Sean Patrick's in Getzville couldn't be more endearing. From the outside its facade looks like a pub plucked from a small town in Ireland.
At night, trees entwined with bright Kelly green lights mark its location along Millersport Highway where this family-owned business has stood since the 1960s. (Some may remember it as the Pine Lodge.)
Despite the renovations over the years, Sean Patrick's "Cead mile failte" ("one hundred thousand welcomes") heart still remains. When a place has been around this long, it's definitely doing something right.
Inside, the classy warm wood tones ooze Irish charm. Family pictures and memorabilia maintain a place of prominence on the walls. The bar is sunk in, giving the room an interesting dynamic (there is wheelchair access through the banquet room). A railing circles the area. Old-fashioned lamp posts mark the corners.
It's a big space with plenty of seats and a brass foot bar below. Behind the seats along the rail is a handy shelf, a welcome relief for "standers" on a busy night.
It's also very comfortable. "Big-band-Sinatra-Buble-esque" tunes provide a relaxing backdrop.
Libations run from draft beers (Labatt Blue, Labatt Blue Light, Sam Adam's seasonal, Killians, Guinness and a rotational selection) and basic bottles (Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light) to mixed drinks, wines and specialty martinis with fun choices like Pineapple Upsidedown, WooWoo, French Kiss and Cherry-tini to name a few.
It was a Sam Adams for the Sig Other and an Apple-politan for me on a recent pit stop. We learned our friendly bartender Brendan was the owner's son. He's also an attorney by day, joking customers can get a drink, appetizer and legal advice all in one shot!
How did we find this out? We had asked about the cool mural on the one wall. We learned the guy holding a cigarette and those to his left are family members.
To the right? Famous Irish guys: Oscar Wilde, William Yates, Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera.
A depiction of St. Patrick is near portraits of family children. Below them is a dedication to Brendan's grandfather Richard, a former boxer. What's funny is that everyone, including the Irish icons, looks related!
Down the bar from us, three real guys (one in a Henry Rollins "Black Flag" T-shirt) ordered drafts and discussed NFL football (already!). We guessed they were grad students because each paid separately for his beer.
To the left were two gals and a guy chatting. Across the way an older couple sipped after-dinner drinks.
Sean Patrick's does well to uphold the Irish tradition of providing a hospitable atmosphere. And for hungry patrons, a special menu (4 p.m. to close) offers $5 appetizers -- stuffed mushrooms, beef on weck, wings, spinach garlic bread and stuffed hot peppers -- to ease stomach grumblings.
Leaving, we noted the front patio tables would be perfect for a warm summer evening of drinks, stargazing and maybe even a lively discussion on the importance of being earnest.
3480 Millersport Highway, Getzville 636-1709, www.spatricks.com
Scene and dress: Classic Irish charm. Spiffed up casual.
Drink: Oscar Wilde once said, "Work is the curse of the drinking classes." If you are cursed, go drink. Happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. daily yes, Saturday and Sunday, too with $3.50 well drinks and wine, $3.50 domestic beers, and $2 Labatt Blue/Labatt Blue Light drafts. Enjoy $5 Pinnacle Vodka martinis and cosmos every day.
Hours: Open at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday, noon on Sunday.