By on 24 January, 2011 in Bars, Food, Fun, Kate and Stephen, Municipal business with 4 Comments

For a long time after moving to Montgomery, we weren’t sure what Bud’s was.

We’d asked around and heard a rumor or two that it was a bar. But what kind of bar? Why did it seem like it wasn’t open? Why were there no windows to the outside world? Once or twice we tried to find out, but happened to pull on the front door and find it locked. Was this some sort of private club? If it’s a bar, why is there no sign saying “Bud’s bar?” There are not signs advertising drink specials. Why is there a doorbell by the front door? Will we need to know a secret password?

As it turns out, we just had bad timing. One day we pulled up to the parking lot behind the dry cleaners and pulled on the door to find it open. Immediately, we felt at home. This is the kind of bar that we’d been looking for. They’ve got draft beer. They’ve got pool tables. They show sports. And it’s walking distance from our house. We raised our arms in triumphant victory. Not only had we solved the mystery, we had access to an outstanding local bar. And we didn’t even need a password.

Over the years, we’ve shot many a game of pool at Bud’s. We’ve sampled all of the meatless items on the menu and heard from our meat-eating friends about the fantastic hamburgers that we were missing out on. The menu also includes beef brisket sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, nachos, potato skins, and the other sort of standard gastro-pub fare.

We’ve been there when we were the only folks in the house, and we’ve been there when the place has been absolutely slammed with a nice mix of Huntington students and townies. We’ve seen the beers on tap rotate from Stella to Sweetwater. We’ve weathered the seasons from shiny short party dresses to winter football sweatshirts and scarves — and even though we always come home smelling like smoke, we keep coming back for more.

Bud’s is just a great neighborhood bar. There are lots of TVs – 9 in front (if you count the new one that shows only ads, which you shouldn’t), five in back and two on the side. This means that you can come in to watch basically any game and ensure you’ll be able to see it.We think they have the various digital packages that enable you to see more than just the standard games on cable.

There’s satellite radio (often tuned to an awesome ’90s station), an old school tabletop shuffleboard, and a bowling video game. Of course, we wish they had a pinball game – as far as we know, Montgomery just lost its only pinball machine with the closure of Five Brothers BBQ out on the Boulevard (but we’d love it if someone proved us wrong). And we appreciate that the Bud’s pool tables are never broken, are reasonably level and well cared for. Even the cues (in our amateur opinions) are pretty great.

It’s that rare neighborhood joint that has regulars but isn’t insular. Bud’s has quality beer and strong drinks, but isn’t super expensive. It turns out that there is actually a Bud – he owns this place and the nearby Jubilee seafood restaurant – and the bar been serving up beer and sports for roughly 13 years now. The sports are even passably ecumenical, with soccer fans welcomed during the World Cup. The average sports intelligence sitting at the bar at Bud’s beats most places in town, and you can always find a good crowd to watch whatever game here … though we’re not sure about hockey. Are there hockey fans in Montgomery?

Aside from the quibble about smokiness, Bud’s has a great atmosphere — from the hospitable bartenders to the amusing bathroom graffiti. A place being our neighborhood bar wouldn’t by itself qualify it to merit multiple return visits. But Bud’s is legitimately quality and we’re glad to call it home.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with a cat, a dog, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Jay Croft says:

    Sorry, but I won’t go into a place where the smoke fumes are evident outside the building. Surely thie fumes would affect the quality of the food.

  2. John P. says:

    I sadly have to agree with Jay, as I don’t think there’s a smokier bar in Montgomery. I am curious, though, as to the meatless options on the menu, as I don’t recall there being many, other than fries.

  3. Stephen says:

    We’re non-smokers. We see the smoke as a bit of a bummer, but not a deal breaker. We hope they’ll save up and splurge one day on one of those mega HVAC systems that can expel smoke. Smoking venues don’t have to be dense with toxic fog, but it’s a cost.

    As for meatless menu items, we’ve had the nachos, the fries, and just tried the tasty potato skins minus the bacon. There may be one or two other things too that are escaping my memory. Meat eaters rave about the Kobe beef used in the burgers.

  4. Lori says:

    There is a great pinball machine at Chris’ Hot Dogs!

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