Western New Yorkers who had their hopes of stardom pinned to a “reality pub” in the Chippewa Entertainment District will have to look elsewhere for now.
Fat Augie’s, the bar and live music venue that had planned to film willing employees, patrons and performers for a YouTube reality show, will not be opening at 414 Pearl St.
After weeks of remodeling the bar, outfitting it with cameras, getting the kitchen ready to go and readying its music stage and sound system, Dan Murphy, the man behind the venture, suffered a fall down a flight of icy stairs in January. Murphy suffered a concussion and sliced his head in several places, just weeks before he had hoped to open the bar.
It left him hospitalized for more than a week, and his recovery has been slower than he expected.
“Flashing lights and standing up still give me trouble, and my vision isn’t what it was prior to the accident,” Murphy said.
Those health troubles, along with the associated lost time and money, have prompted Murphy to hold off on the project for now.
“He is a great guy. We are on very good terms,” said Dennis Garvey, an attorney at Garvey & Garvey, which leased Murphy the space for the reality pub. “I think he had a great idea, but things beyond his control got in the way.”
The promise of a reality pub generated excitement in Buffalo, especially among those who hoped their big break would come from the exposure brought by Fat Augie’s cameras.
Murphy has had a string of successful bars and pizzerias in college town Geneseo and near Syracuse University. His connections with production companies and national reality television shows, including the top-rated Discovery Channel hit “Bering Sea Gold,” had industry types interested in what Fat Augie’s could produce and gave Murphy the hope he could parlay his initial YouTube series into a bona fide network show.
Murphy, despite the setbacks, still has those hopes.
“The bar is still out there, waiting to be opened,” Murphy said.