The best Bullies
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
After midnight or 1 a.m., when the kegs are empty and the party is over, everybody looks for a place to continue their drunken fun. In the Elmwood area, there’s no question where you’re heading.
It’s Bullies time.
J.P. Bullfeathers, also known as “Bullies,” is known as the longstanding destination for raucous college students in the Buffalo State College area on the Elmwood strip.
Bullies is the “official unofficial” Greek hot spot for a night of unadulterated debauchery. This reputation is earned when members from every fraternity and sorority on campus spill through its doors each weekend.
J.P. Bullfeathers was the first bar I ever went to. At the tender age of 17, my 16 pledge brothers and I simply hopped the railing that enclosed the patio in front of the bar. Then, with all of the casual nonchalance of piss-drunk minors, we sauntered up to the bar.
That night passed as many would: an adrenaline-charged blur of whiskey and laughter, boisterous shouting and beautiful women – all of whom seemed impervious to the wiles and charms of liquor-thickened tongues.
For years, Bullies was my wasted destination, the place I would go to see everyone from my extensive fraternal network and the place where anything could – and usually did – happen.
It may seem the light I’ve cast on good ol’ Bullies shows it to be no more than a college dive bar littered with the carcasses of underage waste cases as if it were some juvenile Western throwback.
However, that’s only because Bullies knows exactly how to cater to every facet of the diverse clientele base that frequents the bar, according to Cassie Rose, a two-year employee and bartender of the establishment.
“The weeknight atmosphere compared to the weekend atmosphere is like night and day,” Rose said. “On the weekend, the bar is packed out four deep every night with college kids; but for weekdays, the lunch and dinner crowd is much more relaxed and eclectic.”
During the week, Bullies transforms from the stylized saloon its college patrons know and love into a very casual, warm and friendly neighborhood bar with a flock of regulars who put the Cheers cast to shame.
“There are about 10-15 daily regulars who come in, but we’re more like friends, honestly,” Rose said. “We do football pools together, and it’s just like having people there to hang out with us while we work.”
Bullfeathers features happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday-Friday with varying nightly drink specials to boot.
Bullies also features a specialty drink menu that is crafted by the bartending staff.
“Every summer and winter, each bartender comes up with their own signature drink, to create their own brand,” Rose said.
Rose features a variation of a summer and winter sangria on the menu.
Not only does Bullies seek to keep its patrons satisfied with a slew of cheap, specialty drinks, but the kitchen staff takes great pride in providing a food service experience that is equally superb.
The college crowd comes in after 12 a.m., but it doesn’t overrule or push out the regular crowd. It’s just a place where everyone can come together and have a great time.
Fellow Bullies regular and 16-year patron Brendan O’Donnell is just another member of the family atmosphere at Bullies.
“The bartending service here is really cool,” O’Donnell said. “They remember people. They remember what you drink and it’s just a really nice place. Everyone is just friendly, and there’s no barriers between anyone here.”
Everyone is welcoming, and everyone is willing to be your friend.
Bullies is always featuring new events to keep things from going stale around the bar and is proud to carry on the traditions it has already established, including a Sunday Brunch – or “Sunday Funday,” as the regulars call it.
Bullies has purchased the NFL Season Ticket package so patrons can spend their Sunday relaxing and watching their favorite teams go head-to-head. The bar has started featuring a special Bills menu, which includes discounted appetizers and $5 mini pitchers every game day.
Bullies is not only a local favorite for every demographic in the Elmwood area, but the bar also strives to constantly enrich and give back to the community that supports it.
Every summer, Bullies sponsors Bidwell Park’s concert series on Tuesdays. The restaurant provides food service and beverages for the shows, gets involved in a number of local charities and caters for many local businesses.
Bullies has been nominated for Best Bar Food and Best Bartender three different times and has received awards for featured items like its Jack Daniel’s Glazed Chicken Fingers. The bar has also received recognition for its signature Buffalo’s Best Bloody Mary.
It’s the neighborhood bar – it’s got the drinks, the food, the local flavor and the pride of Elmwood Village residents.