It was a Saturday night at Howdy’s for the Sig Other and I. With a Louisville/Nashville trip in our future, we wanted to get a feel of what we are in for.
Those old enough will recall Howdy’s existed years ago, disappeared, and now is back. (Club Infinity occupied the space in between.)
Billed as “Buffalo’s Original Honky Tonk,” Howdy’s renovation includes what looks like a take on the Grand Ole Opry stage, complete with a barn motif.
But this is putting the cart before the horse.
The first show was in the parking lot, where a young gal skittered across a snow-covered lot dressed in super-short shorts, a teeny shirt and cowboy boots.
Meanwhile, bundled up, we ambled in.
Howdy’s has an 18-up admission. Colored wristbands designate drinking age. How do they keep tabs on things? Security, plus the older folks (we saw 70-plus!) keep the few whippersnappers on their best behavior. The $5 band cover might help, too.
Howdy’s has three areas. A quieter front room has cozy seating around a fireplace. A low-ceilinged central passage with a wall of flat-screen televisions leads to a giant stage/dance floor area. The bar follows the entire way.
There is no coat-check, unfortunately, so by the time we hit the crowded dance floor area, we were toasty. (Next time we’ll take a cue from the teeny-topped gal and leave coats in the car.)
To Sig Other I said, “When in Williamsville-Clarence-Cum-Kentucky, drink bourbon.” Howdy’s has a giant bourbon wall with Knob Creek, Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel, Wild Turkey, Evan Williams and the ilk. Our poison of choice? Jim Beam and Coke. At only $5, Merle Haggard’s, “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” takes on a new meaning.
Howdy’s stocks a decent variety of bottled and draft beers. Coors Light drafts were on special for $2. We noted lots of beer drinkers, but there is plenty to choose from if you want liquor. (If only Howdy’s used red Solo cups!)
Bartenders are fantastic, cheerfully serving big waters to overheated dancers. One lovely soul accepted a much older gentlemen’s invitation to dance. All in fun!
Young to old, cowboy hats to John Deere caps, skimpy peasant skirts to Jack Daniel’s T-shirts ‑ the crowd was an intriguing mix.
West Of The Mark was the night’s entertainment. (We country music “tenderfoots” give high marks, judging by the crowd’s enthusiastic response.) Introduced as “playing lots of line-dance favorites,” the only song we recognized was “Footloose.”
Like a scene from “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers,” Howdy’s line dancers had us mesmerized. At one point couples paired up side-by-side, trotting around the floor to a different song and we were lost. How did they know which dance to do?
We recognized the “bellyrubber” only because the bandleader said it was a slow dance. When’s the last time you saw couples dance at a bar?
West Of The Mark stopped only twice during its long set to do shots delivered by the dancing bartender. At the break, a DJ took over, swinging dancers right into the next songs.
We walked out to “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.” Sig Other was happy, as it was the one song he longed to hear.
In the parking lot, we saw three young bucks admiring a shiny new Dodge Ram.
Ah, nothing like a fella’s love for his truck. There’s a country song in there somewhere. Had we stayed later we might have heard it.
Where: 8166 Main St., Williamsville (907-1559, howdysbuffalo.com)
The Scene: Urban cowboys and gals of all ages (and we mean all). It’s a big barn dance.
Hours: Opens daily at 6 p.m. Line dancing classes Thursday and Saturday (beginners) at 6 p.m.
Drinks: Full bar with a wide selection of bourbons.
Extra: Regular live music and events.
Spotted: Tube tops.
Wheelchair access: Yes