BROADWAY GRILL REUNION 2007 - September 2nd, Buffalo, NY
“The Reunion was a day that, even when placed in the context of my storied past with the Dynatones, stands out as one of the best. I have never spoken to so many people who had so many positive things to say: about the band, about The Grill, about our common polka pasts. It was an event that will stay with me forever. Each member of the band that day had no less than 25 years' experience playing polkas and not one of us could ever recall playing a 2 1/2 hour set as we did that evening.”
Larry Trojak - September 2007
Larry Trojak, Al Piatkowski , Dave “Scrubby” Seweryniak and Dave “Nigel” Kurdziel
Scrubby belts out "She Likes Kielbasa!" Click image to view a clip from Scurbby's Bartender Medley!
Fans reflect on old local polka hub By Helen Jones NEWS STAFF REPORTER BUFFALO NEWS 09/03/07
It was known as the “Friendly Tavern,” a neighborhood place where you could bring the family, meet friends and listen to some of the best polka music of the day.
Located on Buffalo’s East Side, the Broadway Grill during the 1970s and ’80s was host to some of the most innovative polka music of the time Henry Mazurek, the Broadway Grill’s former owner, had a lot of recollections Sunday, during the first Broadway Grill reunion, held at George F. Lamm Post, American Legion, in Amherst.
As many as 1,000 people from as far away as California, Michigan, Vermont and Florida were on hand to celebrate and look back.
Mazurek, a former Erie County legislator, and his wife, Pat, ran the tavern from 1976 to 1987. Located at 1202 Broadway, the Grill was host to some of the best polka bands in the country, including the tavern’s legendary house band, the Dynatones, who performed together Sunday for the first time in more than 20 years. “We had all kinds of bands come in,” Mazurek said, “even though it was a small venue.”
“It was a magical time,” Marty Biniasz said. “What the Tralf was to jazz, and the Continental to alternative rock, the Broadway Grill was the place where polka music was being reborn.” Lamm Post manager Bob Krawczyk said the Grill was known for good times, good music and great people.
Peter Sloan remembered it as a neighborhood social center.“It wasn’t just a tavern where people came to drink,” he said. “It was a community effort.”One resident of the community, Ed Pilarz of Cheektowaga, paged through scrapbooks on hand, recalling the good times he and his family spent in the tavern.“It was all party, party, party,” he said. “We had a great social club. Lots of camaraderie, lots of friendship.” But he noted it was also the kind of place you could take your entire family and not worry.
Two of the new owners Mazurek sold the Grill to were also in attendance Sunday. Debbie and Greg Harezga actually met at the Grill and were later married. They ran it until it closed in 1990 following a fire.“You had a good time,” Debbie said. “The music, the people. A lot of friends, a lot of fun.”
Musician Tony Winiarz came to the reunion from Mississauga, Ont. Winiarz and his sister used to visit the Broadway Grill on a regular basis. “We were kind of the Canadian ambassadors for the polka scene,” he said. “It was really something unique. There was never any trouble. It was just a good time.”
In addition to the Dynatones, Sunday’s celebration also featured live polka music from Phocus as well as traditional Polish food and refreshments.
Click on image to see more pics from Mark Kohan and the Polish American Journal
Larry Trojak - September 2, 2007
On Stage Perspective-
Well, it's the Wednesday after the big gig and I'm still getting calls and emails from people telling me they're having a tough time coming down from the high that was the Broadway Grill Reunion. I can appreciate their sentiments; between looking at online postings of photos and videos of that night, I haven't done a heck of a lot of work myself since getting back to Minnesota.
To all those who were able to come to the Lamm Post and help make it such an incredibly magical day/night, I'd like to say thanks a million. When this whole idea first came about, I was fairly confident that it would be well received. If nothing else, the Dynatones did a good job of developing friendships over the years. I had no idea, however, about the degree to which it would succeed. And I'm not just talking about the crowd size (though that, too, was certainly impressive). I'm talking about the overall feeling of euphoria that seemed to descend upon the grove that afternoon. Whether it was the fact that the Dynatones were onstage again, that Scrubby and I were singing together, that The Grill was (if only for an afternoon) once again a viable entity, or that Live Wire could be celebrated as a 25 year-old wonder, didn't matter. What mattered was that everyone in attendance came with one goal in mind: to make this a day that they, personally, would remember forever. And Lord did that happen.
It was unanimous among the guys in the band - each of whom has a good deal of polka experience under his respective belt - that we had never seen anything like this. If, as a member of the crowd, you felt moved by the music and the antics onstage, imagine what it felt like to be on the receiving end of that collective appreciation. It was, as I said that afternoon, the best day in my musical career, bar none!
So thanks again to all of you who found your way to the Post that beautiful Sunday afternoon and helped put an emphatic exclamation point to my Dynatones career. To those who didn't make it, there is always next year. Thanks from all of us: Scrubby, Nigel, Al Al Al, Tommy Picciano, Mike Burka and Tommy Wanderlich. We love you from the bottom of our serces.
Click image to view vintage pictures of the Broadway Grill