Bears and bucks, fireplaces and fiery whiskies, fine dining and even finer wines.
The revolution for a classier, more upscale and adult-friendly bar and restaurant scene has begun with the Lodge, a new downtown venue. It stands apart on the Chippewa strip, because it’s not just a club, it’s a dazzling restaurant with a nightlife.
The Lodge couldn’t be any more different from its previous space, Bayou, which was strictly a dance club with no food available. On this visit, the Lodge was buzzing with young, professional patrons. Some dressed in pencil skirts, others in sassy dresses and blazers.
My boyfriend and I weren’t sure what to expect, but we were intoxicated with the Lodge before even ordering a drink. It was as though we had stepped out of Buffalo and into a bustling metropolis bar scene filled with style and poise.
We walked slowly toward the end of the bar, looking all around to make sure we didn’t miss any of the copious details and décor. Glowing antler chandeliers were above us, many booths and tables were to our left, and to our right was a gorgeous stainless steel bar with high chairs to match. Behind the bar, you can gaze into the Infinite Forest, trees and mirrors miraculously glowing with the image of eternity.
After we found a pair of seats, we asked one of the many friendly employees for a drink menu. I chose the Blushing Almond, made of Stolichnaya vodka, Disaronno amaretto and almond champagne. Mike chose the Yeti’s Revenge, made with Dewar’s scotch and Cynar artichoke liqueur, also off of the specialty menu.
Mixed drinks range from $5 to $11 and include drinks made with Fireball, Patron, Jameson, Cabin Fever Maple Whiskey and Buffalo Trace single-barreled bourbon, among other unique, quality choices.
The Lodge also has a variety of bottled ($4 to $8) and draft beers ($3 to $9). Domestic bottled beer includes Bud Light, Labatt Blue and Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. There also are imported bottles such as Corona, Heineken and Stella Artois. The Lodge serves bottled American craft beers and specialties such as Flying Bison, Southern Tier, Affligem Blond and Warsteiner Dark, and has an extensive draft list including Guinness, Shock Top, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald and Magic Hat No. 9.
Not much of a liquor or beer drinker? The Lodge has dozens of fine wines, too, from chardonnay to Riesling and pinot noir served by glass or bottle.
After indulging in our drinks, we ventured off to explore more of what the Lodge had to offer. We passed an amazing fireplace on our way to the stairs, which fit perfectly with the rustic décor. Upstairs, there is a pool table, air hockey table, dart boards, a skee ball machine and retro deer hunting arcade games, among more tables for dining and socializing. An upstairs bar has an arctic vibe, with cool blues and sparkling white lights.
Plans are for live bands twice weekly and a DJ once a week.
Where: 79 W. Chippewa St.
Hours: Opens at 11 a.m. daily.
The Scene: Chic, classy and comfortable. You can enjoy the coziness of feeling like you are in a real ski lodge, while indulging in the fine dining and mouth-watering cocktails.
Most Anticipated Menu Items: Stag on a Stick and the Chicken Fried Chicken Sandwich.