Wandering Gypsy is worth the drive
Chloe Bravada faithfully posts music listing twice weekly on the Express, supporting local musicians.
We were looking for something to do Friday night and consulted Chloe’s list when we saw Kevin Whitehead playing at Wandering Gypsy Brewing in Ransomville.
I never heard the name Kevin Whitehead before, which was part of the appeal – I Googled him and could find no evidence other than he is a North Tonawanda cop and came from the baseball family.
We drove the 23 minutes to Braley Road. We took the last spot in the lot and there were already cars on the grass.
Inside, the place was packed. Wandering Gypsy has an eclectic food menu, on the lighter side but good food. There were at least 3 dogs and a half-dozen kids 8 and under in the crowd.
Whitehead was set up on the side playing some songs I didn’t know and some we did, for example, Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses.”
We decided to stay for one beer because there were no empty seats.
We talked to proprietor Bob Pepperday who runs the place with his wife Jennifer. (When summer comes, get a Freddy or a Betty at the Lewiston Artisan Market, which is open today at the Presbyterian Church on Cayuga Street).
“Are you always packed this way when you have music?” I asked.
“Sometimes. I can never tell,” he said. “How did you hear?”
“Chloe Bravada listed a musician we didn’t know so we came to check it out,” I said.
Beth and I shared a coffee stout. Whitehead finished his set. We said a quick hello. I told him we came to see him because we didn’t recognize his name. It was one of his first shows playing live. He’s a North Tonawanda cop by day. I am pretty sure all those 30 somethings packing the place were friends and family.
We still needed to get a bite so we headed up to Route 18 and found our way to Ray’s Tavern, 5 minutes closer to home, and shared a fish fry. Ray’s, near Youngstown, is excellent, especially the au gratin potatoes.
Interesting driving that way on a dark winter night. I can’t remember the last time I used high beams to watch for deer on a country road. It's also interesting that the Parkway north of Lewiston is undergoing the same demolition by neglect being endured between the power plant and Lewiston.