Firkin Tavern in Ewing, NJ offers a variety in games and activities to a diverse crowd in a lively atmosphere. The bar staff is just as warm to each other, as they are to the customers.
“We’re like a family,” Catie Brandt said, a 22 year-old waitress who has been at Firkin Tavern for five years.
“I like the fact that the all the employees know each other. You make a lot of friends with the customers, too.”
Firkin Tavern is located just outside of Trenton and the theme boosts originality from all angles. The menu features specials such as Chicken Parmesan Egg Rolls for $8.99 and Lamb Loin Chops for $14.99.
Faith Stevens is a manager who has worked at Firkin Tavern for five years.
“I have not seen any other bar that has Ithaca Apricot Wheat beer,” she said.
Another unique attribute at this tavern is the smorgasbord of activities within the game room. This area features pool tables, arcade golf, dart boards, foosball, shuffleboard, air-hockey, an arcade hunting game, and TVs for sports entertainment.
Justin Clauser is a 31 year-old bartender who has worked at Firkin Tavern for six years.
“Every Sunday throughout the season, we have football on this huge projector TV,” he said.
The game room has a weekly schedule for certain activities.
“We have free Texas Holdem on Mondays and Wednesdays,” Stevens said.
“Wednesday is pool league night and we have two teams here, as well.”
Aside from the plethora of activities in the game room, customers can help themselves to a deck of Trivial Pursuit cards that are conveniently available at the bar.
It would seem fitting that a bar with such diverse activity would attract diverse genres of cliental. However, this could be due to the tavern’s location.
“We get our Merrill Lynch office-type crowd, the college crowd, and the local yokels of course,” Clauser said.
“We are a nice little watering hole for drinking where all the different groups can come together.”
According to Stevens, the college cliental is generally from nearby Ryder University and the College of New Jersey.
“Friday night is usually a younger crowd and Saturday night tends to be older,” she said.
“The office crowd comes in around happy hour, and then the college customers come in later on after 11.”
Happy hour is from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. every weekday. It features 50 cents off of all beer and liquor drinks with appetizers being half-off as well, said Stevens.
Draft beer at Firkin Tavern is $5 and is quite different from the typical beer-on-tap selection. A few of the uniquely featured drafts are Blue Point Blueberry Ale, Ithaca Apricot Wheat, Magners Irish Cider, and Boddingtons Pub Ale.
Aside from novelty beer, the bar boosts its own signature cocktails. The drink menu features The Fearless Firkin, which contains Amaretto, Southern Comfort, Sloe Gin, Absolute Vodka, Triple Sec, and a bit of orange juice. Also in this menu are The Freaky Firkin and The Forbidden Firkin.
Also, the tavern has its own original blend of martinis such as Firkin-Tini, which is a mix of Cruzan Coconut Rum, DeKuyper Peach Schnapps, pineapple juice, and a hint of Sprite. Another interesting martini is the Chocolate Raspberry Martini.
“People that work here are all professional bartenders,” Bill said, who declined to provide his last name.
He has long resided in Ewing and has been a patron of Firkin Tavern since it opened. Also, he is a bartender himself by trade and has spent 26 years in law enforcement, he said.
According to Bill, the bartenders are very consistent.
“It is a cool place to hang out and the perfect neighborhood bar,” he said.
As always, food and drink run hand-in-hand, so the menu is just as unique as the rest of the bar.
Instead of appetizers, try Firkin Starters that feature the bar’s own Firkin Skins for $7.99.
Also, there is an entrée called Firkin Irish Bangers n Smashed for $12.99. This plate contains Irish Banger Sausages served over mashed potatoes with a beer and onion gravy.
Another choice is the Watch Your Firkin Figure selection for the more diet conscious eater. The Turkey Burger for $7.99 is under this genre; it contains 393 calories, 22 carbs, and 8g of fiber.
Simply put, entertainment variety is the key characteristic to Firkin Tavern. It draws multiple types of crowds to its theme of varied drinks, foods, and activities.
“It is so diverse in here,” Stevens said. “You will never know what kind of crowd you’re going to get.”
“Busy nights are exciting and on quieter nights it’s just cozy,” Brandt said.
According to Clauser, it is a central hub for all the different types of crowds.
The activities are plentiful at Firkin Tavern and it is easy to fit into the mixed crowd. For more information, check-out their website at www.firkintavern.com.