Broadway Joe's


3051 Main St.
Buffalo, New York, 14214
United States

(716) 836-9555 | map

View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews.
Rated: 3.75 by Iamjeff6 from Virginia

Dec 08, 2015
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Reviewed by wieserjd from New York

3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2
I went back here earlier this week to see a band play whose members were friends of my wife. It had probably been 5 years or more since I was last here but not much had changed. Its still small, dark and there is not much to look at besides the stage. They only thing that has changed is apparently they serve food now although I am not sure if I would want to eat it. Standard Buffalo bar food: wings, fingers, sandwiches, pulled pork, chips, etc...

As for the beer selection, it was nothing to write home about. On tap they had Guinness, PBR, McSorley's, Flying Bison Aviator Red, Blue Light. They were out of Elllicottville (blueberry I think). PBR was $5/pitcher which is nice. I just stuck with the Aviator Red which is an ok beer but nothing special. Bottle selection was all macro (Bud, Blue, Molson, Corona, etc...)

The show was great and the mood was cool. I have seen many many many great shows here and I never came here for anything else. I think that the beer selection has actually improved since my last trip here but that it not saying much since its never been very good.

Check it out for the music and tolerate the rest.
Apr 17, 2009
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Reviewed by Gehrig from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
"Don't Talk to Broadway Joe" is a sign that still hangs behind the bar, a great reminder of the old days in the mid-90s, when the dump was a tremendous host for Jam Bands the likes of which haven't haunted Joe's in a decade, sadly. I've killed many a brain cell in and outside Joe's, a dive situated close to the University at Buffalo's Main Street campus. There was nothing like staggering in to see bands like Yolk, Percy Hill, freeberandchicken, moe, Yep!, grinch, The Ominous Seapods, and so many others with a bottle of Pete's Wicked Ale in hand and a hard, heavy buzz. Good times, goood times.

The place has now become a musical recluse serving as Lazarus's tomb for local talent such as Gamalon, a jazz-fusion group that somehow never escaped the Queen City, unfortunately. The beer selection is good, not great, with Ithaca's wares available and regularly rotated in. Sam Adams is always represented, with the Lager and seasonals around. Joe's is an interesting place, a pit but with great, cool young people dancing freely and singing and talking loudly when music is in the house, and cool, readily available bartenders--hence the good service score and decent atmosphere. The place is for the most part a shithole, emblematic of Broadway Joe's own indifference to his slovenly appearance (it would be typical to see Joe saunter in on a busy Friday night, with 100 people crammed into the hole, wearing dirty sweats, a dirty sweatshirt, ruffled hair, and in slippers; no joke, I've seen it several times), but like Joe, the place doesn't care what people think. It just does its thing. Perhaps in spite of itself, Joe's makes people happy. Back in the day, some genuinely outstanding music did the trick.
Jan 23, 2008
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Reviewed by gestalt162 from New York

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5
Ahhhh Broadway Joe's, king of Buffalo dive bars, and recently renovated. I decided to investigate...

Atmosphere: Although Joe's did recently renovate its exterior (it not longer looks like a red barn, as it did in the past), and added an open (and surprisingly clean) kitchen in the front, it still retains its old spirit. The decor is typical dive bar/bandstand- dark walls, low lighting, walls covered by mass-produced beer ads and band flyers. Public smoking ban in NY means the inside is smoke-free (a plus for tasting), but if you want fresh air you can go out front to catch a view of Main Street, or out back to their spacious patio. Broadway Joe's is not the place to go to enjoy a fine martini or fancy dessert- the place is dive bar-grungy. The bathrooms are covered with graffiti, barely in order, and sometimes missing toilet paper, and the back patio occasionally reeks of marijuana. The live music (every night!) ranges widely from horrendous local acts on open mic night to great local and regional bands any other night. The crowd varies from punks and skaters to college kids to blue-collar workers and middle-aged men. Open till 4 AM every night.

Quality: Forget about beer-specific glassware, everything comes served in a small plastic cup or pint glass. The PBR I had there (on-tap) was quite fresh, but the Railbender Ale I had (also on-tap) tasted old, warm, and sour.

Service: Prompt and correct, but it took them forever to pour my Railbender, as they ran into trouble keeping the head down.

Selection: One of the best in Buffalo- runs the gamut from cheap brews (PBR) to Buffalo staples (Labatt Blue and Coors Light), to macro imports (Corona and Red Stripe), to one of the best local brew collections I've seen. Their on-tap list contains at least 5 or 6 local taps (including Flying Bison, Erie Brewing Co. and Brooklyn, although as I've stated, quality is dubious) , and their bottle selection includes a few offerings each from NY brewers Ithaca and Saranac, among others. A fantastic place to sample local brews, with a rotating sleection to ensure you never get tired.

