That Allentown Guy Whose House Keeps Getting Peed on Cannot be Happy

LYFT is Watching You All

Allentown, once home to only the weird, has now become the hot spot for nearly everyone, according to a year’s worth of data from LYFT ride requests. You can check out all their upstate data here (one day, Buffalo and Rochester will have data sets of their own!) Just because we didn’t win every category is likely because we have so many great options, and not just one go-to spot to choose from in our town here.

In my day…

There used to be this efficient and fun circle that UB, Canisius and Medaille students could take advantage of where we would ride the subway down to Theatre District stop, go into Liars and Big Shots underage, and 67 West when we did turn 21, because Pinky didn’t put up with any fake ID bullshit. After a proper dose of 80s music,  we could hop on 25E, the “Late Night Express” bus route and get off at “Heenan’s” (McGarret’s on Elmwood and Bidwell – which is quite honestly Buffalo’s version of Paddy’s Pub from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) for it’s 2AM dance floor and well, more 80s music, go to ETS, and catch the 430AM 25E through Buff State, Medaille and Canisius campuses. Home safe. Living our best, most basic life. On Chippewa, we joined the city’s college population and young 20 somethings in what was THE hottest neighborhood in town. Not having fun in one bar? Move 10 feet left or right and try again.

In that time, we never even considered Allentown because we knew nothing about it. It wasn’t until after college that we discovered the magic of The Pink at 3:45AM, Friday Happy Hours at (the old) Colter Bay, and the back garden patios of Fat Bob’s and Gabe’s Gate all summer long. Allentown was a perfect fitting glove for a fun night out, topped off with a disgusting slice of pizza from NY Pizza Co at Park and Allen, or a killer hot dog from Lagniappe’s (RIP man. That place was cool). It was generally understood that Allentown was for everyone. Once again, it was the artists and the LGBTQ community that pioneered a neighborhood that was fun, beautiful, dirty, and best of all – CHEAP. It’s pretty much always the artists and queer community that build the best neighborhoods. That’s why when Allentown began changing recently, it wasn’t always for everyone’s benefit.


View this post on Instagram


Guys – we made it to heaven. #tidtheseason #etid #buffalo #theoldpink

A post shared by Greg Miller (@handsofthedead) on

Things have changed, for better and worse

Depending on your disposition toward Jim’s Steakout, the gross food is pretty much gone, and the restaurants are upgraded dramatically. Some of the best food in the city is now found at a table at Billy Club (have you had the octopus?!), and then Cantina, ABV, and the new Colter Bay have been great additions, in their own ways, to main stays like Fat Bob’s and Mother’s. These options have allowed late 20s, 30s folks to keep coming back, unlike Chippewa where we all sort of grew out of it. There’s so many great selections of tequila and mezcal, burgers and poutine and tacos and high end and low end. Everything!

As a result, prices have been going up – only in some places. Billy Club sort of encountered the same first reactions lloyd did when they opened. “You’re going to charge what? In this neighborhood?” Just like when people slowly realized a taco from lloyd, while more expensive, was more delicious and better for you than lettuce inside a paper towel from Mighty Taco, people came around and realized,” I’m willing to pay Billy Club and other new bar’s prices because it’s high-quality, and I can still run off to The Pink for a $3 PBR afterward.” Allentown is also alive during the day now, as these new restaurants are offering lunch. Grindhaus, Caffeeology and  The Intersection caffeinate the classic Allentown clientele alongside newbies learning to be doctors at UB’s med school.

Some new bars opened as more of a reflection of the neighborhood’s new clientele when they slapped up 20 or 30 TVs, a dress code, and offered valet parking and, ugh… attitude. And as more college kids get off at Allen/Medical, the same criminal elements Chippewa works to eradicate have also arrived, and according the Buffalo Police, so have their rivals. At the depth of the changes came a couple shootings and stabbings outside bars, ICE raids, and an attack on members of the LGBTQ community, walking together in what were supposed to be safe spaces, they were beat up for being gay, along with a man who tried to help them outside of Allentown Pizza by some really weak, really small, really pathetic bros fueled by alcohol and their own insecurity. It was shitty.

Allentown is still inherently awesome

There are actually some pretty fucking sweet stores lining the block like The Dress Shop, Freshly Dipped Clothing, and Pine Apple Co where you can go get all sorts of unique shit that often supports artists and more. First Fridays are cool at Albright Knox, but they’re DOPE on Allen. Galleries are open late, some are putting out free booze, and all are super grateful to have you come through.


View this post on Instagram


snow should never stop anyone from looking glamorous 😉✨

A post shared by The Dress Shop (@thedresssshop) on

The music and dancing are still there. Nietzche’s has continued its streak of live music every night, for ummm forever. Kurt and the Loders have torn the roof down on multiple occasions, and smaller acts have nestled into a corner. Staples turned into DBGB, and while there are less bands, you can still dance your ass off. Speaking of dancing, Hardware still brings in likely the most diverse crowd in the city where you can groove inside the back room and see a ton of faces that you don’t already know, from all over the place – which is refreshing in our city.

So go to the places, and do the things that make it awesome:

Don’t write off the whole neighborhood just because you saw kids 10 years younger than you at the bar next door.
When you want to drink outside, you can do it inside a garden patio instead of a downtown rooftop that looks straight into a parking garage.
You can bask in the glory of bubbles flying all around you on the corner, and enjoy the euphoria of your number being SCREAMED over the crowd at Jim’s Steakout.
Hookup with a stranger at The Pink.
See a rock show.
Get a fancier dinner once in a while.
Gulp down a shitty draft beer during your darts game, or sip slowly on a craft cocktail.
Allentown is yours for the making, and if you want to “Keep Allentown Weird” or some other fun phrase, make sure you support the establishments that do just that.

Just remember the neighborhood was built for everyone. Speak out in defense of keeping it that way, with your mouth and your wallet. And try to stop peeing on that guy’s lawn.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 🎭🗡🇯🇲 Vxga Vxndxtta₆⁶₆♛𓁼 (@vegarhymes) on


View this post on Instagram


We are so very frond of you, Buffalo, NY. 🌿 #crazyplantlady #buffalove

A post shared by salt + lemons (@shopsaltandlemons) on