In a town with no shortage of Irish bars, downtown’s Swan Street offering is among the best. The Irish Times, locally owned and operated, is situated across the street from Coca-Cola Field and snuggled between a parking lot and ramp.
Inside, you’ll find one of the longest bars in Buffalo – it boasts more than 50 feet in length. Pull up a stool and you’ll be greeted by Jamie, who is on staff during the day. His tending efficiency is second to none and nothing less than appreciated.
If it’s an after-hours jaunt into the Buffalo nightlife, you’ll encounter the friendly “Irish Dave” and possibly the owner’s son Danny to assist in your libation navigation.
Are you seeking a more private setting? There’s an abundance of tables and booths down the middle, off to the right and to the rear to accommodate your needs. The decor is a smattering of Buffalo sports team logos, miscellaneous doodads, shirts and hats all offering a hint to the storied history of the bar.
This particular Friday a fish fry ($8.95 at lunch; $9.95 dinner) was on tap with a bottle of Blue rounding out a favorite regional combination. Delectable as it was, the Irishman within yearned for a whiskey and was satisfied with an ounce of Jameson ($3.50). Another bottle of Labatt Blue ($3.50) was ordered to cleanse the palate.
The taps are strategically placed behind the bar and yield the usual suspects with the likes of Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Seasonal, Smithwick’s, Guinness, Labatt Blue and Blue Light to name a few.
Aside from the menu and drink offerings, some attention should be paid to the fact that the Irish Times also caters to larger parties in its second-floor banquet room. Bring your party downtown and enjoy the close proximity to pro hockey, baseball, concerts and the ever-growing Canalside area and its events.
Satellite radio jams out an eclectic mix of music sure to please nearly every taste. Three televisions behind the bar offer sports, news and just about anything else for your viewing pleasure.
Since the “place to catch the game” phrase is wildly overdone, may I suggest the Irish Times as a primer to the puck drop or the first pitch? With several venues within walking distance, consider making it your preconcert lubrication station. Get your crew in on the bucket special of 12 beers for the price of 10 (price depends on the brand).
Here’s a closing shout out to our friends and neighbors to the north. With spring now here, be sure to put this joint on your list as a pregame destination when you venture south to enjoy your Toronto Blue Jays’ Triple-A ball club the Buffalo Bisons.
The Irish Times
Where: 38 Swan St. (854-2199)
On tap: Labatt Blue and Blue Light, Harpoon IPA, Sam Adams Seasonal Ale, Sam Adams Boston Lager and Smithwicks Irish Red Ale, Coors Light, Harp, Yuengling, Bud Light and Molson Canadian. Pints range between $3.25-$5 each; 20-ounce Guinness is $6
Scene: Fits like a glove in the downtown scene.
Dress code: Business casual, blue collar with something green is optional, though encouraged.
Hours: Opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday; weekend hours are event specific, so it’s best to give a call.