Founding Fathers Pub
Start your review of Founding Fathers Pub.
Unfortunately, my last visit to Father's was destroyed by horrific service. About two weeks ago I was walking around the neighborhood with my boyfriend on his birthday and we decided to stop by Father's for old-time's sake (we used to go in college and always had a fun time).
The waitress snapped at us for accidentally standing next to the credit card machine and after we apologized she responded with a horrific glare and continued scolding. This was so blatantly rude and disrespectful that the family sitting at the table behind us were even taken aback. After another several minutes, she gave us the time of day to take our drink orders this time. The waitress continued to yell across the bar to another customer, "You know when you just have one of those days you just don't want to talk to anyone? I don't even know why I'm here." ... Well I don't really know why you're either. I've worked in the service industry and on my worst days, never have I ever treated a customer like that.
My boyfriend and I were forced to chug our drinks and leave as quickly as possible. Hopefully I will be able to update this review next time I stop in, but I can't see myself returning anytime soon. I've heard other people have commented on rude service, it could very well be all the same waitress. I don't want to deter anyone from stopping by, but hopefully this woman won't be working.
Wait, free, unlimited nachos with cheese and chili? Yes please! My friend and I dined here late on a Saturday night and I was very surprised! The place is small, kind of dive bar-ish but clean.
We got a pitcher of Blue Moon for $13.00, which I thought was super cheap. We both had the steak sandwich and we both really enjoyed it. Its served with chips.
The only downfall was our waiter. He was very nice, just took forever to get the bill to us. I tried to flag him down a few times but he was busy on his phone, but other wise I'm sure ill be back.
If our Dads were all skipping and jumping through the forest, they would be the Bounding Fathers. And if our Dads were all relaxing in the front room, they would be the Lounging Fathers. If they were all from foreign countries, they'd be the Funny-Sounding Fathers. And if they were all hopping on the good foot and aggressively doing the bad thing with our Mothers (or with anyone really), then they'd be the Pounding Fathers. But this place is nothing to do with any of those things. This place is all about the origins of the USA. Which is why it's called the "Ben Franklin Bar."
I tried to get an infamous burger from here on three separate occasions. One time they were absolutely slammed, and jovially informed me that they were not making burgers, as if to ask if I was crazy. The second time I called ahead and asked if they were making burgers, and this time they were very nice about it, but assured me they were not. Finally, the third time I tried to get a burger, they were not so busy, and they made me one.
I have to say I liked it. It was big, but not as ridiculously enormous as I was expecting by the price and reviews. It was pretty tasty, but it wasn't completely out of this world. It was one of the better burgers I've had. It was probably a low 5/5, and I was considering giving it a 5 but then I thought since it is borderline, and since it is so hard and so time-consuming to even get a burger from here, and since it gave my dear friend Alex food poisoning (not CM Alex, Trivia Alex), then I will settle on a 4 and call it even. So it's a good burger, but it's not the best burger in the region, for which you should head to Ruzzine's, Mooney's, Sterling Place Tavern, or Vizzi's.
I heard there is a famous trivia night here, but not being American, American History trivia questions don't really get my proverbial juices flowing. And not being a drinker, a place like this is always going to have a hard time earning a 5 from me unless the food is off the proverbial charts. I just used proverbial twice in one paragraph. Actually that's now three uses of proverbial. Nope... four. Wow. Is that a proverbial record? Crap! Five! Damnit!
I wasn't disapointed in the bar, but I wasn't excited about it either. The pros were definitely some of the wall art, the free nachos, and Buffalo beers on tap. The cons were that some of the wall art was more about the actual bar than the founding fathers, the ceiling had other countries flags on it, and the furniture seemed out of place.
I would recommend this as a place to go, but not as buzz feed put it " A bar to see before you die"
Great pub! Full of history, good beers, good food, and friendly staff/bartenders.
We've used this place for meals, nights out, and social gatherings. We'll continue to use it in the future.
Minor downside is the amount of space inside- it's not great. However, that is easily overlooked by the free nachos; hot cheese, salsa, and peppers included.
Not to be cliche, but I love the free nachos and popcorn!
