BUFFALO, NY- Buffalo's waterfront was rocking Thursday night! The season's first Thursday at the Harbor brought thousands of music lovers to Canalside to experience many of the changes there for the first time. It seemed Western New Yorkers liked what liked what they saw and are hopeful about the future.
Thursday at the Square is officially now Thursday at the Harbor, and Buffalo music lovers are embracing the move to Canalside.
"It's beautiful, great scenery. I love the lake breeze coming in, plus there's just so much more room," said visitor Tim Mansfield.
They're coming for the music but realizing the waterfront has even more to offer, like a ride on the Queen City Ferry, renting a kayak, or eating ice cream from Clinton's Dish.
"I think it makes Buffalo look better. It's promising for us and gives us somewhere to go," said visitor Judy Edwards.
"As a former San Franciscan and Portlander I'm used to lot of events on the water and I moved back home now and it's good to have these opportunities on the waterfront here," said visitor Larry Bartolomei.
The Liberty Hound restaurant in the Naval Museum is one of the newest draws.
"Oh they love it," said co-owner Jason Davidson. "People have been waiting for a seafood restaurant down on the waterfront."
Davidson says the response has been overwhelming.
"I've seen people four or 5 times in the week and a half we've been open. People are so excited with the development of the waterfront down here and can't wait to see what's next," Davidson said.
Visitors can't help but notice the construction areas. The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is putting in a public canal system on the Aud Block that will be completed this time next year. In the winter, the canals will be used for ice skating.
By mid-summer they will have doubled the capacity of the docks. The Sabres are sodding some land by Main Street. And the Donovan Office Building is becoming a Marriott Hotel with Phillips Lytle Law Firm on the top four floors.
Future plans include lighting the grain elevators, and adding a marketplace to where the Explore and More Museum is going on the Aud Block.
"People in Buffalo would love to have something like that, and more restaurants down there," said Tom Dee of the ECHDC.
The Cult was the headlining band for Thursday at the Harbor and even lead singer Ian Astbury took notice of the changes to Buffalo since the last time he was here.
"Buffalo seems to look like it's coming back. There's a lot of energy here. I was surprised. I was just in the New Era store getting caps. I had no idea they were from Buffalo. People were very cool. Very friendly," he said.
Click here for a link to the 425 events through Labor Day at Canalside.
Thursday at the Harbor
5 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays; free
June 7: The Cult with Against Me! and the Icarus Line
June 14: Fitz and the Tantrums with Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds and ZZ Ward
June 21: Built to Spill and Matthew Sweet with Hey Rosetta
June 28: Fountains of Wayne
July 5: Arrested Development
July 12: Seether
July 19: Young the Giant with Bahamas and the Ruby Spirit
July 26: Arkells, Gomez and Elliott Brood
Aug. 2: The Jesus and Mary Chain with Wild Life
Aug. 9: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones with Ron Hawkins and the Do-Good Assassins
Aug. 16: Salt 'n' Pepa
Aug. 23: Matt Nathanson with Lights
Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor
6 to 11 p.m.; Unless otherwise noted- $10 advance, $20 day-of-show (Tickets.com, Buffalo Place box office, and during Thursday at the Harbor concerts)
June 29: Sam Roberts Band with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
June 30: moe. with Conspirator
July 13: Weezer (tickets $35 advance, $40 day-of-show)
July 15: Feist
Aug. 31: J. Geils Band
Sept. 1: LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip