Tonawanda News


August 28, 2008

NORTH TONAWANDA: Business at Crazy Jake’s is off and running

There’s nothing particularly crazy about Crazy Jake’s, the newest eatery on Webster Street in North Tonawanda.

Visitors at 2 p.m. Wednesday walked into the air conditioned dining room to the lilting sounds of Pachelbel’s Canon. Neatly folded napkins stuffed into handsome vessels sat atop thick white table cloths.

But in making one’s way across the hardwood floor to the bar, it is somehow comforting to know that floor was salvaged from a long-gone roller rink and that bar, with its curiously thin wooden decking and clear smooth coating, is what’s left of a bowling lane.

Blue collar meets blue blood, to stretch a comparison — a place of welcome contradictions.

The fancy tin ceiling and ornate iron columns running from it to the floor are kept in check by the rough brick walls on the opposite side of the room; the less formal patio lounge outside and the three plasma screens in the main bar — each dedicated to total coverage of national sporting events.

“Crazy Jake’s” is at first the kind of name that seems more appropriate for a joint offering all-night billiards or all-you-can-eat clam specials. But on another level, it reflects the intended spirit of the place.

“I think what it is we wanted people to walk in here and think one thing and say ‘wow,’ ” Manager Jim Fingerlow said from his perch near the end of the bar Wednesday.

“We want to be known for — on a Sunday, you can come in and watch a football game and you don’t have to have just wings, but a steak. We want to consider ourselves a restaurant with a sports bar,” he said.

And that it is.

The menu features everything from macaroni and cheese for the kids up through filet mingnion, depending on how you choose to prioritize such things. Prices follow, from about $7 to $27 for the 16-oz. New York strip steak dinner. Fingerlow said the steak is already set to come down in price.

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