Drinks are reasonably priced and the food is your average bar fare. Mike, the owner really livens up the place. The other staff members are alright, he is the best!
Whether you're a local or visiting Buffalo, make sure you check this place out.
1 check-inListed in Pubs and Grubs
Founding Fathers is a Buffalo establishment. History-themed with presidents and other political memorabilia fill the walls. On a slow Saturday night, it's a lot of fun to grab some beers, sit at a table, enjoy some free nachos and popcorn, and have a great time.
The draught selection is nothing impressive by any means, but there usually carry some decent seasonal beers. If it's a slow night, the bartender/owner/quizmaster comes over and asks you trivia questions. He quizzed us quite a bit last night on the presidents and geography, making for a fun group experience.
The free nachos and popcorn are awesome to pair with beer. Food wise, I've only eaten once but I did enjoy it. Nothing special or amazing, but tasty pub food nonetheless. Definitely an awesome bar to check out. I'd love to come back for trivia night on Tuesday some time!
What a great setting to grab food and drink. I love the American patriot theme and the architecture and decor really create a great atmosphere. Gives you the feeling that you're living in history.
The service was friendly on my visits and today I had a killer chicken sandwich. I'll be back for sure...
12 check-ins ROTD 6/12/2014
Two words: Free Nachos
If you need more to go to a bar then first I am going to question you, because who doesn't love free nachos. Second I'll tell you more.
My favorite bartender will quiz you at the bar with random tidbits of US history and general information. He will do this while still serving other customers and making sure you're drink is always perfect.
They have a good selection of liquor and a great craft beer selection, the atmosphere is a fun neighborhood bar with a hipster twist. They draw in a mixed crowed, from young professionals to college students. Really there isn't anything else you could ask for.
Oh and they also have delicious food and FREE POPCORN. It honestly couldn't get better.
Founding Fathers is a Buffalo institution. It's quirky and fun. Somewhat off the beaten path, you will find mostly regulars and locals who are tuned into the hidden gems in Buffalo.
US history memorabilia adorns the walls. If you ask the owner/bartender for some trivia question he will try his best to stump you with questions about the US (geography, history, random facts, etc.). It makes for a fun game!
Help yourself to free popcorn and free nachos (with cheese, jalapenos, salsa, etc). It might sound gross to eat food from a self-serve nacho station but they keep it well stocked and clean.
I've never eaten here and although I've heard the food isn't great, it looked pretty good.
One star off because their beer selection isn't great and their taps either are not clean or are not otherwise well maintained. My Guinness tasted a little off and my friends' IPAs were flat. So we all switched to bottles.
Went here with a friend to grab some drinks after work on a Friday. Once we sat down we were greeted by the female bartender and taken care of right away. Second time around...she was busy chit chatting at the other end with patrons. I was honestly waving around my credit card for 5-8 minutes trying to get her attention.We didn't get any free nachos, but we did get some odd conversation with the bartender asking me what mascoto is...
Eh I'd go again to give it another try.
This place gets packed and service can be slow because they often only have one guy working the whole place - which in my opinion is a little nuts. But the energy there is really great! So if you are looking for a place to hang out with friends, have a few drinks, and not in a rush, FF will do you well. The food is meh and can be slow to come out so I'd suggest dinner someplace else. But solid drinking bar, for sure.
How soon we forget!
Ah, this bar. So many memories. So much fun had here.
This bar is history themed and I never get bored looking at all the stuff on the walls!
If you haven't experienced Mike the bartender's trivia then you truly haven't lived. Although I've maybe gotten one question right in my trivia career it's way too fun to participate.
Anyways. Decent Beer Selection usually with a seasonal on tap, Full bar. Reasonable prices. Friendly staff. Smaller menu with Specials. Most importantly FREE NACHOS and POPCORN... because who doesn't love FREE food!
If you plan on going here with a big group get there before 9 or 10 (weekend) because the bar gets packed, seats get filled quickly. There are a bunch of tables in the back for both casual seating as well as table service. I'd suggest table service if the bar is packed. Just easier.
Hands down one of my favorite spots in Buffalo.
