It is often said, when one has had a particularly rough week at work or there is an occasion to be celebrated, that “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” That overused adage is uttered with bars like the Dog Pound Saloon in West Seneca in mind, where the dim interior and rowdy atmosphere makes it easy to surrender to the music and forget about life for a while.
David and I stopped by the Dog Pound on a recent Friday night and were surprised to be greeted by a $5 cover charge. The reason for the charge manifested itself the minute we got a foot in the door – live music, courtesy of the Bar King Spiders, blared from a sizable stage to the left. We headed for the bar and, noting the absence of draft options, shouted our orders for bottles of Bud Light and Bud Light Lime (at the dirt-cheap happy hour price of $2 each) over the noise.
The Dog Pound’s interior is all about highlighting the live music it boasts every night. A half-partition separates the narrow bar area on the right from a handful of tables, a dance floor and an impressive stage, complete with multicolored lights and a considerable speaker setup. From the very lean-able half-wall to the seating arrangements, everything begs patrons to sit down, stay a while and take in the show.
The Bar King Spiders, the Dog Pound’s resident happy hour band on Friday nights, rolled out hard and classic rock covers loudly and proudly, stopping often to crack jokes or banter with the audience. It was obvious the band members were as much of regulars as the crowd of two dozen or so listening to them. At one point, one band member yelled out, “There ain’t one normal person in this room,” to which an audience member called back, “That’s why we’re here!”
As the Bar King Spiders packed up around 8:15 p.m. and house music was piped in from a stereo, we took over some bar stools and ordered a second round of beers. Shots and brews seemed to be the order of the night and of the bar overall – if you want a posh space in which to gingerly sip a cosmopolitan, you’re in for a rude awakening at the Dog Pound.
The next band to take the stage was Uncle Ben’s Remedy, a Mumford & Sons-looking outfit that nailed covers of tunes by Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones and Hank Williams Jr. True to its harmonica, upright bass and accordion, it also delivered a rendition of Mumford’s first hit, “Little Lion Man.” The crowd, already dancing and singing along with the Spiders, grew in size and enthusiasm with every passing minute. It was clear the night was only getting started when we left around 10:30.
Live music, cheap drinks and a carefree, raucous atmosphere – yes, it’s most definitely 5 o’clock somewhere, and that somewhere is the Dog Pound Saloon.
The Dog Pound Saloon
Where: 2339 Union Road, West Seneca (618-0001)
Scene: A rough-around-the-edges hangout that caters to live music lovers and faithful regulars. There’s a cover charge on Fridays and Saturdays, so come with cash in hand (though there is an ATM inside).
Drinks: Just the basics – standard bottled beer and liquor selections, with no draft options.
Dress code: Casual. We’re talking Harley Davidson gear, jeans and the occasional leather vest. Black seemed to be a popular color of choice.
Specials: $2 bottles during happy hour, which runs from 4 to 8 p.m.
Hours: Opens at 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.