Outdoor Music at Area Restaurants
Chicago Authority at River Grill
Photo by Kim Marie
During the summer in Western New York, there are outdoor festivals with live music every weekend and many nights of the week. Many people create their summer schedules around these festivals, but don’t overlook the many outdoor live music events at area restaurants, bars, and clubs.
Establishments along the water often have outdoor entertainment on their patios or have bands playing inside the business with outdoor seating within earshot and view of the performers. Often, the band is scheduled to play on the patio, weather permitting, and they are moved inside if Mother Nature does not want to cooperate.
Along Lake Ontario, the Wilson Boat House overlooking the harbor has bands perform on the patio Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. The Sunset Bar & Grill on O’Connell Island in Wilson Harbor hosts the Music on the Harbor live music series every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Water Street Landing at 115 South Water Street in Lewiston overlooks the Niagara Gorge and River and has live music on the patio every Friday, Sunday, and Monday at 4 p.m.
In North Tonawanda, Shores on Tonawanda Island has music on the patio on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with a panoramic view of the river. Just inland from the Niagara River, you will also find live bands on the patios at Crazy Jakes and Dwyers on Webster Street. The Remington Tavern on Sweeney Street, overlooking the Erie Canal, has Beatles music by Geno McManus and Frank Grizanti every Monday, jazz on Fridays, and blues on Sundays.
In Tonawanda, Old Man River has outdoor music Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, with The Dave Constantino Band performing every Sunday afternoon. Every Wednesday, they feature live blues behind the restaurant, along with a nine- to eleven-mile bicycle ride, hosted by 97 Rock’s Anita West.
The restaurant on the Niagara River that has the most live entertainment is River Grill at the end of Aqua Lane in Tonawanda, where bands perform seven nights a week. The bands play inside the club, but you can see and hear them on the patio. They also have music on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with Jack Civiletto and Joe Bolognese performing Sinatra and other Big Band vocalists every Tuesday at 2p.m.
Heading south on the Niagara River, before getting to the Buffalo Harbor, Acqua Restaurant at 2192 Niagara Street has Food Truck Fridays on the Waterfront with live bands.
Once in the Erie Basin Marina and Canalside area, there are several restaurants with live outdoor music. Templeton Landing has Live Music on the Deck every Friday and Saturday. The Hatch offers bands or DJs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Liberty Hound presents its Summer of Love with acoustic music Saturday and Sunday afternoons and highlights Terry Sullivan & the Jumpers playing Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed on Friday July 26 and the Jony James Band with Sue Kincaid playing Hendrix and Joplin on Friday August 30, both groups performing on the deck of the USS Little Rock.
At the Safe Harbor Marina in Buffalo Harbor, you will find Charlies Boat Yard. The restaurant presents live music Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons on the patio, as you watch the boats entering and departing the harbor. The Public House on the Lake has acoustic solo, duos, or trios on their patio on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Woodlawn Beach & Tiki Bar features live music six nights a week at the upper bar, ranging form acoustic acts to popular area bands and featuring different nightly themes. There’s also music on the beach on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with national Freestyle Acts and Regional Tribute bands on Saturday nights.
Angola continues to be a place for live music with the Beach Club at Mickey Rats featuring live music Wednesday to Sunday and the Turtle Joe’s Sandbar hosting live music seven nights a week. At Sunset Bay, Cabana Sam’s has live oldies on Tuesday, live beach music on Thursday, and a beach party every Sunday. The Sunset Bay Beach Club presents Music on the Patio every Friday and Saturday.
In addition to restaurants on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the Niagara River, the Terrace at Delaware Park, in the historic Marcy Casino on Hoyt Lake, has live acoustic jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings and a jazz brunch on Sunday afternoons. Buffalo Riverworks at 359 Ganson Street on the Buffalo River has a Buffalo Beer Garden Series every Friday and Sunday, along with many special events featuring live bands in the huge complex.
Away from the water, one of the largest outdoor restaurant events is Groovin’ in the Grove every Wednesday at Branchetti’s, 550 North French Road in Amherst. Bands perform on the outdoor gazebo stage for patrons in the grove and covered outdoor area behind the restaurant.
There are many other establishments that have music on their patios during the summer months or host car cruises that feature live bands. Make sure you take advantage of visiting the venues listed in this article because, I hate to say it, but in another two or three months their outdoor music will be over for the summer of 2019.
Rick Falkowski gives Buffalo Music History presentations, is the author of History of Buffalo Music & Entertainment, and is co-founder of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Send questions or comments to email@example.com