I decided to give Mario's a try last night (11/08/2007) for some wings and a pens game and overall I was pleased with the experience.
Probably the first thing I noticed was that no one was smoking, and after I sat down at the bar the bar tender informed me the side I was sitting on (Mario's) was actually non smoking now, and that the other side (blue lous) was smoking.fantastic.it was great leaving later and not reeking of cigarette smoke, and oddly enough, it seamed that as the night went on, the non-smoking side became far busier than the smoking side.
A couple of things I also noticed, the room was VERY clean. The floors looked newly refinished, the bar and all the wires that use to be there were all cleaned up and even the moose head was gone!
The overall aesthetics of the place have always reminded me of an upstate New York bar or something similar and the refreshed look of the place was very well done.
The bathrooms were also completely refinished and were very well done.
They were well lit and very clean so I was more than happy, especially considering the state that they use to be in.
There was a small crowd of about 30 people sitting at the bar and the tables and they had the pens game plastered on the big screens behind the bar with the game on over the house sound system.
My buddy and I order hot wings, and chipotle bbq wings, which were large and tasty and I think they were half off as well, not sure if the special was for happy hour or the game.
We also attempted to order appetizers because they were half off as we were told, but they seemed to be out of the first two things we ordered (crab dip & wontons) so we settled for potato skins, which were also good, especially at half price.
The bar staff was attentive and my buddy and I have no problems keeping our glasses full.
We were drinking mostly import drafts and they were equally priced with most other places in S.Side. We were not doing any shots but I though I over heard someone say that Jager shots were only $2.25? Whoa!
Id rate Mario's an 8 because of the change in smoking restrictions, attentive bar staff, good wings, great atmospheres, and nice bathrooms.
However they lose points for a few small things; our plates sat on the bar for literally and hour and a half, although our drinks were kept full, the bartender just wouldn't touch our plates.
They also were out of the first two appetizers we asked for, and the bartender actually told us that they were out of a lot more.
While its not uncommon to run out of things, being out of so many was kind of ridiculous.
I would definitely return to Mario's and probably will in the near future.