Sports bar offers good times to all

There is a party of six women in a sports bar. What is there for them to do, considering that they are not there with any men, and most of the group does not even follow sports?

The answer: Have a great time.

The scene: AJ’s Sports Grill & Bar. Even on a slow night, a Wednesday, these six women are having a ball.

AJ’s, located at 1800 W. Tennessee St., has a classic sports bar ambiance. There are 12 satellites to pick up various sporting events outside of the Tallahassee area that aren’t shown nationally. There are also two additional satellites for other events. There are three different bar areas: one in the facility, another on the new outside deck-the Lemonade Stand-and a third on the upstairs deck, where patrons can view the city.

Bo Crusoe, who has been AJ’s bar manager for the last nine months, said the upstairs deck is utilized on Tuesdays, when there is a disc jockey, on Fridays and Saturdays when there is a live band and for private parties.

“The price (for the party) depends on the amount of people and the different drink specials they want,” Crusoe said. “We can provide food, and I’m friends with a guy that owns his own deejay business-he could get here in about 20 minutes.”

Crusoe said customers are the backbone of the bar, and his staff does everything possible to please the consumer.

“People come in requesting to see a (particular) game in the bar. We do our best to find that game and air it,” Crusoe said. “We are customer-service oriented. I try to find a chair for everyone on busy nights. We want you to have a seat and have a good time. We are trying to throw a party. Like throwing a party in your home-you provide food, entertainment, you want people to be comfortable-it just happens to be a business.”

On one of the bar’s more popular nights, Tuesdays, AJ’s has “Flippin’ Tuesdays.” It is a night of drink specials with featured $2, $3 and $4 shots. The customer calls a flipped coin in the air; if he or she gets it right, the customer receives the desired shot for free.

Still, the 14-year-old bar offers more than sports on television and your favorite shots for free on Tuesdays.

In “The Pit,” the stage and sitting area, AJ’s features a live acoustic band on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The bar also includes pool tables and English Mark Darts, an electronic dart game that keeps score. Pool games are $7 an hour, $3.50 during happy hour and darts are $14 per team on tournament nights.

But back to women at a sports bar. Crusoe said the staff does not do things to especially attract women because gender is not an issue. He said that there are enough male customers to attract women to come to AJ’s and vice versa.

If you are not into any of the activities mentioned, the food will definitely keep you around. The food is good and relatively inexpensive. Appetizers like jalapeno poppers, chicken strips and mozzarella sticks will definitely hit the spot, and there’s nothing like good eats to add to social outings.

AJ’s has a certain charm and ambiance. And a plus: AJ’s is one of the only sports bar/pool halls you’ll find without the haze a smoke meeting you at the door. Not to say patrons don’t smoke, but there is enough ventilation that you won’t walk out of the bar smelling like a pack of Marlboros.

AJ’s is an excellent place to hang out. A verifiable playground for men and women. Not surprising, since the owners also own Fun Station, the family amusement center. Everyone is sure to enjoy it.

Grade: A

Contact Lindsay Pollard at