(Gregory Witul • Sun, Jan 26, 2014 – AM-POL Eagle) From Dick’s East Side, to the White Eagle and the Hard Times, East Buffalo has been home to a lot of inns. But of all those inns there has only been one true hotel, located at 1255 Broadway. This week we will take a look at a “bobtailed” (when the striker is removed) matchbook cover from the 1940s from when that location was known as Banjo’s Hotel.
George Aichinger was a smart and entrepreneurial man. He knew that with the Pan-American Exposition coming to town there would be thousands of tourists, and those tourists would need a place to stay. He secured 1255 Broadway, hired a contractor and had his hotel ready for his guests by 1901. Aichinger did well for himself with his hotel at the corner of Young and Broadway, so well that in 1904 he expanded the lot to include 1253 Broadway as well. For 18 years, Aichinger ran the hotel before selling it to John J. Nowak in 1920. Nowak left the business in 1930 and Stephan Kapczynski took over. Besides reserving rooms, Kapczynski converted one of his rooms into a soft drink parlor, a common ploy used by speak easy owners. Kapczynski sold the now hotel and restaurant to Stephan Smigielski. Smigielski didn’t stay long at 1255 and soon he gave way to the hotel’s next owner.