Broadway Fillmore Alive

The Online Voice of Buffalo's Historic Polonia

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AM-POL Eagle: Eddie’s Grill Was The Place To Go For A Drink And A Fish Fry


(Gregory Witul • Sat, Apr 12, 2014) With Easter just a little over a week away, fish fry season is starting to wind down. Western New Yorkers are lucky in that we still have so many bars, grills, and restaurants that offer classic beer battered fish fries. For a complete list check out our fish fry guide on pages 20 and 21.

In this week’s Babcia’s Closet we will look at a matchbook from one of the best places to go for a fish fry in Buffalo’s East Side – Eddie’s Grill at 209 Paderewski Drive.

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AM-POL Eagle: Michalski Family Among Founders Of St. Luke’s Parish

Gregory Witul • Wed, Mar 26, 2014

3-26-2014-9-43-31-PM-6944939Dear Mr. Witul,

According to family legend, Mateusz Michalski was a founding member of the St. Luke’s parish. Although the family lived on Sobieski Street, close to other Catholic churches, the legend was accepted, because his daughter Helen’s graduation from St. Luke’s school and first communion circa 1907. Another family member living on Sobieski also passed away and her funeral was held at St. Luke’s in 1913. I would like to know if Mateusz Michalski did in fact play a role in the founding of, or in the early years of St. Luke’s and if the above stories are true. Also, enclosed is a memento of another Michalski’s First Communion. Was it common for Catholic Churches to give these out? When did it began and how long did it continue.

— Phyllis O. of Cheektowaga

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AM-POL Eagle: Matchbook A Souvenir Of ‘One True Hotel’ At 1255 Broadway

(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.

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AM-POL Eagle: Helen Was Once On The Menu In


(Gregory Witul, AM-POL Eagle • Tue, Sep 10, 2013) When we reminisce about the great eateries and taverns, we naturally recall all the restaurants that were around for so many years. The Polish Village operated on Broadway in Buffalo for over 30 years, Our Inn in North Tonawanda lasted over 25 years, and Happy Swallow and R & L are still serving the East Side.

These places are the exception to the restaurant industry’s standard survival rate. When a new restaurant opens its doors, it has a 27 percent chance of closing in the first year; after the third year, 50 percent of those restaurants are no longer in business; and in 10 years 70 percent of restaurants fail. This week, we’ll be taking a look at a keychain flashlight from one of the places that never saw its fourth birthday, Helen’s Lounge at 399 Peckham St. in the city of Buffalo.

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AM-POL Eagle: Priest’s 25th Anniversary At St. Luke’s Brings Back Memories

(By Carl L. Bucki • Wed, Aug 07, 2013) Earlier this summer, my wife Debbie and I were invited to attend a Mass at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy to mark the 25th anniversary of the ordination of Father Jack Mattimore, S.J. Father Mattimore is a kind and generous Jesuit priest who served as principal of Canisius High School during most of the time that our son Craig was a student more than a decade ago. His subsequent assignments included service at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy on Buffalo’s East Side.

In appreciation for Fr. Mattimore’s many good works, my wife and I were delighted to join the celebration. As an added bonus, the event provided an opportunity to visit the grounds of what had at one time been a leading parish of Polonia.

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AM-POL Eagle: St. Stan’s Marks 140th Anniversary

MASS AT THE MOTHER CHURCH OF POLONIA was part of its 140th anniversary celebration. (photo by Peter Sloane)

(By Brandon Kilijanski • Tue, Jul 02, 2013) St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Church proudly celebrated its 140th anniversary June 30 with a Mass and reception of 225 people that followed at the Millennium Hotel in Buffalo.

In 1873, Rev. John Pitass founded the church, right around the same time that clothing designer Levi Strauss was patenting the first blue jeans. Since then, the “Mother Church of Polonia” and the East Side of Buffalo have been synonymous.

Signifying the historic importance of the anniversary the Mass was celebrated by Bishop Richard Malone, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo; Bishop Edward Grosz, auxiliary bishop of Buffalo and a former pastor of St. Stanislaus Church, Bishop Edward Kmiec, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Buffalo and other priests from the diocese.

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