In an age where bars seek to compete against one another with high-concept gimmicks, fascinating drink choices and modern dance hits to attract younger crowds, Loughran’s remains the stubborn, old-fashioned grandfather – and that’s not a bad thing.
In fact, it could be said that Loughran’s lack of gimmicks is from the respect owner and Erie County Legislator Tom Loughran has for his customers, old and new. Need proof? Look to the left of the bar at the giant framed picture of a man in a snazzy suit. This is Loughran’s very first customer who makes appearances every now and again and is not afraid to show off that it is, in fact, him in the picture.
Loughran’s was established in 1979 in its original home on Kensington Avenue. For the past 22 years it has been located at 4543 Main St. The feel of the bar is as classy as it is classic. The layout is separated into two rooms, dining hall and the fully stocked bar. Two televisions can hold your attention while the crowd standing behind you deals with territory issues.
Five beers are on tap that change, depending on the season, such as Sam Adams Cold Snap and Rusty Chain ($5.25).
The wine selection has the basics necessary for either mingling with friends or enjoying a glass of red with a steak. Six reds and six whites are offered, including malbec, pinot noir, pinot grigio, chardonnay, shiraz and zinfandel. A glass of wine ranges from $6 for a house wine to $9; bottles from $28 to $34.
If you are looking for variety at Loughran’s, cocktails may be the way to go. Not only does Loughran’s house the base necessities for most cocktails, it also has numerous variations of liquors. For instance, two types of Dewars’ Scotch are available, three types of Grey Goose vodka, three flavors of Bacardi rum, and two types of Crown Royal whiskey. Cocktails generally run about $4.25.
Although the food menu is not abundant, what it lacks in quantity is more than made up for in quality. Chicken wings are a big seller and come in either a single order (10 wings for $11) or a double order (20 wings for $18). In a city where wing judgment is as sensitive as with its sports teams, it would be unwise to rank Loughran’s wings as some of the best in Buffalo.
However, you will not be disappointed. Another popular dish is the pork chop sandwich, a fried, tender piece of pork topped with cheese on a toasted bun and served with seasoned crinkle-cut fries ($10).
Loughran’s offers nightly dinner specials such as a blackened 8-ounce prime sirloin ($24) served with your choice of potato, and a Pork Milanese ($18), which is a breaded pork cutlet served with mixed greens and goat cheese.
The crowd at Loughran’s usually looks to be older, mid-20s to late-30s professionals looking to have a drink after work. But don’t be too shocked when you see one of these professionals sitting next to the guy who just stumbled in to watch the Sabres game.
The menu is sparse, the drink choices are nothing out of the ordinary, there aren’t any promotional events or DJs. However, Loughran’s doesn’t need it. The customers are faithful and the owner caters to their needs.
Where: 4543 Main St., Snyder
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday
Décor notes: Quite sparse. There are a few framed pictures and a hockey jersey bearing Loughran’s name.
Atmosphere: Classy. It feels like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra could sit among the crowd of 30-somethings. Never a shortage of smiles.
Liquor: Loughran’s won’t cheap you out on the liquor selection. If you are hankering for a gin and tonic, do not expect them to give you Mr. Boston. Get ready to choose between Bombay or Beefeater.
Music: Pick your poison. The jukebox allows an eclectic mix where Metallica can easily follow Kanye West. The music is never loud enough to drown out your friends.
Recommended food: While I will continue to push the chicken wings, the soups are heavenly. The chicken wing soup might be the best, especially when topped with blue cheese; the tomato Florentine is the perfect blend of chunky with a kick.