ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Plenty of Western New Yorkers will head out in search of Bills bars Sunday to watch their team open the season in Baltimore.
But one bar in particular has the distinction of being the Bills bar where the Bills go.
Big Tree Inn sits at the corner of Abbott Road and Route 20A, just a few football throws away from New Era field. And as the countless autographed pictures lining the wall attest, it's gained quite a reputation since it Danny DeMarco opened it 36 years ago.
"A lot of the players have been here through the years and they're still good friends of mine," says DeMarco. "They really helped me out a lot and they're really like part of the family at the Big Tree."
That's evident in everything from Andre Reed giving the restaurant a shout-out in his Hall of Fame speech to Rex Ryan, Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas using the bar as a backdrop for Ryan's first big interview in Buffalo (the cover of that Sports Illustrated issue is blown up and lit in the back of the bar).
Beyond the packed Bills Sundays, Big Tree Inn also built a reputation for tasty food- from the fried-then-grilled cajun wings to the open-faced steak sandwich to the personal pan pizzas made with recipes DeMarco borrowed from a friend who owned a pizzeria. Unique Eats sampled and enjoyed just about all of them -- and also found a family who drove all the way from Corning to check out the food.
If you do check out Big Tree Inn on a Bills Sunday, get there early -- the crowd will be huge inside (and outside as well during home games).
"It's nuts," says DeMarco. "You've got to deal with a lot of different people but in the long run, it's fun. It's more fun when they win."
Big Tree Inn
4277 Abbott Rd.
Orchard Park, NY 14127
(© 2016 WGRZ)