When you walk in the front door of the Wellington Pub on Hertel Avenue, you'd be hard pressed not to find a familiar face.
The first thing you hear is the bustling laughter and boisterous conversation of family and friends inside, making you immediately feel welcome. On any given night, the stained mahogany bar will be filled with regulars of every age in all manner of dress enjoying a variety of drinks from Jack Daniel's on the rocks to a pint of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.
On a Thursday night, I met Cory and Chris for a drink at the pub after a long day of work for all of us. I ordered a Blue Light draft (only $2), Cory got a Molson draft (also only $2) and Chris ordered a pint of Guinness ($4). Having spent a significant portion of my college career as a regular patron of the Wellington, I became quite familiar with its menu and decided to get a single order of chicken wings with plenty of blue cheese (10 for $8.45), to complement my beer. They were cooked well, and I will say, they went great with my beer.
The pub has 10 beers on tap with a variety of bottled options, and its liquor selection seemed to be pretty broad as well. The menu is one of the most extensive I've seen in a bar setting, and the prices are reasonable, with most meals under $10. Even News sports columnist Jerry Sullivan visits the pub often enough to have his own special: "A generous portion of award-winning chili topped with green onion, cheddar cheese and sour cream; served with tortilla chips & garlic bread" ($7.99).
To the left of the bar was a large dining room with a dozen or so tables, and an additional room in the back that offered plenty of space for diners. Even at 9 p.m., the dining room was full with only a handful of open seats. Now that the patio has opened up for the season, we were told that they only expect to get busier.
The bartender, Kristen, took care of us the entire night as she made sure that our beers were never less than half full, and that we had everything we needed. The jukebox played a wide array of music from Eric Clapton to Jack Johnson, and Jay-Z to Lady Gaga.
It turned out to be one of those nights where you plan on being home and in bed by midnight and before you realize it, you're racing the sun home. With such a friendly crowd and reasonable prices, you seem to forget the time and simply enjoy yourself. Now that the patio has opened for the season, I can tell you one thing: I'll be back for a fish fry and an ice cold beer.
The Wellington Pub
1541 Hertel Ave., 833-9899
Scene: Welcoming and relaxing after a long day at work; great for dinner also.
Dress: Come as is.
Drinks: Cheap drafts, great liquor and plenty of specials.
Food: An extensive menu of Buffalo staples and more.