It's a cold domestic bottle, regulars-heavy kind of place.
Nestled in an unlikely corner of north Buffalo, Bar’s Bar & Grill sits on the convergence of three streets that houses a handful of modern drinking establishments including Hot Mama’s Canteen and The Phoenix at 269. But Barry’s Bar is anything but modern, a Buffalo dive bar throwback in every sense of the term, from the timeless sign out front to the well-entrenched regulars that pile into the bar as early as Barry’s Bar’s 8 AM opening time.
The signage outside of Barry’s Bar is eye catching to be sure, a three-piece sign above the bar’s front door and pair of windows proclaiming the name of the bar and two of its chief amenities: “Parking In Rear” and “Air Conditioned.” But it is the old-school lettering of “Bar” and “Grill” on either side of a script, yellow depiction of the word “Barry’s” and a beer mug that screams that this is a classic neighborhood dive bar.
Inside, the bar’s main room is divided into two halves, the first dominated by the long bar that runs along one wall, the second populated by tall tables that may or may not be deployed on any given evening. The light green paint inside gives Barry’s Bar a pretty clean feeling, only a handful of decorations along the bar’s walls including a lion statue and corresponding lion clock behind the bar. Barry’s Bar is, naturally, cash only, and the liquor selection here is more an array of favorites than a deep inventory of possibilities.
Walking into Barry’s Bar could be a bit intimidating to first-time visitors given the weathered nature of the structure and the no-doubt regular-heavy crowd inside. Because the bar is nestled among a large swath of residential homes, drinking here is done amidst a neighborhood group that knows each other well. But just like any drinking situation, a cold beer can solve a lot of problems and grabbing a Yuengling at Barry’s Bar is another prime example.
Because this reviewer had the good fortune to visit during low traffic hours on a weekday evening, the presence of food at this point in Barry’s Bar’s existence is unclear, but past reviews cite unexpectedly good items produced from a kitchen in back including a classic Friday fish fry. Communal events do dot the calendar, from Christmas parties to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
A small set of taps can be found behind the bar, featuring a limited set of domestics as well as perhaps an IPA on occasion. And in contrast to the Barry’s Bar aged exterior, the interior has been modernized here and there over the years. A polished bar rail, new stools and clean lines throughout Barry’s Bar deviate a bit from what might seem like a more rustic experience thanks to the bar’s signage. A digital jukebox and bowling arcade game round out the limited set of ancillary entertainment options at Barry’s Bar.