2016 Forever Young Faves Winners Revealed!
Favorite Theater Venue: Shea’s Performing Arts Center
Shea’s consistently presents performances that delight and entertain patrons. The historical theater, built in 1926, is an architectural treasure; the ornate setting makes a night out at the theater even more special. Upcoming shows include 42nd Street and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
646 Main Street, Buffalo; 847-1410, sheas.org
Favorite Summer Event: Erie County Fair
There is one summertime event that brings people of all ages together for twelve days of fun: the Erie County Fair. Western New York’s first agricultural fair was held in 1820 and has been growing ever since. More than demolition derbies, Ferris wheels, and rock concerts, the fair has a solid traditional core of agricultural education and activities.
5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg; ecfair.org
Favorite Winter Event: Chestnut Ridge
Winterfest provides free entertainment for every member of the family with a variety of activities. Enjoy a snowshoe hike, sledding, marshmallow roasting, snow sculptures, wood branding, and other activities. The next festival is January 29, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chestnut Ridge Park Casino, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park; chestnutridgeconservancy.org/event/winterfest-2017
Favorite Bingo Hotspot: Seneca Gaming
Seneca Gaming & Entertainment bingo offers the biggest daily payouts in Western New York. There are daily evening games, Night Owl Sessions on Friday and Saturday, and matinees. The halls feature both smoking and non-smoking bingo and game rooms. See website for locations.
Favorite Casino/Gaming Facility: Seneca Niagara Casino
Seneca Niagara provides a luxurious gaming experience—fine dining, live entertainment, spa, and special events, in addition to the slots and other games. It’s no wonder the Seneca Niagara Casino was selected as the favorite place to strike it rich.
310 Fourth Street, Niagara Falls; 299-1100, senecaniagaracasino.com
Favorite Senior Living Community: Vinecroft Retirement Community
Vinecroft’s charming campus is located on acres of beautiful country property, just minutes from Transit Road shopping, medical offices, hospitals, and many restaurants. The not-for-profit Christian-based retirement community welcomes all faith denominations.
5945 Vinecroft Dr., Clarence Center; 741-7741 or vinecroft.org
Favorite Continuing Education Program: Erie 1 BOCES
Part–time and full-time courses are offered in manufacturing, health care, business, GED, and many more subjects. English as a second language classes are free.
355 Harlem Road, West Seneca; 821-7000, e1b.org
Favorite Legendary Buffalo Building: Buffalo City Hall
This Art Deco masterpiece was completed in 1931. Architect John Wade designed the 375-foot high, twenty-eight-story building, with eight-foot carved frieze created by Albert T. Stewart. Free tours are offered Monday through Saturday at noon. Be sure to see Buffalo from the top of City Hall’s observation deck and read our interview with Mayor Byron Brown to learn about his favorite spots.
65 Niagara Square, Buffalo; 1-800-283-3256 or www.ci.buffalo.ny.us
Favorite Place to Take Kids: Buffalo Zoo
This third-oldest zoo in the country features a variety of exhibits and constant updates that make it an exciting place to spend a day with little ones. A must see: the polar bears swimming in Arctic Edge. In December, get into the holiday spirit with Santa and the zoo animals. See the website for details.
300 Parkside Avenue Buffalo; 837-3900, buffalozoo.org
Favorite Place to Take Out-of-Town Visitors: Niagara Falls
Whether you visit in the daytime to explore Niagara Falls State park and ride the Maid of the Mist or in the evening to see the cascade illuminated with all the colors of the rainbow and fireworks exploding above, a trip to Niagara Falls is a reminder that one of world’s greatest wonders is right in our back yard.
Niagara Falls; 278-1730, niagarafallsstatepark.com
Favorite Place to Take a Walk: Canalside
There’s something special about walking through Canalside, maybe it’s the sun’s reflection on the water, the breeze from the lake, or the boats drifting by. You can enjoy it all winter, too, with ice skating, hockey, and curling.
Favorite Place to Watch a Sunset: Waterfront
Buffalo’s waterfront is situated at the confluence of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, and the Erie Canal. There’s really no bad place to watch the sun go down over the water, be it at Canalside, Wilkeson Pointe, or on a Buffalo Harbor cruise.
Favorite Shopping Destination: Galleria Mall
It’s easy to make a whole day of it at the Galleria Mall: shopping at stores of every kind, a movie, dinner, and drinks, all without having to leave the premises. The Galleria’s website offers a list of daily happy hour specials at its restaurants—perfect for date night on a budget.
