On the day I visited the bar in the Waterstone Grill in Hamburg, I stopped by two other Southtowns watering holes, as well. It was an interesting way to compare the establishments, and a reminder that not every bar can appeal to all drinkers.
All three were the opposite of a dive bar, in a good way. One of the pubs was loud, bustling and focused solely on craft beer. Another was more stylish and modern in design and approach, clearly geared toward visitors in their 20s and 30s.
The Waterstone Grill, located on Camp Road (3679 Commerce Place, to be exact), was quite different from the other two. It was smaller, homier, more quaint. A fire roared close to the bar, the 50s-plus crowd chatted quietly, and the vibe was as laid-back as a bar can get.
There were some younger folks and families dining in the restaurant, also a quiet and comfortable area.
If that’s what you’re looking for, the Waterstone is a fine choice. If not, you would be better served elsewhere.
Similarly, the location of the bar and restaurant, along busy Camp Road amid a cluster of hotels, would be a positive for some and a negative for others. It seems most sensible for those who live off of Camp Road, or out-of-towners staying at one of the nearby hotels. Its older vibe would likely make it a popular spot in the more tightly packed Village of Hamburg, I think.
The draft selections during our visit were minimal, but happily avoid the overly obvious: Flying Bison Rusty Chain, Newcastle and Blue Moon.
The bottled list on the restaurant’s website is a bit longer: Magic Hat #9 and Magic Hat Circus Boy, Heineken, Stella Artois, Amstel Light, Labatt Blue and Blue Light, Budweiser and Bud Light, Coors Light, MGD 64, Corona, Molson Canadian, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Michelob Ultra. (A sign at the bar mentioned Miller Lite, so perhaps the website needs updating.)
We opted for Rusty Chains, and took in the surroundings. Several televisions fill the intimate space, which is very conducive to chatting.
Signs advertised happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. with wine and well drink specials, while football specials include five-for-$10 bottles of Bud, Bud Light, Coors and Miller Lite; $2 Bloody Mary’s; $2 Screwdrivers; two-for-$12 martinis; and 35-cent wings. The website says “Ladies Nite” is held on Thursdays at the bar, which features live music.
On this atypical, post-holiday Thursday, we watched golf, listened to “Wonderful Christmastime” for the 375th time this season, and enjoyed our beers.
For those living nearby or staying nearby, it’s a nice option. And for younger readers, it would certainly qualify as a solid bar to take your parents, etc., for a drink. Considering how loud and obnoxious many area bars are, that’s nothing to sneer at.
Where: 3679 Commerce Place, Hamburg (646-4400; waterstonegrill.net)
Scene: Intimate, quiet, relaxed and geared toward an older clientele.
On tap: The draft selections during our visit were Flying Bison Rusty Chain, Newcastle and Blue Moon.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.