Well, they finally went ahead and just named a local bar "The Saltine Warrior". The big part is living up to the name. So AndyKinsella, StealthTurkey and Pinker went to go check it out.
214 W Water St
Syracuse, NY 13202
You could also say the Saltine Warrior is here. It was our discontinued, non-PC mascot, now immortalized in statue form on the SU campus.
The Saltine Warrior is off on a side street from from Clinton Square, but not the Hanover side! Used to be the Syracuse Suds, then a grocery store. Its come full circle back to a bar. Such is life.
Now that I'm a little bit older (34) Ive found the crowded bar scene to be more and more distasteful. That's just me. The "being sardine packed into a bar waiting 20 minutes for a drink with music playing full blast" places have kind of already lost their luster.
So that being said, and this being Syracuse, there are 3 things I'm going to look for in a sports bar:
- Its not packed to the absolute gills
- Reasonable drink prices
- Huge TVs. The bigger to see Cuse with.
Also, I'm not there for the cuisine. If they serve pub fare, great, but I'm not going to hold their feet over the fire when they're already providing the important things.
As for my visit, I mett up with AndyKinsella and StealthTurkey to check the place out, and a couple of my old friends were coming along as well. I was one of 3 patrons when I showed up, very quiet when I got there at 11:30am, and I was worried to begin with that a Cuse sports themed bar may have almost NO ONE IN IT for a Cuse football game. My fears were unfounded, and by kickoff there was a decent crowd. Not too packed,thank goodness. I hate large crowds. Its one of the reasons I live in Syracuse still after all this time. I think I may have mentioned this before.
Here is a close up of the exterior.
TVs- Toshibas- 5 42" and 4 46" 120 Hz. Lots of blue and orange pastiches throughout the bar, a nice flourish here and there. Its not gaudy right now, and almost a bit spartan on the inside in terms of the decoration one would usually associate with a bar associating with a team (see Tullys Dewitt - Cuse, Chadwicks - Steelers), but thats ok. Those things take time.
I hope time is something the Saltine Warrior has on its side. Its close enough to Armory (5 min walk) to be handy, so I hope they get the foot traffic to keep it going.
Its nice to have a "Cuse bar" in Cuse, and one that's obviously going for the demographic of local Cuse fans.
Cuse Themed Tables and tiles underneath, a nice touch.
A nice pic of Ol' Archbold Stadium. There is not too much in the way of memorabilia up on the walls yet, but I would imagine they would be adding more- in light on continued future success of their establishment?
As for their most recent issues, they lost their liquor license briefly for one week a couple weeks ago. The owner got a provisional extension for liquor license, manager is very positive it will be resolved shortly. They are currently serving sweet sweet booze as of now.
There is a decent selection of Ales on tap. Seems like there is something for everyone, and some nice regional and local choices too!
- Harp lager
- Arrogant Bastard Ale
- Spaten Octoberfest
- UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen
- Sam Adams lager
- Sam Adams Octoberfest
- Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald 8%
- Southern Tier IPA
- Dogfish 60 Minute IPA
- Middle ages Syracuse pale ale
- Omegang IPA
- Shock Top Belgian white
- And of course... Bud and Bud Light
There was a full liquor selection, good scotch and bourbon selection featuring Macallan, Oban, Red and Black label , Makers Mark and Knob Creek. They were running a pregame special of $2.50 for a pint of Bud, if youre into that sort of thing. Afterwards pints were about 3.50-4 bucks for some of the local/regional brews. My rum n diets were about $4 bucks a piece.
- Toshiba TVs (5) 42" and (4) 46" 120 Hz LCDs - very nice, well located around the bar.
- Big Buck Hunter - This or Golden Tee golf seems to be the game of choice for all upstate NY bars.
- Electronic dartboard
- Digital jukebox
- Free popcorn, with old timey popper for self serve.
- Outside smoking area where tables are in the Warner months
The menu is uninspired pub fare for the most part and is nothing to write home about. There are a few staples, nachos, chicken fingers, they make pizza on site, which is a nice touch. The nachos were uncreative that I ordered, and covered in whole raw onion rings and an overabundance of cheez whiz. Id say whatever, but with chicken they cost $8.50, so I was expecting some more volume and quality, not something a drunk 17 yo would throw together with spare fridge fixings at the end of a night of partying.
The service was great right up until the point where I asked to close out my tab, then it seemed to take the wait staff a while to close it out (about 10 minutes, and I had to ask twice about it)
Andy Kinsella ordered a half pepperoni/half chicken bacon ranch pizza. It was pretty greasy and a bit too thin crusted for my liking, and not a lot of care and effort seemed to go into the chicken bacon ranch side of the house. It was serviceable, but nothing to right home about. And Andy said and I agree with - its hard to get a slice at the bar anywhere.
The wings looked ok, but I did not get an order, as I was already in for 6 rum n diets and an order of nachos. They're all mostly just melted butter and Franks Red Hot anyways, so if you've had that once, that's pretty much what they taste like? They looked well sized..
My friends Tim and Kati shared a pita and hummus plate, which was gone within serving two groups of people. We got word they "ran out" of ingredients. They enjoyed it.
Serves you a pour to your table see pics. Run a tab and select your brews! The drawback - they only serve Bud/Bud Light right now at the tables.
So, if we need a Nunesmagician hangout for games, Id say the Saltine Warrior is a great location - wether youre in the city, or on the west or east, north or south side, its centrally located a couple minutes off 81 or 690. Parking is good since its off on a side street and not downtown, beer selection and TVs good - the food is passable, and they've got a nice space.
Nunes Crew, should we consider and anoint it if deemed satisfactory for an "unofficial" official hangout?
Here's the Yelp reviews as well. 4 stars out of 5 after 2 views on Yelp:
Downtown Syracuse is scoring a new sports pub, in the Amos Building next to Clinton Square
Saltine Warrior Sports Pub aims to open in Syracuse Aug. 24