The Sportsmens Tavern Turns Roadhouse

A little more than two years after first posting on extensive remodeling plans scheduled for the Sportsmens Tavern on Amherst Street, work is well underway to turn this Americana music club into a 325 seat multi-level music destination. I stopped in last night to check out the open mic hosted by Writers, Artists and Musicians (WAM), which turned out to be an awe-inspiring experience. Talk about blowing the roof off a joint – literally there was no first floor ceiling… instead there was a vaulted wood beam canopy with a multi-tiered mezzanine where music fans can sit in style while listening to their favorite acts. 

The first floor seating is cozy and intimate, featuring a stage by the front door, massive black curtains (backdrop for the stage), a long bar extending the length of the room and a kitchen window in the back with a neon sigh that reads, “Eat Here”. Much of the work is still underway, but somehow owner Dwane Hall has managed to keep the doors open while rehabbing the interior. Next up, a massive staircase is being built and softening touches are being added… although I hope that the exposed barn-style rustic walls and roof will remain as they are. Many of the wood features, such as the 2nd floor wood bar were built with the original flooring that was ripped out. The comfy swivel chairs that will soon be bolted into the floor (on the mezzanine) came from a jury room – talk about judging the performances. Other than the chairs, there are no other signs of creature comforts – the tavern is being rebuilt with one thing in mind… music.
I have heard, mainly from musicians, that The Sportsmens Tavern would never be the same. A few that I talked to told me that they felt that the gritty, tight-knit nature of the music club might be lost. If anything, The Sportsmens Tavern has transformed into a roadhouse music joint where the tunes project out into an expansive, neon lit arena setting. The transfixed audience members are as much of a fixture as the back bar papered with handbills. Catching a show at this club is an awesome experience… and it’s only going to get better as additional remodeling phases get underway. If I were to change anything, I would scrap the black curtains, or at least draw them open in order to expose the band and the audience to the street, and vice versa. The curtains are too dramatic and create a disconnect with what should be a cool urban setting. 
Amherst Street has scored a music destination unlike any other in the city. Click on the website (below) and check out the upcoming music schedule. You must see a show here… it’s a remarkable experience.
326 Amherst Street
Buffalo, NY 14207
(716) 874-7734

Sportsmens-redo-Buffalo-NY.jpg

About the author  ⁄ NeilGarvey

43 comments
morrison
morrison

It's all about the music. Support live music @ The Sportsmen's!

morrison
morrison

It's all about the music. Support live music @ The Sportsmen's!

Mike Duff
Mike Duff

No offense intended Black Rock Lifer, I was just pointing out that you justify your attack by calling it a defense. You have every right to defend your neighborhood through your words and by calling on your experience. Others may be justified in using their experiences and words to refute what you've claimed. Sky Box said his girlfriend's car was broken into on Amherst, do you disclaim what he is saying just because your car wasn't broken into on Amherst Street? He says his girlfriend's car was broken into and you call him a city basher who eats at Applebees. That comment made me laugh, but it was a bit of a stretch based on that one comment.

I previously wrote about my car being broken into in Buffalo. Does that make me a city basher too? I was only sharing a real event and experience, but in your eyes I must have been bashing the city because I wrote about something negative.

Crime is a reality in the city and the suburbs. Fighting back and calling people names doesn't make that any less of a reality.

Once again, I meant no direct offense but I am getting tired of people ridiculing the choices of other area residents without knowledge or understanding of who they are, what they have been through, or what their values are. If you were exposed to some of the things I am exposed to on a daily basis you might have a different perspective of life inside and outside of the city. I see the good and the bad of both from time to time.

Take care, no need to put up your defenses and sling stones at me, this isn't meant as a personal affront to you or your neighborhood.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Like I said, I make no apologies for defending my neighborhood and city. My comments are almost always in response to anothers attack on the city and are usually polite and always informed. My view provides an alternative that is underrepresented and is rooted in my lifelong experience in the city. My intent is to provoke debate and challenge some of the false assumptions that continue to undermine our city. Those opinions are as relevant and valid as yours or any others.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Like I said, I make no apologies for defending my neighborhood and city. My comments are almost always in response to anothers attack on the city and are usually polite and always informed. My view provides an alternative that is underrepresented and is rooted in my lifelong experience in the city. My intent is to provoke debate and challenge some of the false assumptions that continue to undermine our city. Those opinions are as relevant and valid as yours or any others.

queenseyes
queenseyes

Duh. I should have thought about that. Thanks Brownteeth.

bobbycat
bobbycat

You defend your neighborhood and attack those who are not from where you live. You routinely attack the suburbs, blame the suburbs, make statements with gross over-generalizations about the suburbs, but then criticize those who do the same about the city and especially your neighborhood.

