Monday, November 25, 2013
West Side organizations and businesses are doing their best to ensure that people living on the street can be as warm as possible. New to You and Friends of Night People are among those that are providing some warmth in the area's frigid temperatures. Full story by Matt Bove and Gabrielle Mediak
Black Friday can make or break the year for retailers all over the country, but for bars and clubs on the West Side, the moment of truth comes on Thanksgiving Eve.
The night before Thanksgiving has been deemed the biggest party night of year, but for bars and clubs it is far more important than most may think.
“The bars make double, sometimes triple the amount they would on a normal weekend all in one night,” said Zach Grimm, bouncer at Social Night Club, 228 Franklin St. “Without this night I don’t think the bar would make it through the holiday season.”
Capitalizing on the first time college students come back home for Thanksgiving break is vital for the success of the bars and clubs. Many places on the West Side will raise their cover charge upwards of ensuring that they make the most out of the craziest night of their year.
“Clubs will increase their cover charge because they know how many people will come through the doors,” Nick Iacona, a disc jockey at at Purple Monkey, 236 Delaware Ave, and Pure Night Club, 75 West Chippewa St. said. “People will pay to participate in the madness because it is the biggest party night of the year, so bars can get away with charging more.” By Matt Bove and Gabrielle Mediak
Sunday, November 24, 2013
|Customer Jackie Blanco, left, and store owner Stephanie Robb, right|
“People are finally getting a hang of shopping locally,” said Stephanie Robb, owner of Turnstyle Designs located on Ashland Avenue in Buffalo. “Customers that shop locally are keeping their dollar within the vicinities.” Full story by Michael Loffredo
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Salvation Army, 187 Grant St, is holding its annual Thanksgiving services and turkey dinner for the West Side community on Thanksgiving Day.
Services will start at 11 a.m. and dinners will start to be fed at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 28. Anybody is more than welcome to come eat or volunteer to cater the event or even to lend a helping hand in the clean up. The dinner is free of charge.
Tops, Wegmans and individuals donated multiple turkeys and other foods to help feed people in need of a holiday dinner.
“This event not only helps families, but it helps the community come together,” a Salvation Army official said. By Patrick Lawler and Joe Sarro
Monday, November 18, 2013
Julie Lewitzky adds works to her current exhibit at 1045 Elmwood Gallery for the Arts. The collection of paintings, drawings, prints and more, titled “413 Works,” opened Nov. 8 and runs through the end of the year. Lewitzky’s compilation of bright colors, simplistic characters and text is the product of her natural gravitation toward artistic expression.“I just find it very relaxing,” she said. “I’m one of those people that when I get relaxed, and sit down, I like to draw. It’s fun for me.” By Lauren Coppola and Samantha Wulff
By Caitlin Kupiec and James McDonald
Bengal News West Reporters
Once guests walk into Gypsy Parlor, located at 376 Grant St., they are greeted by colorful tutus, bohemian belly dancers and gypsies tending bar, none of which are likely found at the average corner pub.
Gabrielle Mattina, owner of the bar/restaurant, grew up on the West Side and always knew she wanted to open her restaurant on Grant Street. She’s of Romanian lineage, so the name of the bar is inspired partly by her culture, and partly from an ongoing joke with her friends.
“I get criticism for it every day,” Mattina said. “But it was a way of life for us, with the dressing up, the henna and the fortune telling.”
The bar holds special events each week, including Tutu Tuesdays, – where guests get $2 drink specials if they show up in a tutu – Belly Dancer Wednesdays and other various events.
The cocktails are all original recipes created by Mattina. A popular drink is named “Gypsy Juice,” which can be made non-alcoholic or mixed with liquor of choice.
Mattina never saw herself opening the restaurant anywhere else, and said that the bar is doing about 40 percent better than she ever imagined it would.
Residents of the neighborhood have welcomed her with open arms since the place opened in late September, and she said she could not ask for a better situation.
“People tell me, 'We’re so glad something opened up here, we’re sick of driving to Elmwood and Allen',” Mattina said. “It’s rewarding to know that people appreciate it.”