Tully's Good Times seems to have a simple philosophy: "We aim to please."
Often, that can lead to smothering, and annoyance. So kudos to Tully', for not coming on too strong. Yes, it wants you to have a pleasurable experience, but it's the kind of establishment that's confident enough in its deals, its food, and its vibe to let you relax. This review is from a recent visit to Tully's Niagara Falls Boulevard location, but I've also been to Tully's near-identical location on Transit Road in Clarence. (There's also a new Tully's on French Road in Depew.)
It might be one of the most enjoyably eager establishments on the East Coast, with a staggering number of drink and food deals, a relaxed vibe and TVs everywhere. There is also a game area with darts, arcade games and more.
In fact, if there is a criticism of Tully's, it is that Tully's perhaps tries too hard to please everyone. It might have the busiest walls of any restaurant in the nation, bursting with pictures, trophies, and, well, anything you can think of. It's like a baseball card store was caught in a tornado, and landed, Dorothy-style, in the middle of a large building on Niagara Falls Boulevard. (Same goes for the tables, with baseball and football cards here and there. I placed my drink on a 1999 Ryan Leaf, which I believe brings seven years bad luck.)
Is trying too hard really a major criticism? Not for me. After all, I like the deals, I like the menu, I even like the charming balloon you're given while waiting for a table. Even the Tully's website is helpful; before my visit I was able to study the beer list and a full breakdown of available specials.
That's helpful. Because that specials list is long. Ready? There are: $3 pints of Yuengling on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; pints of Blue and Blue Light for $2.75 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and $3.75 on Sunday and Thursday; tall Bud Lights for $3.75 daily day and $4 pints of Saranac on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
The days may confuse, but rest assured, when you visit, there's going to be something on special. Often, it is the more middle-of-the-road brew (Blue, Bud). But the beer list offers several less ho-hum picks, including Double Dark Cream Porter and Woodchuck Cider Amber.
Incidentally, food-wise, the menu is unadventurous but solid, and late-night specials are always offered.
On my most recent visit, Tully's was just as I remembered it -- simple, friendly, a bit busy visually, but never too overwhelming. Baseball blasted away on several televisions and as we munched popcorn at our booth in the bar, we both agreed that Tully's tries hard, and succeeds.
One last note: There is nothing quite like seeing adults waiting patiently with balloons in hand. If even that doesn't seem to cause annoyance, it must mean Tully's is doing something right.
Tully's Good Times
1459 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst 446-0007
Scene: Very family friendly, but a large, casual bar area. Think chain, but a bit homier. Happy hour: 3:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
On tap: While not a large list, it's not a bad one, either, with the usual suspects and some more offbeat draft picks Double Dark Cream Porter, Woodchuck Cider Amber .
Music: Heavy on adult contemporary/1980s and '90s hits Phil Collins, Santana, Boy George, etc. , whether you want it to be or not.
Hours: Sunday, noon to 11 p.m. dining room or 11:45 p.m. bar ; Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. dining room or 12:15 a.m. bar ; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight dining room or 1 a.m. bar .