From the moment I walked in until the moment I left, I couldn't stop thinking, I've always wanted to be a regular a neighborhood bar, and this is exactly what I would want it to be like.
I had just taken the NY bar exam in a foreign land. Relieved, feeling celebratory, I got together with some people I had just met and we walked down the street in the freezing night to come to Founding Fathers.
It's a cozy little space with really fun decor, in the form of frames, place mats, flags, you name it. The beer selection is great, and I decided i had to try this one called Eurotrash Pilz. Not disappointing at all. Finished off the night with some whisky gingers and a few helpings of free nachos.
Overall just a fun, relaxed atmosphere with friendly people, affordable drinks, and now a bit of nostalgia.
Thanks for a fitting last night in Buffalo. Hope to be back some day soon!
The first time I visited Founding Fathers, I was viciously ill from a terrible burger. I was frustrated. The bar was too hot. The service was lousy. My imported bottled beer was at the wrong temperature and in an ill-fitting glass. I couldn't find the bathroom. I railed against the place.
Since writing that review, I have visited pretty much every single bar, bar/restaurant, pub, tavern, and etc. within a mile and a half-radius of Founding Fathers. As poorly as I do regard the establishment... the rest are so much worse that F.F. absolutely shines like a beacon in the desert. It is what Glen Rice was to the Charlotte Hornets of the 1990's, excellent by comparison. So yes, I have been back more than a few times. I understand its flaws and its virtues far more. Feel free to read my original review for a sense of the place. In the meantime, some tips.
Simply put... do NOT order the food. Tasteless at best, sickening at worst, uncreative across the board, you will feel cheated. Most days, the bar offers free popcorn and chips (with salsa, hot melted cheese, and jalapenos accompanying). The mechanism inside the popcorn dispenser doesn't do a good job of keeping the popcorn warm, and they do produce an ungodly amount in one go, so the offering you select will likely be both lukewarm and stale. Oh well. Regarding the nachos, the cheese seems to sit, and sit, and sit, and sit. The jalapenos are constantly replenished though and easily the most flavorful of any of the food items offered in the entire bar/restaurant. Go after these if you want.
This is not a place for craft beer per se. Although the selection has evolved a bit, offerings are limited, and glassware and temperature are uniform. Don't expect either the variety or careful treatment of a Blue Monk, Gene McCarthy's, et cetera. Meanwhile, this is certainly not a place for mixed drinks. What I mean is that while Mike and his staff can prepare rudimentary drinks (think Jack 'n Cokes, kamikazes, G&T's, and so on), glassware, equipment, liquor breadth, ingredients, and ultimately skill are all lacking. Lastly, Founding Fathers is not a place to relax with a glass of wine or a nice scotch neat. Again, selection is miserable. So temper your expectations across the board and think as simply as you can.
On any given night, the best seat in the house is likely at the bar rather than at one of the rather tackily-decorated tables. Mike, the owner, is a personality unique to Buffalo and relishes engaging anyone within shouting distance in impromptu battles of wits. This can be a saving grace if you're there alone, else with a buddy you're tired of talking with. Else, his incessant prodding is meddlesome and frankly quite irritating. If you seek conversation with a companion, sit at a table... or go somewhere else. Unique in Buffalo, Mike's personality definitely qualifies Founding Fathers as a Japanese style "Master Bar."
ATMOSPHERE AND CLIENTELE:
Founding Fathers is unique for the area. It doesn't cater to the Allentown arty scene or to the Allentown weekend night trashy scene. Undergraduates are nowhere to be found. Unlikely to be found are lounge lizards, suits, bros, or clubgoers as you would on Chippewa. Founding Fathers is Buffalo's Land of Misfit Toys, and I suppose there's something to be said for that, a key contributor to making it one of the best places in a mile and a half either way. I must stress that Founding Fathers is NOT a place to come seeking a hookup but might be a place to encounter a few now rather awkward grown-ups who never quite found their clique in high school.
So long as you temper your expectations and understand the establishment's limitations, it is quite possible to enjoy a nice... Coors Lite... or Jack 'n Coke... or improperly poured Franziskaner. After all, Founding Fathers is one of the best of the pubs immediately around Allentown, if only by comparison.
