Growing up in Harker Heights, I sort of looked down on the Veterans Memorial Boulevard strip. In my adolescence, I viewed the tattoo parlors, liquor stores and bars that lined the street as sketchy or rough. But that notion might have changed for me this past weekend.
I wandered into a long-standing pub with the bar set astoundingly low, and walked out a changed man. I am now a believer that Busters Sports Bar and Grill is the finest drinking establishment in the area.
After taking five steps inside Busters, I was immediately greeted by the owner, Russell Meyer, a tall, mustached man with a deep voice and a striking resemblance to actor Sam Elliott. We chatted for a bit, drinking beer while covering his history with the bar he bought in September 2010.
“My goal is for this bar to have the best customer service, finest food and safest environment possible,” Meyer said. “So far, I think we’re doing a great job.” I agreed.
I held off eating any food while my mouth watered from the aromas rising from my neighbors’ plates. I noticed a lot of the regulars were eating chicken wings.
“We’re kind of known around here for our chicken wings,” Meyer said.
After the smell of delicious food dissipated, I could focus on the bar itself. I sat back and questioned how I initially missed all the TVs surrounding me.
“There are 22 TVs in here,” Meyer said, “Last I checked, that was the most in the area, and no one else has a TV this big.”
He pointed to a gigantic 80-inch flat-screen mounted on the wall. “I’m a huge Rangers and Cowboys fan, so when they’re on, they’ll be on the 80-inch,” he said.
I grabbed my beer and moved to a table where four regulars sat. There I met Mack, two Jeffs, and Mr. Bill, all retired veterans who showed a penchant for wisecracking while making smart-aleck remarks. Each man seemed to be enjoying their afternoon at Busters.
“I have been a regular here for 22 years,” said Mr. Bill, a retired Army colonel. “I come back for the good food and good company.”
Mack, a 14-year regular, said Busters always has been very welcoming. “We were all new here once, but now we’re the old guys...well, not as old as him,” he said, pointing to Mr. Bill.
I was really enjoying the atmosphere and environment. My new friends and I sat watching sports and enjoying one another’s company. Despite being about 20 years younger than them, I felt welcomed by the group, whether it was for my fun-loving personality, or the round I bought for the house.
I wrapped up at Busters and said goodbye. It may have been 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday, but I had a great time. I hope my next visit will be just as enjoyable. And one thing’s for sure: I won’t wait very long to find out.