For many years – and it could still be the case today – diners walking through the doors of Hamburg’s fun, charming Coyote Cafe were greeted by a hostess so cheerful, and so full of life, that it was impossible not to smile. She would shout “¡Hola!” and she meant it, darn it.
This diminutive greeter is in many ways representative of the Coyote Cafe itself. Located in a suddenly hopping stretch of Main Street in the village, it is a vibrant restaurant and bar with a devoted clientele, a good reputation and a spirit all its own.
The bar carries that spirit on, with some darker lighting and more bric-a-brac on display. (Clay pots, coyote items and lots of cactuses – or is it cacti?) It is large enough to eat in, and perfect for a post-dinner cerveza.
My wife and I stopped by sans child recently, and it was our first visit to the Coyote in some time. My wife grew up in the Village of Hamburg, so the restaurant has been a longtime favorite of ours.
Years before, we watched a hockey game with some friends in the bar, and I recalled it seeming a bit tight. But on our return visit, we saw that the bar area now stretches to the restaurant’s back wall. In fact, there are now two separate bars and significantly more seating and standing room.
Rope lighting runs throughout the bar, and combined with the wall art, the vaguely Mexican instrumental music and the margarita machines – my son would have ID’d them as ICEE machines, I think, so better that he was with grandma this evening – the area feels cool, comfortable and definitely chill.
We grabbed a table in the first bar, and I eyed the draft selections. By selections, I mean two: Dos Equis and Sam Adams Seasonal (Oktoberfest). Since I like to be a cliché and always have Dos Equis with my Mexican food, I was more than satisfied, but beer lovers might recoil. (There are a number of bottled choices, of course, including Corona, Southern Tier IPA and Yuengling.)
And there are the specialty drinks, which looked large and tasty.
It was not particularly crowded when we arrived, but even when the numbers increased, the service was very good. The food (fish tacos for my wife, steak arroz for me) was solid, as were the chips and salsa that opened the meal.
Essentially, what makes the bar worth a visit is that vibe. The Coyote Cafe is, quite simply, a fun place to be, although I will avoid karaoke night.
I should also note the presence of a “Most Interesting Man in the World” poster hanging on the wall behind one of the bars. I think the dapper Dos Equis pitchman would find 36 Main St. a satisfying spot for a drink. He doesn’t always shout “¡Hola!” – but if he does, the Coyote Cafe would be perfect.
Where: 36 Main St., Hamburg (649-1837)
Scene: A comfortable, vibrant atmosphere featuring plenty of room to sit or stand.
On tap: Dos Equis and Sam Adams Seasonal.
Music: We heard nondescript instrumental rock during our visit, but did spot a digital jukebox; karaoke and live music are regularly offered.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday.