Private Ethnic & Social Clubs of Buffalo Buzz in, Sign the Book and Grab a Beer!
A private Italian club in Lovejoy
Ethnic and private clubs, like the traditional corner tavern, are reflective of the neighborhoods, industries, and people that surround them. Many clubs were founded as a way for newly arriving immigrants to find strength in numbers and friendship in a strange and confusing new world. Others were formed to keep the youth of their communities away from the “evils” that might be found on the streets or at the gin mill. Some clubs were formed by fraternal organizations committed to supporting the community, other athletic based and a few were formed as a location for the men of the neighborhood to simply "get away."
Over the years, the clubs were home to family parties, political rallies, ethnic celebrations, fundraising dances, sports games or a quick “shot & a beer” after a day at the plant.
Sadly, just like the corner tavern, these institutions are in much jeopardy. Population movement away from urban neighborhoods and aging membership has left many clubs on the verge of closure. In a few cases, the saviors of these clubs are a handful of passionate individuals who refuse to let them die. As result, many are being rediscovered by new generations who enjoy the intimacy of a private club or who want keep the traditions of their parents and grandparents alive.
Forgotten Buffalo welcomes you to discover the world of private and ethnic clubs. A few hints as you begin your adventure. Be extremely respectful of the club’s history and its members. If you do, you most likely will be welcomed as one of their own. Upon being welcomed inside, you may be asked to sign in and become a guest of one of the members for a day. Depending on the bylaws for the group or how the club was organized, smoking may be permitted. Even if you see members smoking, always ask before you light up.