It was a temperate Thursday when we shuffled in through the propped-open door in Chuggers on Union Road.
A pitcher of Miller Light, a full glass of Jim Beam Black on the rocks and an Absolut and tea set us back a cool $14. That's a pretty good price. Unfortunately, the draft beer was horrible. It seemed to me that Chuggers either needs to blow out its drink lines or perform an exorcism. While we normally "go on rotation" with pitchers, I advised my buddy Mike to play it safe by switching over to bottles of beer.
When we arrived, there was already a sizable crowd congregating along the rail of the bar. Our petite, blond bartender fluttered efficiently from one end to the other filling drink orders, while two mechanics argued about work and let the swears fly -- with no regard for fellow patrons. Across the bar, a women's softball team whooped it up and a young woman in Daisy Duke shorts wandered outside to take a call on her cell phone.
As the Gin Blossoms' "Til I Hear It From You" piped in over the radio, we surveyed the distractions filling the bar. There's an arcade machine with Donkey Kong playing on it in one area, and against the far wall there's a fleet of dartboards and a Deer Hunter arcade machine along with a scratch-off Lotto machine. Three TVs overhead broadcast sports and sporting-related events. A row of photos featuring pinup girls -- advertising "cherry bomb" drinks -- taped to the ceiling captured my attention.
The softball team had a pizza delivered and scurried to the back half of the bar to chow down. "Last Dance With Mary Jane" started up, and my guests started talking sales theory. How about this for a sales tactic: Etched into the bar mirror it says "Chuggerzilla: $5."
Chuggers is a jack of some trades and an apprentice at some. But if they did some work on the draft beer, they just might be able to bring some fresh faces into the fold.
1800 Union Road, West Seneca
Scene: A tightly knit group of softball teams, co-workers and singles
Music: Karaoke on Thursdays, live music on Saturdays
Drinks: Gigantic mixed drinks and numerous shot specials, but the draft beer needs work
Dress Code: Softball jerseys, work clothes and New Age attire