We misspent much of our youth touring various area bars . So how is it we don’t remember being in the IV Stallions? We certainly remember the name. And since it was established in 1973, it was in our wheelhouse.
Maybe we were there and just don’t remember? Or is it the fact that the bar is set back off William Street, near the William Street Thruway exit/entrance, and somewhat hidden?
Regardless, we are older, yet we can see ourselves hanging out back then as well as now.
The side door reminds us of a secret club entrance (to back in time perhaps?). It's painted to look like lockers with “Class of ‘73,” “Game on!” and “IV Stallions rocks!”
Deceiving from outside, the interior is much bigger than we envisioned. The L-shaped bar runs down the entire left side and around the back. An old phone booth sits near the entrance (because in 1973 that's what you used).
In fact, the entire bar is a time capsule of sports and bar paraphernalia overlapping eras with some interesting items like mini bats and football helmets shoved up in a cabinet behind the bar, and odd jerseys on the walls. An O.J. Simpson jersey hangs upside down. Among the Sabres jerseys - Ryan Miller, Pat LaFontaine, Tyler Myers and Jack Eichel - is that of Ryan Vinz, the emergency goalie called up after the Ryan Miller trade. Yinz also worked for Sabres TV as the director of hockey technology in 2014.
Folks looking for exotic cocktails or unusual craft beers won't find them here. Drinks are basic. There are some local craft beers on tap. You can see what beer you missed, as old taps are stored in a cabinet along the wall near the pool table for no particular reason.
During Bills games, buckets of domestic beer are $15, as are mixed drinks. The IV Stallions puts out snacks during the game. With the Sunday NFL Ticket, guests are assured that they can all games and keep track of their fantasy players on 17 screens.
During Bills or Sabres games, if the hometown teams scores, an obnoxious buzzer sounds.
For those who are bored watching sports or waiting for the buzzer, there are pool, darts, corn hole, a digital jukebox and something called “split second bowling” that looks like a mini bowling lane/shuffleboard.
Or join the recreational volleyball league that plays in the attached gym and hope nobody sees you on the closed-circuit TV showing court action. Better yet, if you can remember 1973, just hang on one of the comfy bar stools or tables to avoid the threat of injury.
The IV Stallions uses Bob’s Poplar Pizza located in front of the complex for its food service. Just ask the bartender to place your order and it will be delivered to your seat or table.
Popular from Bob’s Poplar (we were dying to say that) is the Stallion Combo which includes mini burritos, mini tacos, pizza fingers and mozzarella sticks. A bigger combo ups the quantities. ($12.47/$15.67).
Loafers (a name that makes us giggle) are described as, “A thick crusty loaf stuffed with a delicious variety of fresh ingredients, lathered in cheese and baked to perfection.” Pizza, chicken fingers, steak and meatball are some of the more popular choices ($9.59 each, two for $16.69). Are they not screaming to soak up beer?
Alas, but not least, on the way to the restrooms (and hanging somewhat hidden), is a framed front page Sunrise edition of The Buffalo News, Nov. 11, 1988, extolling the glory of the surprising Bills.
The headline: 'Fan-demonium’ Breaks Out After Bills Clinch Division Title. Below, Blocked Kick by the Veteran Smerlas Scores as Giant Leap for Buffalo Bills, by Larry Felser.
Now that we do remember. It was the start of something special. We just hope it’s not too much longer until the next time it happens.
2912 William St. (897-1935)
Hours: Open Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to close; Saturday and Sunday open at noon.
Scene: Classic sports bar.
Parking: Large lot.
Happy Hour: 50 cents to $1 off drinks until 7 p.m. daily.
Football deals: Domestic beer buckets and mixed drinks are five for $15.
More: DJ Trivia from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday. Indoor volleyball leagues.
Pay: Cash only, ATM on site.