Club Watch Trifecta Plus Two: Eddie Ryan’s, Riley St. Station, The Irishman (plus Desiderio’s and Heroes)

April 25, 2008

     DAMN YOU, YOURHUB! I just wrote a lengthy account of the last week of bar reviews and I got a critical error message when I pressed the Publish button. I went to publish it a second, third and fourthtime and I got a ‘servor error’ message.Great job on working out the kinks, gang!

     As a writer, there’s nothing more aggravating than losing a piece to computer error. You can never recreate the original spirit of the composition. I’ll try anyways. For a site that’s been around for over a year and a half, you’d think that these little quirks and foibles would be fixed by now. And have you noticed that when the blogs get published they tend to group words together by accident? Nothing’s more exciting than reviewing a piece that you knew was grammatically correct when you wrote it and having to seperate the phrases and sentences anyways. It’s these little detours and aggravations that are keeping this site from competing with Myspace, Facebook and the five million other community/networking/dating/blogging sites out there, folks! Are you listening? Good. Fix it!

     Since I’m going on vacation shortly, Lindsay and I covered three bar review assignments in the last week. I’m neurotic about making deadline every time and it’s comforting to have a buffer of assignments between what’s hitting the stands and what hasn’t come out yet. It gives me a little bit more freedom when I’m deciding when to head out and what we’re going to cover.
     Last Thursday, I went to Eddie Ryan’s with Brendan, SoCo Mike and my buddy Greg. I researched the web site beforehandand it mentioned that if you went two or three times, you’dprobably run into the owner, Ed Church. We met him the first time out because he was filling in for hismain bartender. Nice place. The food smelled great, but, having the day off, I just made a metric ton of potato and macaroni salad at home. I never intend to cook for an army but it always ends up that way.Lindsay had a rotten day at work, so she didn’t make it out.Afterwards, Mike and I headed over to Desiderio’s for a night cap and a quick hello.
     Normally, I don’t do bar reviews on Sundays and I rarely (if ever) drink before eight pm on the days that we do enjoy cocktails with friends, but we made an exception. Lindsay and I headed out to East Aurora to cover the Riley Street Station and her dad met us out there. It was a really neat place, and unlike any other bar we’ve been to because they took an actual railroad station and converted it into an Irish pub. Lindsay’s dad met us out and Lindsay and I split an order of loaded fries, which were very fresh and very good. They had aseperate whiskey bar that was closed on Sundays, so we’ll have to stop back.
     Last night, we headed out to Williamsville and covered The Irishman Pub and Restaurant. With a name like that, I was 95% sure that I was going to love the place before we even got there. It reminded me of my all-time favorite bar, Hennessey’s. They used to be located on Transit Rd. in Williamsville but they closed a few years ago and it still breaks my heart. Desiderio’s is a close second but nothing will replace what Hennessey’s was to me. The Irishman was a lot like it, but it was a smaller place with less strawberry blonde lasses.
     Lindsay’s friends Vicki and Brian met us out and then SoCo Mike and my buddy Ron showed up, which surprised both of us. The day of a review, I’ll normally call all my friends and we’re lucky if two or three of them show up. Theaverage civilian isn’taccustomed to drinking near-lethal doses of alcohol on a week night and living to tell the tale. And I generally like to cover my bars on Thursdays because a)Inever have to work the next morning and b)although it’s not ‘the weekend’, for Buffalonians in their 20’s and 30’s, Thursdays are theofficial shotgun start to the weekend. I can get a good idea of how a place is going to be on Fridays and Saturdays when we go there on Thursdays. Plus Lindsay and I hate going to the bars on the weekends because it gets too crazy and there’s never a quiet spot to sit down with a notebook and write down some observations incognito. My old co-worker Billy came out (who I haven’t seen in almost five years) and added to the general hilarity of the evening. It looked like they were closing up shop around ten, so we all decided to head over to Heroes on Main St. in Williamsville, which was practically right down the street.
     I wrote a Club Watch review on Heroes almost a year ago and we kept meaning to come back, so since we were in the neighborhood, it was a perfect opportunity. We loaded up the internet jukebox with some Rolling Stones, Beck, Elton John andother assorted tunes and commenced to having our night caps. I was honored to see that the ownerlaminated and posted not one, but three copies of the review (one next to the bar and one in each bathroom). I get a kick out of seeing my reviews framed or posted in the places we cover. I wonder if Janice Okun feels the same way. Most of the time, we never have a chance to go back. Sometimes I feel like the Bruce Banner of bar reviews, always stopping briefly at a place and constantly looking forward to the next assignment. Anyways….
     I told Ron how awesome the wings were at Heroes, so we ordered up a double swimming in hot sauce just the way we like them and commenced to shoveling them into our pie holes anddrowning them with a bottle ofBlue Light. Since we were last there, they got a new bartender and built a wooden awning outdoors over their patio. They were nice changes to a bar that rarely changes at all. I’ve been going to Heroe’s on and off since about 1998, and my brother went before me. It’s always beenthe same corner bar from generation to generation. I take a lot of comfort in that, though. We were coming up on midnight, so we all said our goodbyes andwent our seperate ways, ending a pretty adventurous week for one freelance writer.
     Now that I’m done with my current slate of assignments, I can rest easy knowing that they’ll hit the stands while I’m out of town without a lapse. You can keep your eyes peeled for the Eddie Ryan’s, Riley Street Station and The Irishman reviews in the next sixto eight weeksor so in The Buffalo News Gusto on Fridays. Just remember, with bar reviews, it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure! For my liver! And next time YourHub flubs my post, I’m not going to bother writing it down a second time.

     Thanks to the technical difficulties on YourHub, I’ve posted a complete photo album over on my Myspace site. The nice thing is that I didn’t have to pick and choose pictures due to space constraints, so the entire batch of pictures is up and ready for viewing. If you want to see some candid pics from Eddie Ryan’s, Riley Street Station, The Irishman and Heroes, then click over to my profile at:


-or you can view the album directly at:


-Sorry for the inconvenience, but it’s not my fault. Please note that NONE of these pictures will appear in the Buffalo News Gusto section when the reviews hit and that these are all the ‘behind the scenes’ shots I took on location. Enjoy!

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