This bar's name reminds us of the MacGruber character from the popular "Saturday Night Live" spoof of the "MacGyver" TV series. Every time we drive by, we sing "Magruders!" in a sing-song voice. Where am I going with this? Well, speaking of sketch comedy, Magruders welcomes local improv group ComedySportz on the first and third Thursday of every month. It's just one example of how this bar strives to be more than your average neighborhood hangout.
Magruders has also planned Nintendo Wii bowling tournaments, performances of interactive dinner-theater production "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding," excursions to Bills and Bisons games and a jet boat ride, among other outings. There are a lot of ways to get involved beyond engaging in barstool chatter. It's a place to belong to without the rigors of membership.
The bar was quiet the Saturday night we rolled in, but that was likely due to bad weather. We saddled up next to a rack of costumes from a performance in the upstairs room and quickly took notice of the 6-foot-tall projection screen behind the bar and four additional TVs strategically placed for optimal viewing from the room's booths and cocktail tables.
Magruders has a dozen beers available on tap at any time -- and they're rotated frequently. During our visit, we chose from Stella Artois, Blue Moon (sadly, no orange slice in my pint), Smithwick's, Guinness, Yuengling, and Rochester brew Hook & Ladder, among others. Prices range from $2.75 for a domestic brew to $4 for a premium one. It also has a great lineup of daily bar food specials, such as 30 cent wings on Tuesday. Of its nine wing flavors, the garlic parm is most popular, according to bartender and eight-year veteran Scott Sulzbach. The "Buffalo platter" of wings and beef on weck is a favorite among the place's many bar league teams.
Owner Matt Dombrowski is celebrating his 20th year at the helm of Magruders. His addition over the years of multiple banquet rooms and a dining room makes the building feel like the private residence of a good friend. It's the area's go-to place for all types of functions. Sulzbach regaled us with tales of the time they hosted a magicians' conference and many card tricks were performed for bar patrons. It just goes to show: You never know what's in the cards when you set out for Magruders.
4995 Broadway, Depew
Scene: If the weather outside is frightful, you'll have the place to yourself.
Drinks: Wide on-tap selection.
Dress code: Dress for the occasion if you're attending one of Magruders' many extracurricular activities.
Music: Bartenders tailor the radio to the clientele (it was Mix 104.1 for us). There's also an Internet jukebox.