One evening early in my freshman year, my new roommate and I were looking for a place close by to eat dinner. Already sick of cafeteria food and unfamiliar with the area, I tried to remember anywhere my brother – a Gannon alum – had referred to fondly.
It hit me: the Plymouth Tavern. I specifically recalled him saying he liked to go the Plymouth.
A quick check of Google maps revealed that it was only about a 10-minute walk from Finegan Hall, so we set off down State Street.
I found the brick building quaint, with its green awnings and old wooden doors. I only got a glimpse of the inside since we chose to eat outside on the patio, but it appeared to be the standard bar. Bonus: free freshly popped popcorn.
The menu, too, was standard, offering salads, burgers, deli fare and sides. Even though the selection didn’t blow me away, I was thrilled by the prices. Most entrees came in around $5. I went with a $3 grilled cheese sandwich. It was very basic – no tomato, peppers or mayo – but cooked well and definitely tasty.
My roommate was less satisfied with her Philly steak, complaining that it had too much cheese or not enough onions or something. As if too much cheese is a problem.
Later, when I told my brother I dined at his favorite haunt, he sounded troubled.
“I thought you said that was a good place to eat?” I asked.
“I said it was a good place to drink,” he responded pointedly.
And it is.
The Plymouth boasts 25-cent drafts 8-11 p.m. on Mondays, $2 domestic beers 9-11 p.m. Wednesdays and $1 imports 9-11 p.m. Thursday.
There are specials for the weekend crowd as well. Most single mixed drinks are priced at $2 during Happy Hour (5:30-7:30 p.m.) on Fridays, and all bottled light beers are $2 10 p.m. to midnight. Saturdays have $3.25 martinis, $2.25 Blue Moons or Sam Adams, and $1.25 Labatt’s bottles.
Chad Kaltenbach, a sophomore nursing major, said those prices are the reason he goes to the Plymouth.
“[It’s] a college kid’s only hope of getting [messed] up with a pocketful of quarters,” Kaltenbach said.
For Andrew Kalata, a senior sports management major, the prices are the only reason.
“Cheap drinks, great specials and horrible service,” Kalata said.
Part of the problem with service seems to be limited seating.
Charles Lear, a senior education major, said he’s encountered this issue plenty of times before.
“I hope you like to stand while you drink,” Lear said.
When it comes to the Plymouth, you may sacrifice food or service quality in favor of a good deal on drinks.
Given the tavern’s popularity, it seems that most of Erie has chosen the latter.