You are just as uninformed, hypocritical, arrogant, and rude as anyone else on Buffalo Rising. The comments about the city or suburb is not a tit for tat proposition, this is a blog about the city, and comments will reflect the good and the bad. It is almost as if you want to ignore, or severely downplay, the negative aspects of the city with the hope that it will go away.

There are positives and negatives about the city and the suburbs, you only choose to post the negative about the suburbs (I have never seen you post anything even remotely positive about the suburbs, ever), and attack those who post anything remotely negative about the city.

I've read Mike Duff's comments and don't see the bias that you claim he has, in fact most of what he writes is in support of the city, unless he is making a point about something like the lead paint content in city houses, which you were quick to downplay. I learned a lot from his comments, and hope he continues to post on BRO.

bobbycat
bobbycat

You defend your neighborhood and attack those who are not from where you live. You routinely attack the suburbs, blame the suburbs, make statements with gross over-generalizations about the suburbs, but then criticize those who do the same about the city and especially your neighborhood.

You are just as uninformed, hypocritical, arrogant, and rude as anyone else on Buffalo Rising. The comments about the city or suburb is not a tit for tat proposition, this is a blog about the city, and comments will reflect the good and the bad. It is almost as if you want to ignore, or severely downplay, the negative aspects of the city with the hope that it will go away.

There are positives and negatives about the city and the suburbs, you only choose to post the negative about the suburbs (I have never seen you post anything even remotely positive about the suburbs, ever), and attack those who post anything remotely negative about the city.

I've read Mike Duff's comments and don't see the bias that you claim he has, in fact most of what he writes is in support of the city, unless he is making a point about something like the lead paint content in city houses, which you were quick to downplay. I learned a lot from his comments, and hope he continues to post on BRO.

brownteeth
brownteeth

Newell, the curtains are (typically) there to deaden the noise a bit mainly from the drums and cymbals. All the hard surfaces make for a harsh sonic environment so soft materials like heavy curtains help absorb that harshness.

brownteeth
brownteeth

Newell, the curtains are (typically) there to deaden the noise a bit mainly from the drums and cymbals. All the hard surfaces make for a harsh sonic environment so soft materials like heavy curtains help absorb that harshness.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

"Conversations like the one stareted by Black Rock Lifer"? My opening comment was in support of my neighbors Dwayne and Denise in the expansion of the Sportsman. The second comment was by Skybox, a poster with a long history of bashing the city and as I noted, especially Black Rock. Many of us that work hard to improve our neighborhood and city grow tired of the constant negativity and contempt towards the place we live. We make no apologies for defending our neighborhood from the uninformed, arrogant, and rude comments that are so common on BRO and other public forums. The few criticisms of the suburbs found on BRO in no way balance the overwhelming number of attacks on all things city, to claim there is some kind of parity is just dishonest.

Your own comments though polite and informed sometimes reveal that very bias. I am not saying you are a city hater but that your comments tend to follow the more conservative city=bad, suburbs=good line of thinking that is the real obstacle to working together for the good of the region.

Mike Duff
Mike Duff

Someone mentions that their friend's car was broken into in this block and it elicits a very curious and strong reaction that crime doesn't happen in this block but happens in the suburbs. The first response is that they are bashing the city for pointing out a negative aspect of life here, somehow s/he should have balanced that with a comment about being careful where you park in the suburbs too.

A few days ago there was a long and drawn out debate about the virtues of the city over the suburbs. It degraded into a discussion about how damaging the suburbs are when compared to the pristine and virtuous city.

In so many posts there seems to be an unnecessary rivalry between the city and the suburbs. So many of those who are quick to point out flaws in the suburbs are the first to jump to the defense of the city, and vice-verse.

