Helium adds a new wrinkle to Cobblestone

What was supposed to be a post about the arrival of a new comedy club down in the Cobblestone District morphed into something totally different. Instead of talking about Helium Comedy Club taking over in the space that formerly housed Morrisey’s and Benchwarmers became thoughts on the need for more people in the area around First Niagara Center.

However, I still wanted to explore what could come of Cobblestone’s newest tenant.

The fact that there is going to be a full-fledged comedy club down in the heart of the arena district is huge. The only drawback is the lack of your traditional bar/restaurant with the departure of Morriseys and Benchwarmers. However, this has the potential to be self-sustaining to a degree.

While Morrisey’s and Benchwarmers likely ebbed and flowed with hockey season, Helium has the ability to become a destination all by itself. The key will be booking solid acts on a regular occasion while also providing a solid regular lineup.

I’m no expert on the comedy scene, so I’m not sure how big of a room Helium will have as compared to the type of club which land relatively solid acts. Regardless, I think it will be key to ensure the long-term success of the club. It will be particularly important in the early going as the casino, Webster Block and Donovan Buildings are built out. Continue reading

Changes in Cobblestone indicate need for progress

No matter how many pretty drawings have been rolled out, nothing can duplicate the real action taking place around First Niagara Center.

There is actual construction taking place at Canalside, as the faux replica canals are being built on the Aud site. The Donovan Building has been stripped and is well on the way towards completion in 2013 and, across the street, there are a pair of bids on the Webster Block that are set to be decided upon.

The Cobblestone District also made some news today as it was announced that a brand new comedy club will be opening on Mississippi. Helium Comedy will be opening in the space that was formerly occupied by Benchwarmers and Morrissey’s.

Getting a new, unique spot down in that area is a great addition to that entire area. However, the loss of Benchwarmers and Morrisey’s will not be conducive to the overall district, particularly when hockey season begins.

This is something that was pointed out by Eric at 3rd Man In earlier when I was still soaking in the news of a new comedy club getting plopped down in a neighborhood desperate for additional attractions.

Eric’s tweets indicate the need for construction in Canalside to ramp up to ensure that there are still locations for Sabres fans to patronize both prior to and after games. The Donovan and Webster block projects will each have a restaurant on the ground floor, but the soonest a restaurant will be in either of those buildings is late 2013. Continue reading