I had just arrived back in town after a three hour longer than expected Amtrak ordeal. I was starving and trudging back from Exchange Street. I made a turn onto Edward Street, saw Founding Fathers, remembered it had fantastic ratings on Yelp (though I hadn't in fact read any), and decided to plunk myself down for a burger and a beer. Founding Fathers apologists will say that I already set myself up for failure.
But I walked in, I tried to catch someone's eye to grab a table but couldn't find any waitress working. Instead, I took a seat at the bar and waited and waited and waited and waited for a harried, attitudinal bar mistress to spare me a look and a menu. I ordered a hefeweizen and a burger. And boy was I looking forward to that brew. The interior of the bar was almost as warm as the sweltering July afternoon outside.
When my beer did at last arrive, it was quite a bit warmer than any hefeweizen has any right to be, served at nearly stout temperature. Whatever. Drinking it made me less hungry.
So the burger arrived. On a neat little paper plate. On a toasted grade school cafeteria-like sesame bun. Big blobs of low quality cheddar had dripped all over low quality slightly stale potato chips from who knows where. The burger had no flavor. The cheese had overwhelming "cheese food" flavor. Whatever. I was starving. I had ordered it. I was gonna eat it. And I did. My food was bad. It was a Yelp two-star burger. But by 10:00 p.m. that night, I wished I hadn't. I was sick. I was wretching. I was ruing my decision to ever set foot in the place.
Since then, I have actually taken the time to read the reviews of Founding Fathers on this website. Some excerpts: "The food isn't great that's true." "I suggest staying away from the food." "it does have cool stuff on the wall and the people there are friendly, but the food is pretty terrible." "Okay, I love Founding Fathers, as a bar. The food is terrible!" "As so many have said, the food is terrible. And I hate to say it, because I really like FF, but I've never had good food there." And these come from POSITIVE reviews of the place. Wow! I expect that some of these Founding Fathers apologists would suggest that, as a pub, food isn't what you should be going for. I would opine that: 1) A pub is different than a bar, and 2) Any establishment with a menu has a first obligation to providing good food.
Right. So my burger was an utter mess. My beer was warm. The inside of the bar was yet warmer. Service was poor. Let's get to atmosphere. Sure, I'm a nerd. Sure, I can name each president of our beloved union and most of the V.P.'s, too. Sure, I own each of the Edmund Morris bios (three on Teddy Roosevelt, one on Reagan). But you know what? Having a whole lot of stuff on a wall, no matter what it is, doesn't impress me much. T.G.I. Friday's has a lot of stuff on its walls. Outback has yet more. Yet people don't go for the atmosphere there. Merely having stuff on a wall is a wash.
Y'know, I'm glad that a whole bunch of Buffalonians have made great memories at Founding Fathers. I hear that it's been doing the same thing day in and day out for decades. But y'know what? This is 2013. Buffalo doesn't have NYC or Toronto style pubs yet, but it's on its way, and there are a heck of a lot of better pubs in the city already, with more on their way. Founding Fathers, get your act together. Fix your awful menu. Fix the temperature of your drinks. Make sure that a non-regular can actually get a drink and some attention.
Food: one star
Drinks: two stars
Service: one star
Atmosphere: three stars
Overall: two stars, but I'm giving it a one for literally inducing vomit. Read more
Business info summary
- 11:30 am - 1:00 am Open now
- Price range
- Under $10
|Mon||11:30 am - 1:00 am|
|Tue||11:30 am - 1:00 am||Open now|
|Wed||11:30 am - 1:00 am|
|Thu||11:30 am - 1:00 am|
|Fri||11:30 am - 2:00 am|
|Sat||12:00 pm - 4:00 am|
|Sun||5:00 pm - 11:00 pm|
More business info
- Takes Reservations
- Accepts Credit Cards
- Good For
- Late Night
- Bike Parking
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Good for Kids
- Good for Groups
- Noise Level
- Good For Dancing
- Full Bar
- Happy Hour
- Best Nights
- Thu, Fri, Sat
- Coat Check
- Outdoor Seating
- Has TV
- Waiter Service
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