1 Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga, 681-7600, waldengalleria.com
Favorite Local News Personality: Mary Alice Demler
Demler is the first Buffalo-area news anchor to receive the Best News Anchor award, and clearly our readers agree. WGRZ viewers rely on her to deliver the news with poise, accuracy, and confidence (and more than a little charm).
Favorite Place to Go on a Date: Movies
While no specific theater was named, it’s clear that our readers like to take their sweethearts to the picture show. We’ve got some great old ones in Western New York, like the North Park Theatre and Amherst Theatre.
North Park Theatre, 1428 Hertel Ave.; 836-7411
Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.; 834-7655
Favorite Current or Former Buffalo Sabre: Pat LaFontaine
Scoring machine Patrick Michael LaFontaine played for the Buffalo Sabres from 1991 to 1997. In 1992-93, LaFontaine recorded a personal-best and team-record 148 points (53 goals and 95 assists), which also earned the record for most points scored by an American-born player in one season. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 3, 2003.
Favorite Current or Former Buffalo Bill: Jim Kelly
Bills fans started rooting for Kelly during his days as quarterback and have continued to do so as he overcame his battle with cancer. Kelly is known for his charitable contributions, launching the Hunter’s Hope Foundation in 1997, and, later the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute at the University of Buffalo’s School of Medicine.
Favorite Place to Meet for Morning Coffee: Tim Hortons
With a location always nearby and a generous senior discount, Tim Hortons was selected as the top spot for grabbing a cup of joe with friends.
Locations throughout WNY, timhortons.com
Favorite Local Bar: Anchor Bar
The spot that put chicken wings on the map is also a favorite local watering hole. It’s easy to get to, friendly, and has its own parking lot. And don’t forget those world-famous wings!
1047 Main Street (see website for more locations), Buffalo; 883-1134, anchorbar.com
Favorite Fish Fry: McPartlan’s Corner
Our readers rave about McPartlan’s fish fry—fresh, crispy, and well seasoned. This homey old-school restaurant and bar offers Irish dishes, Buffalo specialties, and the aforementioned killer Friday-night fish fry.
669 Wehrle Drive, Buffalo; 632-9896, mcpartlans.com
Favorite Hamburger Place: Grover’s
Grover’s, formerly Grover Cleveland’s hunting lodge, is famous for its tasty, behemoth burgers. Especially hungry guests can order the “Bruiser”—an oversized certified Angus ground beef patty with Cajun spice, sautéed onions, and crumbled blue cheese on a buttered roll.
9160 Transit Road, East Amherst; 636-1803
Favorite Pizza Place: Bocce
Western New Yorkers can get into passionate debates out which local pizza is best. Luckily, we have general consensus on Bocce Club Pizza, which has been a Buffalo staple since 1946. The sweet sauce and always-generous layer of gooey mozzarella cheese are among the reasons cited why Bocce is best.
Amherst, 833-1344; East Amherst, 689-2345; bocceclubpizza.com
Favorite Local Candy Store: Watson’s Chocolates
In 1946, brothers Louis and John Watson began making chocolates in the back room of their soda fountain and luncheonette on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore, NY. Now with eight locations throughout Western New York, a piece of Watson’s famous sponge candy (and other delicious treats) is never too far out of reach. See website for locations.
1-888-875-6643 or watsonschocolates.com
Favorite Breakfast Spot: Denny’s
Maybe Denny’s is a perennial breakfast favorite because it serves that meal twenty-four hours a day. Or maybe it’s the comprehensive 55+ menu. Whatever the reason, this casual diner chain dishes up classic American comfort fare that our readers love.
Many locations; dennys.com
Favorite Steak House: Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More
Forever Young readers selected Russell’s as the best steakhouse in Buffalo. With their emphasis on quality, Russell’s continues to win over the taste buds of all who dine there.
6675 Transit Rd, Buffalo, 636-4900, salvatoresgrand.com
Favorite Ice Cream Shop: Anderson’s
Many WNYers have fond memories of enjoying an ice cream cone at Anderson’s. The first local Anderson’s was opened in Kenmore in 1947, and there are now six locations throughout the region plus a food truck, so you’ll never be too far from a great frozen custard, milkshake, or hot roast beef on weck sandwich.
Throughout WNY; andersonscustard.com