If you travel to the Buffalo end of Colvin Boulevard, you will bump into the Buffalo Zoo and Delaware Park. At the Tonawanda end, however, you will experience a different type of entertainment.
After many twists and turns, you will find Raintree Bar & Grill at 2970 Colvin Blvd. Open since last year, this neighborhood tavern is a great place for a variety of occasions, whether it’s a small meal with a quick beer or a large get-together, such as a certain writer’s 20-year high school reunion (oy vey!).
The large bar easily accommodates about two dozen revelers, while another few dozen can easily mingle between the bar and the divider that sets apart the large dining area. That’s not even taking into consideration the large floor space devoted to the restaurant end of the business.
Inside, the crowd is a mix of young and old, and on this particular night, it’s largely the class of 1994 from Kenmore West High School catching up and reminiscing about the good old days. Outside, the patio is full of diners seeking shade and a cool drink after a hazy, hot and humid summer day.
Attire is jeans to corporate casual, so whatever you are wearing, you’re bound to fit in. Come as you are from wherever you were.
Once the dinner rush winds down later in the evening, groups grab a few pitchers and find more elbow room at tables in the dining area. More than a dozen large flat-screen televisions line the walls, ensuring that nobody misses a second of the big game. And in the far corner, bands are stationed each Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, playing blues, acoustic and rock favorites.
There’s plenty of incentive to stop in when bands aren’t performing, with movie night Sundays, all-day happy hour Mondays and $3 domestic pint night Thursdays filling out the calendar.
Plenty of brews and spirits are offered, with craft beers such as Flying Bison Rusty Chain and Sam Adams (seasonal) on tap and an expanded selection in bottles. For those not into the craft beers, Coors, Blue Moon, Blue and Blue Light and others await. The price is just right, with two drafts and two soft drinks coming in at $9.50.
The menu features American cuisine with upscale appetizers – not the typical bar food – including fried calamari and banana peppers, chicken wing dip and pretzels with crab dip.
Those searching for a more traditional pairing with or after a drink need to look no further than down the plaza, where Raintree Pizzeria cooks up pizza, wings and subs.
The owners state on their website that in creating Raintree, they wanted to share their experiences enjoying good food and good times. Their passion for the business and the customers shows in the pleasant service of the staff, the variety in the drink menu and the reasonable prices.
For those from outside the Tonawandas, Raintree Bar & Grill is somewhat off the beaten path, but it’s certainly worth the trip. Here’s to having Raintree as a neighbor for years to come.
Raintree Bar and Grill
Where: 2970 Colvin Blvd., Tonawanda (695-3504, www.raintreebar.com)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes.
Dress: Casual/come as you are.
Parking: Lot and street.
Extras: With a full restaurant, live music, beers from lights to crafts, dart leaguers and daily specials, Raintree has something for everyone.