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After Alfie’s, this is like Cheers.

The New Buffalo Restaurant

242 Queen St. East

After escaping nearby Alfie’s, entering The New Buffalo Restaurant is kind of like walking into TV’s Cheers; everybody seems to know each other’s names or at least their aliases.  And after reassuring everyone you’re not a cop, you’ll be warmly accepted.

My first visit included having a Stetson-sporting cowboy buy me a beer and tell me his epic life story of tornadoes, lost homes, divorce, a tricky little addiction and, finally, redemption in the form of a regular barstool at the New Buffalo. I love a happy ending.

And why is it called the “New Buffalo”? The owners painted the place, which earned it a “new” designation.

The Nitty-Gritty:

Jacksoul Poster: Yes. Near the washroom.

Price: Affordable: $4.50 domestic bottled beer

Service: Law-abiding. As per Section 3, paragraph 4 of the Ontario Liquor Licence Guidelines, I saw the owner send home three customers who “…have lost the ability to speak in any language or have wet their pants…”


Mid-Century Diner on Meth.

Cozy wood panelling, mounted deer antlers, Canada Day 2014 window flags, steel bars on windows, and corrugated-steel wall panelling for that masculine touch. Plus, random items seemingly hammered on the walls in manic release of energy.

Washroom facilities:

For ten minutes I pondered the significance of September 29th 1970, then it hit me. (Actually, I needed something to distract me as I hid from a scary Alfie’s customer scouring the bars in search of the “narc.”)

But back to my story…Sept 29th ‘70 was the death date of Edward Everett Horton, narrator of “The Bullwinkle Show”. Silly me! Who doesn’t know that?

And we all know the other date, November 11th, is when we remember the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace.


So clean you can eat your dinner off the floor.  As long as there’s a table and plate between the floor and your dinner.


Wide range of music on video jukebox, Fibe TV, and best of all, owner freestyle dancing to a John Mellenkamp tune.


Unique photo collage:

Many bars celebrate their regulars with a photo collage, and this bar is no exception. Only thing is, everybody on this one is dead.

Free drinks:

A regular bought me a beer and another customer kindly offered me a half-full Smirnoff Ice that a guy with lip cankers left on the counter. I politely declined.

Meet the strongest woman in the world:

A lady at a table told me she once “pulled a train.” Strange I couldn’t find her at

Living history:

You can talk to a Stetson-wearing Barrie Tornado survivor who watched his home disappear in 1985 along with his wife. She ran off with the insurance adjuster.

He texted me a photo of his Barrie neighbourhood in 1985.  It was tragic but he keeps smiling.

Suggested musical accompaniment:

“People Who Died”
by The Jim Carroll Band

The Last Call:

Dive Bar Mike recommends this bar for:
Richmond street beer drinkers looking for price relief, music fans, history buffs, and ‘60s cartoon fans.


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