Perfect night on the patio


(Photo courtesy of Water Street Landing)
The Foodie:

OK, it’s warm. I get it.
When it’s cold, you put on a sweater, but when it’s hot, unless you’re less than three feet tall and wear a diaper, you cannot walk around in your undies.

Last night, I celebrated Wednesday with some wonderful friends on the patio at Water Street Landing in the Village of Lewiston. This location is shear perfection on a summer evening and the sun shining off of the Niagara River was a lovely distraction.

The bar was not very busy, but a crowd is always expected after the free Artpark concerts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the summer.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Water Street veteran Vinny Bevilaqua and relative rookie to Lewiston Mike Ciulkowski. They told me that a typical Artpark evening is steady before and “slammed” after. They see a cross section of patrons from the “still needing to show ID” crowd to the AARP partiers.

Mike likes a busy bar and finds the challenge of keeping everyone happy the best part of his job. Vinny says that everything is better with a view and I cannot argue the point.

Vinny mixed a very nice Sea Breeze (Vodka, Grapefruit and Cranberry) and at $3 a drink you can afford a designated driver. The Madras (Vodka, Orange and Cranberry) is also a perfect patio drink.

I had a big bowl of steamed clams and soaked in the view. As I watched the guys interact with the crowd I asked about tips. I’ve always been curious if there’s a typical profile of a good tipper.

Mike says they are usually the ones you would not expect. If someone comes in with a flash and tells them they are going to take care of them, beware. They are usually the most demanding and least generous. Mike lets it slide off his back.

Vinny, a graduate of Niagara University with a degree in political science and business, has a lot of regulars. He says the best thing about his job is the ability to network.

He’s so good at it that he’s leaving Water Street to manage Legends Bar and Grill on First Street in the Falls.

The Foodie, tipping her Sea Breeze (and her server), wishes him the best of luck.