The northern stretch of Kenmore’s Delaware Avenue is more highway than condensed thoroughfare, home to Chevrolet dealerships, funeral homes and a Pizza Hut.
The wide-open expanse might not be the first place you would scan for a expertly cultivated neighborhood bar. So if you’re not paying attention, you might cruise past Fletcher’s Bar without even a twitch of your neck.
Opened in 1975 and packed with all the old-time charm necessary for any Buffalo-area bar found before the Reagan era, Fletcher’s is the type of joint commonly nestled within condensed blocks, and operating as the local meeting place for old friends, families—or kitty-keeping bar regulars now joined like family.
But perched on Delaware off Princeton Boulevard, all its genuine comfort is easy to miss for prospective patrons speeding toward Sheridan Drive.
Those who know better slow down, park and pop through Fletcher’s brick-framed entryway for a relaxed afternoon, evening or quick round en route to a final destination elsewhere. Full of occupants looking to casually chat, discuss sports predictions or watch golf and college basketball within its decoratively disjointed barroom, the locale is conducive to all types of drinkers.
Meeting your brother for a few Bud Light drafts? They’re $3 at Fletcher’s, and can be enjoyed amid Bisons championship flags, Sabres banners and the appropriately displayed jersey of former Bills linebacker, London Fletcher.
Tilting a few with some old friends back in town for the weekend? The bar boasts casual space and conversation-level Led Zeppelin for those looking to catch up on the past.
Or are you simply looking for a peaceful drink after afternoon errands around the Northtowns? Fletcher’s provides whatever level of solitude or interaction you’re looking for, with eight televisions showing an array of daily games; Quick Draw screens, dart boards and a billiards table to bring the games to you.
Then there's the friendly crowd and bar staff if you would rather engage in relaxed banter or jokes with strangers under its classic movie placards, Yuengling merchandise or random portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln mounted in the bar’s front corner.
All coalesces to construct a hospitable clubhouse for the embedded or uninitiated—and this is no easy task. Putting a comfortable barroom together isn’t as mundane as slinging $4 Shock Top drafts beside a top hat-wearing hog’s head and behind handmade Buffalo Bills curtains—even though Fletcher’s does all three.
It’s about being genuinely welcoming or accommodating to all patrons. It’s about creating a feeling of comfort to regulars, casual drinkers or relaxed loners, all who simply want a seat, a few beers and an exhale from the ride that, more times than not, can take them speeding past a nondescript bar’s front door.
But if you slow down, you’ll find a place like Fletcher’s, and enjoy the barroom-hosted break needed from time to time.
Address: 3291 Delaware Ave., Kenmore (877-9431; on Facebook)
Hours: Sunday to Thursday, noon to 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 4 a.m.
Scene: Nondescript roadside bar with the relaxed vibe and accommodating regulars of a classic neighborhood tavern.
No food, but: Guests can order from (and bring in) Penny’s Pizza, located next door.
Be sure to find: Its “OUTATIME” license plate, hung in homage to the Michael J. Fox classic, “Back to the Future.”
Parking: Lot in back, and street spots on surrounding blocks.
Credit/Debit: Cash only, ATM on premises.
Don’t forget to: Pose for a photo underneath Fletcher’s sombrero-wearing deer head, mounted next to the bar’s entrance.
Story topics: bar features