A workin' man's bar, in a workin' man's neighborhood. One of the best preserved joints in Buffalo
Daren’s Tavern, located at 514 Howard Street at Metcalf, represents one of the best-preserved, classic taverns in Buffalo. According to City records, the building was built in 1900 as a tavern sponsored by the Magnus Beck Brewing Company and has served as a tavern/restaurant ever since (107 years). Don’t let its “museum” quality interior fool you; Daren’s is a workin’ man’s joint, in a historic workin’ man’s neighborhood.Its location is in the former Precious Blood Parish (closed fall of 2007) neighborhood and near the site of the old Buffalo Stockyards. Well-kept homes border the bar with another “classic tavern,” Malik’s Twilight Grill, only six houses down the street at 494 Howard. On a recent visit, the crowd was friendly, the bar maid Karen was talkative and the Genny Beer was extremely fresh! Daren’s has been on Forgotten Buffalo’s list of stops for years. It was well worth the wait as this gin mill was filled with wonderful surprises. The “historic” highlights of the joint are numerous. The building’s exterior features a brick façade with two large windows and a real nice “Daren’s Tavern” neon in window. The finely carved bar-back has never been painted or restored. Neon accenting, most likely added in the 40s, provides a warm glow, as do vintage fixtures. A few old beer signs are not there just for decoration but are holdovers from decades past. The tin ceiling is complete and has enough “authentic” smoke residue from years of Marlboros and Swisher Sweets to give it a nice nicotine “patina.”
The “classic tavern” layout is complete. Bar and men’s room upfront, tables for dinning and women’s room in the back. Don’t miss the working shuffle bowling machine. The ring of a traditional Bell telephone resonates from a 40s era wooden phone booth and is complete with its working fan. The bar has been lovingly cared for by its present owner, Renate, and is “well worn” in all the right places…like the concrete floor near the bar. Four-top tables with a mix of metal and wooden chairs create a relaxing atmosphere.
According the barmaid, Daren’s features light lunches that include sandwiches and soups (need to confirm on a future visit). As for the beer, all the traditional brands are on tap including the region’s own, Genesee and Genny Light.