Food: Looked a little on the expensive side ($2.50 hot dog, $7/ 10 wings) so I didn't bother to eat, although the kitchen is open to see right next to the bar.

Value: Incredible. Drink specials every night of the week (including 50 cent small drafts and $3.50 pitchers of PBR on Tuesday), only $1 cover to see decent live music, a 3-10PM happy hour every day ($1.75 bottles of Labatt and Molson, with free Buffalo-made wings on Fridays from 6-9). Even regularly-priced drafts are only $3.75. I have yet to find a bar that can even come close to the value of Broadway Joe's.

Summary: With decent live music, a great selection of local brews, and never-ending deals, Broadway Joe's is a heaven for beer fans who enjpy a little grunge with their brew. Break open a bottle of Saranac (or if you're running low on cash, a draft of PBR), and enjoy the ride.
Jul 19, 2007
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Reviewed by lizardc213 from New York

4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
Yet another dive bar that holds a piece of my heart. Located a short drive from my house, Joe's serves as the perfect place for night when I either do not want to stray far from home, or a good place to stop "on the way home" after going out somewhere else. Always a good selection of beers on tap including my personal favorite Southern Tier, as well as Ithaca, Flying Bison, etc. Good specials on certain nights of the week as well as live music. I love their open mic night. I also love their recently created make-shift patio in the back, nice work! Even made Stuff Magazine's Top 20 Best Dive Bars back in January 2004. That says something!

The Bad:
Bathrooms tend to get a little gross, and sometimes they charge a cover which I can never afford because I am poor.
Aug 22, 2005
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Reviewed by wailingwench from New Mexico

4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
Broadway Joes may be the only Barfly destination to make the scholarly publication Stuff Magazine's top 20 dive bars in the good ole' USA. That's an accomplishment and every BA should venture to Joe's for no other reason than to brag to their friends that they have been to an "officially rated dive bar."

Official Stuff Review:

"To the casual observer, Broadway Joe’s is an unimpressive wooden saloon crammed into a nondescript strip mall. But to a more formal observer (we like to wear a tux and platform shoes when we do our observing), it is a booze and music lover’s dream. Hippie jammers Rusted Root, rap pioneer Kool DJ Herc and members of Phish fill the bar with music—and the urinal with their pee-pee. With the longest-running hip-hop night in Buffalo, free Buffalo wings (imported from, um, Buffalo!) from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M. and 25-cent drafts of Koch’s Golden Anniversary, Joe’s rocks harder than Hoobastank. Who, in fact, do not rock much at all. (They’re more of a groove band—at least according to their press release.)"

Cheers: 200 times improvement over the Joe's that I have drunkenly visited on the way home from a long night of stumbling through Buffalo's various watering holes. Brand new taps feature Ithaca Pale Ale, Porter; Southern Tier IPA, Brooklyn Brown, Lager; Flying Bison Seasonal, Aviator Red; Newcastle, Guiness, and PBR. $3.50/pint, Wed nite is $2. Tues features 25 cent drafts of PBR or GA, when available. Sat nite features $1.50 bottles of Saranac. Running low on cash, no prob: Canadians can be had for $1.75. Awesome line up of bands, many regionally and nationally known. Diverse crowd ranging from college girls to hardcore metal heads, punks, skaters, hippies, and townies all drinking together. Positive vibe, you're not going to get jumped in here. New owner is committed to local microbrews and supporting local businesses. No one here really cares about the vinous notes of rum soaked dark fruit with a hint of floral esters. In fact, you might get your a$$ kicked. Drink your beer, take in some music, and relax. Smoking is on. If you are familiar with the Bug Jar in Rochester, Joes is similar with that Nick Tahoe feeling, somewhat dangerous, yet somehow inviting.

Jeers: The outside resembles a red garage. The inside is not much better. If you are in the least bit pretentious or snooty, you may not want to venture inside. The surroundings are on the edge, if you know what I'm saying. Leave the Benz at home and drive the hoopty. Ignore anyone who asks you for help, money, if you want some girls, or to trick out your hoopty, unless you want to end up minus your cash and clothes. No toilet paper or soap to be found which resulted in the usage of napkins. I'm not sure if they have heat. Some patrons do not shower on a regular basis.
Feb 15, 2005
Broadway Joe's in Buffalo, NY
Place rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 6 ratings