Mason's Grille 52 in Hamburg is adult, classy and perfect for a parents' night out away from the kids, or, in my case, kid.
If it was a band, it would be Coldplay: smart, pleasing, and a thirty- and fortysomethings favorite – not groundbreaking, perhaps, but a total pro.
Or, at least, it will be, soon. Mason's is still relatively young, a newbie when compared to Village of Hamburg staples like Coyote Cafe, Buffalo Street Grill and Mammosers. But as my wife and I found on a recent Saturday, Mason's truly fills a void. I don't think there's any other bar in Hamburg that quite captures its vibe.
It's not as loud as Coyote, not as divey as Mammosers, a place with a mood and a scene all its own.
It opens at 4 p.m. on weekends, and we arrived early on this gray November Saturday. We knew exactly what we wanted: a calm, relatively quiet place to have a drink and a chat.
I've always loved a dark bar, and Mason's fits the bill – dim, but not too dim, with a nice wood bar, tile ceiling, white holiday lights and a mural of an old-timey village.
We were greeted by the friendly, attentive, but never overbearing bartender, ordered a Sierra Nevada and a Dr. Frank Riesling, and grabbed a table. (The draft selections were limited, although I was intrigued by the special Wolaver's pumpkin ale.)
Coming early was probably wise; it's not what one would call a large bar, with six tables and four chairs each for the taking. I could see it filling up, and feeling packed, quickly.
It was a college football evening, and happily, this is the opposite of the large, tchotchke-crazed sports bar experience. Yet it's worth noting that every table is close enough to the two flat-screen TVs that one could easily watch a game here. And both TVs showed different games. That's a bit obvious, but you'd be surprised how often a bar screws that up.
We ordered a spinach artichoke dip, and the bartender brought us a basket of fresh, still-warm chips. This was a nice touch; they came unsolicited, and were delicious, although I ate too many. Typically, I was stuffed by the time our app arrived.
"Saturday night starts out slow," said one of the restaurant servers to another, and that, I thought to myself, is why I like this place: It's relaxing. We had a fine 45 minutes sans child, and agreed that Mason's was a place we'd return to.
Something to watch for: There were several signs advertising live music scheduled for later that night, but we were long gone by then.
Incidentally, the music we heard while drinking and dining is worth noting. It may have been SiriusXM, but I enjoyed the tunes: T. Rex's "Bang a Gong," the Sundays' gorgeous "Here's Where the Story Ends," U2, Steve Winwood.
In other words, as mellow as the vibe; the garish '80s stomp of ABC's "Look of Love" actually seemed jarring.
The only surprise? We didn't hear any Coldplay.
Mason's Grille 52
Where: 52 Main St., Hamburg (649-7519)
Scene: Classy, adult and very laid-back.
On tap: Bass Ale, Molson Canadian, Sierra Nevada, Murphy's Irish Stout, Shock Top and Sam Adams Oktoberfest.
Music: Adult alternative – mostly 1980s with U2 and the like.Hours: Opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday; 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closes at midnight.