I wonder if we can ever get past the petty comments of jealousy, contempt, animosity, and and malevolence towards the suburbs and figure out how to make the entire region a more attractive place to live? Why not build off the strengths of both the city and the suburbs instead of pitting one against the other?

These petty taunts and juvenile discussions remind me of two drunks arguing over sports teams. The truth in the matter is that neither team is any better than the other, they both have good aspects and bad aspects but the opposing side only highlights the negative to make their ill conceived point.

This is why so many grow tired of the comments on Buffalo Rising, Buffalo News, Craigslist, and WNY Media. All are the same in their juvenile antics.

I check out Buffalo Rising with the hopes of finding a decent intellectual conversation about issues relating to Buffalo and the progress that Buffalo is making to move ahead. Conversations like the one started by Black Rock Lifer and Sky box make it difficult to take their comments, and by extension this site, seriously.

BTW, I love what they've done with Sportsmen's Tavern. I saw Greg Klyma there last year and the Skiffle Minstrels there a few months back, they made some tremendous improvements.

I've said my peace, thanks and take care.

Mike

Mike Duff
Mike Duff

Someone mentions that their friend's car was broken into in this block and it elicits a very curious and strong reaction that crime doesn't happen in this block but happens in the suburbs. The first response is that they are bashing the city for pointing out a negative aspect of life here, somehow s/he should have balanced that with a comment about being careful where you park in the suburbs too.

A few days ago there was a long and drawn out debate about the virtues of the city over the suburbs. It degraded into a discussion about how damaging the suburbs are when compared to the pristine and virtuous city.

In so many posts there seems to be an unnecessary rivalry between the city and the suburbs. So many of those who are quick to point out flaws in the suburbs are the first to jump to the defense of the city, and vice-verse.

I wonder if we can ever get past the petty comments of jealousy, contempt, animosity, and and malevolence towards the suburbs and figure out how to make the entire region a more attractive place to live? Why not build off the strengths of both the city and the suburbs instead of pitting one against the other?

These petty taunts and juvenile discussions remind me of two drunks arguing over sports teams. The truth in the matter is that neither team is any better than the other, they both have good aspects and bad aspects but the opposing side only highlights the negative to make their ill conceived point.

This is why so many grow tired of the comments on Buffalo Rising, Buffalo News, Craigslist, and WNY Media. All are the same in their juvenile antics.

I check out Buffalo Rising with the hopes of finding a decent intellectual conversation about issues relating to Buffalo and the progress that Buffalo is making to move ahead. Conversations like the one started by Black Rock Lifer and Sky box make it difficult to take their comments, and by extension this site, seriously.

BTW, I love what they've done with Sportsmen's Tavern. I saw Greg Klyma there last year and the Skiffle Minstrels there a few months back, they made some tremendous improvements.

I've said my peace, thanks and take care.

Mike

16thStreet
16thStreet

You're totally right Skybox! The thieves out in op and Clarence are nicer, I've even seen cases where they put down those plastic floor mats before they rob you, like the ones you get when they change your oil.

16thStreet
16thStreet

You're totally right Skybox! The thieves out in op and Clarence are nicer, I've even seen cases where they put down those plastic floor mats before they rob you, like the ones you get when they change your oil.

wambuffalo
wambuffalo

Last night was the first time we hosted WAM at Sportsmen's and we were blown away with the quality of the sound, the cool viewing areas and the great staff! An incredible venue that we look forward to working with again!

http://www.wambuffalo.com

wambuffalo
wambuffalo

Last night was the first time we hosted WAM at Sportsmen's and we were blown away with the quality of the sound, the cool viewing areas and the great staff! An incredible venue that we look forward to working with again!

http://www.wambuffalo.com

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Wow, that's clever, maybe Dwayne will hire you to do stand up at the Sportsman, or maybe not.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Wow, that's clever, maybe Dwayne will hire you to do stand up at the Sportsman, or maybe not.

informedone
informedone

Back of the roadhouse they got some bungalows..great place keep up the good work!

informedone
informedone

Back of the roadhouse they got some bungalows..great place keep up the good work!

