Step into another climate as you enter Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar just down the street from Syracuse University. As soon as you take a seat at a table made out of a surfboard and sip on your Corona with lime, your goose bumps from the perpetual winter outside will melt away. The West Coast-inspired décor provides plenty to gawk at. From movie posters dating back to the 1950's to license plates from nearly every state, not an inch of the bright blue walls is left uncovered by tropical design. You'll feel more like you're in Hawaii or California than in Syracuse, N.Y.
When to Go: Lucy's is only open from Tuesday through Saturday, with Sundays and Mondays reserved for private parties and special occasions. Since it is a favorite of many SU college students, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights are its busiest, often requiring much time and patience just to make it through the long line at the door. Once inside, the young, fun atmosphere proves to be worth the wait, with a live disc jockey on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights and a disco ball spinning always. The bottom line: It usually gets crowded around 11:30 p.m. or midnight, so beat the line and get there as early as you can. Plus, bottles of Corona are just $2.00 each if you get there before 11 p.m. on Thursdays!
On Tap: Ask anyone. Lucy's is famous for Fishbowls. A liquor-based drink that many don't realize comes in 20 different flavors, the Fishbowl varies from size small (one pint) to large (about two and a half pints). Order the standard Fishbowl, and the bartenders will whip you up a rum punch drink. Ask for a list of Fishbowl flavors, however, and discover the Key Lime Sunset, the Georgia Peach flavor, or even the Laguna Lip-smacker Fishbowl which contains both citrus- and raspberry-flavored vodkas. Also, don't forget about the rest of the drinks Lucy's has to offer. Not only is it the largest distributor of Corona in Upstate New York (check the sign to the right of the door when you walk in if you don't believe it), but it also has more than 10 beers on tap, ranging from local brews like Syracuse Pale Ale, to more well-known beers like Blue Moon, and a wide variety of hard liquors. The bottom line: Anybody over the age of 21 will be satisfied bellying up to this bar.
Blue Plate Special: There isn't one. Lucy's hasn't served food in more than 10 years, so be sure to hit up one of the many Marshall Street establishments before throwing a few back at this retired surfers bar. The bottom line: You're going to need to eat somewhere else before trying all the beers and Fishbowls Lucy's has to offer.
The Scene: Sit in the lifeguard chair that towers above the crowd as you gaze at the Pacific-inspired artwork and design that makes Lucy's so warm in chilly Syracuse. Painted on the wall when you walk in is the message, “Stay stoked for life,” which isn't hard to do in such a happy environment. Signs prohibit patrons from doing cannonballs, flips and twists, running, pushing, splashing and diving, but there is no sign that says you can't have fun. The bottom line: Don't come expecting to be bored. Lucy's practically doesn't allow it.
The Crew: The owner used to work at Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar in New York City before moving back to Syracuse 15 years ago and transforming the former Bugsy's into an extension of Lucy's. The New York Lucy's has since closed, but there are still locations in New Orleans and Costa Rica. The bartenders and bar-backs are mostly college students and local young people, and they have perfected the art of making every kind of Fishbowl. Don't mess with the bouncers, though. Lucy's strongly enforces the drinking age of 21 and has seen (and rejected) plenty of fake IDs. The bottom line: Don't even try it. You won't get in unless you are 21.
The Crowd: Lucy's fills up with SU students on most nights, especially Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Come on an SU game day, though and many parents and locals fill the bar stools and beach benches to watch pregame shows and grab a quick drink before or after the game. There are plenty of flat-screen TVs hanging from the ceilings and walls too, so feel free to skip the game and watch in the comfort of Lucy's. The bottom line: Students crowd the place at night, but it's anybody's bar during game time.
The Deets: If you were starting to think this place couldn't sound any better, you're wrong. Lucy's offers a drink special every night from Tuesday through Saturday. On Tuesday nights, you can get two domestic beers for the price of one and pints of draft beers are two for $5. Wednesday night offers well drinks at two for the price of one, which is $5, and Thursday nights is their progressive Corona night, when bottles of Corona are only $2 each before 11 p.m., $2.50 each from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., and $3 from 1 a.m. to last call. Frozen Friday offers $4 frozen margaritas, daiquiris, and pina coladas, with an additional special of of bucket of four Miller High Life bottles for only $6 total. On Saturday night, ladies can get bottles of Blue Light Lime for just $1 each and pints of Shock Top are just $3.50 until 1 a.m. Also, mini pitchers of Yuengling Lager and Keystone Light are just $3.75 until 1 a.m. The bottom line: Aloha, and welcome to Syracuse, N.Y. You can't go wrong at Lucy's.
Profile by Jordan Walker