Frank Testa got his first bartending job at Coughlan’s Pub in Fredonia during the years the Bills held training camp nearby.
“I got to know Darryl Talley and a couple of the other guys,” Testa said. “They’d come in to Coughlan’s all the time. It was the neighborhood bar.”
Two decades later, Testa and his wife, Sara, opened their own neighborhood bar, Public House of Buffalo on Hertel Avenue. And the neighbors pour in on Sundays to watch Bills games.
“It’s a good mixed crowd,” bartender Tim McIntyre said. “You get young people, older people. You can watch the game with the sound on, and I don’t think there is a bad seat in the house to see the TVs.”
Public House offers three 50-inch screens (all tuned to the Bills game) and seating for 60 people. The bar is generally full for Bills road games, Testa said. They do not have NFL Sunday Ticket.
“But if the other game is more exciting, we sometimes put it on the corner TV,” McIntyre said.
When the Bills play at home, several fans leave the stadium afterward and go directly to Public House for happy hour, which runs from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. That often includes one of the owners.
“My wife has been a season ticket-holder and gone to every game with her mother for as long as I’ve known her,” Testa said. “She works six or seven days a week. About the only day she takes off is for a Bills game.”
The couple also owns Public House on the Lake in Hamburg, which draws large crowds to watch Bills games on its 10-foot projections screen and seven additional TVs scattered across two floors.
At Public House of Buffalo, beer drinkers can choose from 20 craft beers and Labatt Blue Light on draft, or more than 70 craft and eight bottled domestic beers.
They offer a full menu on Sundays. You can get traditional wings, or have them tossed in Chiavetta’s marinade and served with a side of warm goat cheese. Hand-rolled pizza logs and Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese sauce are popular appetizers.
Where: 1206 Hertel Ave., Buffalo
Sunday hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Crowd: Seating for 60, fills up for road games
Food prices: Appetizers $6-10, entrees $8-14
Specials: $1.50 Labatt Blue Light pints, $2 Fireball and Jagermeister shots, $1 off drinks during happy hour (4-6 p.m. daily)
On draft: 20 craft beers, Labatt Blue Light
Bottles/cans: 70 craft, eight domestic
NFL Sunday Ticket: No
Jonah Bronstein is a [BN] Blitz contributor. Suggest a bar for him to watch the Bills at firstname.lastname@example.org.