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

If that's true my response might have been harsh but you have a record of attacking the city and especially Black Rock. My neighbors have invested a lot of time, money, and energy into the Sportsman. Why not leave it at "nice place" instead of pandering to the exaggerated perception of crime that continues to limit many from experiencing the great things happening in Black Rock and Buffalo.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

If that's true my response might have been harsh but you have a record of attacking the city and especially Black Rock. My neighbors have invested a lot of time, money, and energy into the Sportsman. Why not leave it at "nice place" instead of pandering to the exaggerated perception of crime that continues to limit many from experiencing the great things happening in Black Rock and Buffalo.

jtrzewitcowski
jtrzewitcowski

You've never had anything done to your '79 Pinto? I find that hard to believe.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMp
https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMp

Obviously that is not what people are trying to say. And as a side note: My window was smashed in Lancaster. When I woke up the next day I though I had just left it rolled down.

But anyways the point is that vehicle burglaries can happen anywhere and do. Hide your stuff in your vehicle and no one has a reason to be enticed to go inside. No need to point out "watch your car on Amherst St" etc as it is just fear mongering pointed at that one area when it happens everywhere.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMp
https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMp

Obviously that is not what people are trying to say. And as a side note: My window was smashed in Lancaster. When I woke up the next day I though I had just left it rolled down.

But anyways the point is that vehicle burglaries can happen anywhere and do. Hide your stuff in your vehicle and no one has a reason to be enticed to go inside. No need to point out "watch your car on Amherst St" etc as it is just fear mongering pointed at that one area when it happens everywhere.

skybox
skybox

Maybe I am just warning folks to be careful where they park their cars, ok MR. SENSITIVE!

skybox
skybox

Maybe I am just warning folks to be careful where they park their cars, ok MR. SENSITIVE!

skybox
skybox

Are you trying to say that because cars are broken into in Orchard Park that they are not broken into along Amherst Street?

The main difference between the robberies in Clarence and Lancaster is the thieves open unlocked doors to access what is inside. In Buffalo they smash the windows to get inside.

skybox
skybox

Are you trying to say that because cars are broken into in Orchard Park that they are not broken into along Amherst Street?

The main difference between the robberies in Clarence and Lancaster is the thieves open unlocked doors to access what is inside. In Buffalo they smash the windows to get inside.

16thStreet
16thStreet

My buddies whole dead-end street in OP got their cars broken into. He was parked in his driveway. Sorry, happens everywhere.

I used to go to showplace two-three times a week for years, with a new car, never had a problem. Of course, I didn't leave a gps/spare change/lap top in plane sight either, but that just makes too much sence.

16thStreet
16thStreet

My buddies whole dead-end street in OP got their cars broken into. He was parked in his driveway. Sorry, happens everywhere.

I used to go to showplace two-three times a week for years, with a new car, never had a problem. Of course, I didn't leave a gps/spare change/lap top in plane sight either, but that just makes too much sence.

Allentwnguy
Allentwnguy

DITTO! ....for the Sportsmans and Rohall's Corner and never had a problem.

Allentwnguy
Allentwnguy

DITTO! ....for the Sportsmans and Rohall's Corner and never had a problem.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMp
https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkMp

My car was "popped" in a subdivision in Lancaster. My friends was in their driveway in Clarence.

One could be "careful" where they park or just do common sense things like leaving nothing valuable in sight no matter where you park.

skybox
skybox

My girlfriend's sister had her car robbed at Amherst and Grant a few weeks ago. Someone popped 8 cars parked along Amherst. So watch where you park.

skybox
skybox

You mean you don't walk there from your house? Why ever would you drive to a place within walking distance from your home?

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Funny, I have parked my car there on numerous occasions yet have never had a problem. Maybe you just are a typical city basher with no real knowledge of the neighborhood. Maybe Applebee's is a better choice for you, I heard the music is kick ass on Saturday nights.

morrison
morrison

. Other than the chairs, there are no other signs of creature comforts - I guess you didn't go into the new bathrooms. Plenty of creature comfort compared to the small ones that existed.

The curtain offers better sound. The sound sort of crashed on the large front windows.

skybox
skybox

Nice place, just watch where you park your car.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

My wife and I stopped by Saturday night, place looks great, even better than the pictures. Good luck to my good neighbors Dwayne and Denise, looking forward to enjoying the best live music in all of the region.

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