Queen City earlier this summer. Owner of The Buffalo, Andrew Palmer has always been the nautical one in the family. He was in the navy for eight years and has been fascinated with ships and tugs for as long as he can remember. When his brother Jonathon saw The Buffalo for sale on an internet auction, he knew he had to purchase it, leading to Andrew…

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