Tailgators features sports bar feel, no smoke

Paul Goebel

For a friendly place with a smoke-free environment and good food, check out Tailgators Sports Pub and Grub.

The neighborhood bar and grill opened in June 2006 at 21st Street and Urish Road in Topeka. At that time Topeka didn’t have a smoke-free bar. But here’s the good news for smokers, you can join the fun too! The smoking section is actually a separate room next to the main lounge. A window between the two areas lets patrons see each other and still choose between smoking or non-smoking.

Chris Proffitt, who co-owns the bar with Mike Gassen and Staci Dillingham, thinks that the smoke-free policy, along with Tailgators’ neighborhood pub atmosphere has helped make it a success.

“I do think our approach to the smoking has really brought in customers,” said Proffitt.

J.D. Armstrong, a Washburn employee, agrees.

“It provides an environment where everyone can feel comfortable,” said Armstrong.

A dozen 42-inch flat panel TVs plus a 100-inch high definition projection set give customers lots of choices on sports programming. The smoking patio also has five screens for viewing.

My first visit to the pub was shortly after its opening last year, and I was impressed. The service is fast and friendly, and prices are very reasonable. A favorite special is the 50 cent tacos for lunch every Tuesday. Served with lots of extras, including tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers and cream cheese, these hard shell tacos are meaty, tasty and a bargain. The pub offers daily food and drink specials, including hot wings, bar-b-que and a wide variety of sandwiches and more. Armstrong recommended the Philly steak sandwich.

“Try it with A1 sometime,” said Armstrong. “It’s great!”

Armstrong encourages Washburn student to visit Tailgators.

“It’s a great place to hang out,” said Armstrong.

Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Tailgators welcomes the under 21 crowd during kitchen hours, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. A DJ spins tunes for the dance floor Thursdays and Saturdays.

See its MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/tailgators_pub for more details.