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Bills bar review: Ride to the game from Colter Bay, or stay for ‘casual, relaxing vibe’

The Allentown restaurant Colter Bay draws a crowd for Bills games but does not tend to get too crowded.

“It’s busy but super comfortable,” bar manager Frank Pusateri said. “You won’t have to wait for drinks and you won’t be elbow-to-elbow with people.”

New owner Mike Shatzel renovated the tavern last year to resemble a Rocky Mountain ski lodge, adding wood and antlers to the interior along with a lift chair. Bills flags are part of the decor on game days.

Burnished gold bar stools and copper-finished architectural detailing add to the ambiance. The wall that once separated the front bar from the back dining room has been removed, creating a more open layout. The exposed brick wall behind the bar features a line of 44 taps, pouring mostly craft beer and eight ciders.

Bills games are shown on three 50-inch screens with the sound on and the bar staff blends in with the Zubaz-wearing crowd.

“It’s a casual, relaxing vibe,” Pusateri said.

Patrons can order off the regular menu developed by former Blue Monk chef Tony Martina. It includes gamy offerings like elk and bison meatloaf as well as traditional game day fare like chicken wings and beef on weck. Or fill up on the halftime buffet for $20, which also includes two beers. Buffet offerings rotate weekly.

Pusateri has also crafted three special bloody marys to complement the regular Rocky Mountain mix: one with Coors Banquet beer and Old Overholt Whiskey, a green tomatillo, cilantro and jalapeno concoction, and a low-calorie “skinny cowgirl” version.

Fans headed to home games can also meet at Colter Bay to ride the GoSocial shuttle to New Era Field. The bus departs at 10 a.m. and returns around 5:30 p.m. The cost is $35 for a round trip (cheaper than many stadium lots) and riders can drink alcohol on the bus.

“Party on the way and let us be your designated driver,” GoSocial co-owner Adriana Gonzales-Vera said.

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Colter Bay

Where: 561 Delaware Ave.

Sunday hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Crowd: 30-40

Food prices: Appetizers from $10-12, burgers/sandwiches $11-15, entrees $14-18

Specials: $20 for halftime buffet and two beers; $6 bourbon shot and beer

On draft: 44 taps, mostly craft beer and eight ciders

Bottles/cans: Labatt Blue, Bud Light, Coors Banquet, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Genesee Cream Ale

Parking: Street, free on Sunday

Credit/debit: Yes

NFL Sunday Ticket: No

Jonah Bronstein is a BNblitz.com contributor. Suggest a bar for him to watch the Bills at jonah.bronstein@gmail.com.

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