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Clark's Ale House

Not Rated.
Clark's Ale HouseClark's Ale House

39 Ratings
Ratings: 39
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 7.19%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

122 West Jefferson Street
Syracuse, New York, 13202
United States
phone: (315) 479-9859
// CLOSED //


We are sad to announce that after 18 wonderful years Clark's Ale House will be closing. Our last day of bsiness will be Saturday September 25 ! (Yes this week !) We apologize for the short notice but circumstances related to the expansion of the Landmark Theatre were beyond our control.

Words cannot describe how grateful we are for the 18 years of your patronage ! Great People respond to Great Ideas - You, the customers, have made Clarks the very special and unique place it has been. We will miss you all !

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 39 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by John:
Photo of John
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%

Visited Clark's last Thursday, 2 Sep 04. The wife and I were headed to town for a concert that evening (Yes w/Dream Theatre - hell yeah!). We decided to head to Syracuse a bit early to catch a bite and a few beers. We arrived at Clark's around 4:30p.m. Showtime was 7:30, so we figured we had about two hours to hang out before heading the fairgrounds to park the car, shuttlebus to the gate and walk to the grandstand. There was street parking available so we parked right in front. It was a lovely day and they offerred outdoor seating so we opted for it, though not before having a look around the inside. The bar area is fair sized with some space at the bar for imbibing and several island tables (or were they peninsular?) with stools across from the bar. There is also seating upstairs and in an adjacent room complete with a red phone box (presumably) from the UK (minus the dirty pixxx). We were immediately greeted by the friendly and knowledgable bar manager/bartender - Abajae (sp?) who was quick with recommendations, samples and banter.

I also learned a interesting bit of trivia. Prior Double Dark, a beer brewed by FX Matt in the late 70s, was on tap during our visit, much to my surprise. It was one of the first out of the ordinary beers I ever drank and I thought it was long gone. Well, the fact is it never went away, it was renamed - Saranac Black Forest. So there you have it.

We enjoyed some tasty brews - fresh cask conditioned MA Impaled Ale (always a fave), Ithaca Flower Power IPA, Lake Placid Frostbite, Ommegang Witte and Spaten Oktoberfest. All very tasty and fresh. While not terribly extensive, there seems to be something on the beer menu for everyone, including buck fifty pints of Genny Cream Ale! ;-) We then finished off our stay with a roast beast sandwich, with horseradish of course, and a Stilton cheese and cracker platter. Satisfaction!

Cash only.

John, Sep 07, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of DrinkbythePond
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%

I was in Syracuse for fishing at a nearby lake, but it was too windy so Saturday was BEER day. We stopped by Clark's in mid-afternoon. I love the setup with barrels outside and inside reminded me of pubs in London. I liked how the beer was sorted by temperature. I wasn't overwhelmed by the selection, but after our other stops for day, we were only there for one. They had a nice mix of styles, local brews, and reliable ones. You can never go wrong with Ommegang Hennepin. The prices seemed right and place was definitely low key. I didn't try the food, but I'd definitely go back for a beer.

DrinkbythePond, May 10, 2010
Photo of skenyon1811
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%

This is my favorite bar in Syracuse, with Dinosaur coming in a very close second.

A: The atmosphere here is very relaxing. There is the bar area downstairs and a lounge/loft area open year round. During nice weather they open up the outside patio.

Q: The quality of the food and beer is top of the line. You can tell the clean the keg lines often. They switch beers out often so they would have to.

Ser: All the employees are great. They are friendly and funny, they never make you wait long for a beer.

Sel: I always love the types of beers they bring in. They are never tight with their samples. My only complaint is that sometimes they favor one type of beer over another. They might have 5 IPAs on tap and 1 Stout.

F: The food is sparse but good. You can get there staple, the roast beef sandwich. They also offer cheese platters and soups. I am a big fan of their pickled eggs.

V: The pricing varies. One beer maybe $3 while the tap next to that is $6. You can always go with a $2 Gennee Cream Ale.

skenyon1811, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of TonyReaves
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%

After Dinosaur BBQ, this is the first bar my Syracuse-dwelling friend took me to, and I can see why. I love the two-story layout. By the bar, there are narrow bench-style tables. Great vibe. Friendly, just the right balance between cozy and upscale (which is to say, leaning more toward cozy).

As the t-shirts on the wall say, Clark's has 22 taps and one sandwich. Didn't try the sandwich, but the taps were a good balance of local and regional breweries. They had a house ale on cask brewed by the local Middle Ages brewery. And as far as I could tell, they had one bottle (besides Kaliber), and that was St. Barnardus 12.

Service was prompt and knowledgeable. They serve full pints of Imperial-strength beers for just a couple dollars more. I can see why it's my friend's main haunt.

TonyReaves, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of animalchin
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%

Being a Syracuse native most of my life - my old man always told me that Clark's was the place to be. I was going there even as a kid to have their incredible roast beef sandwiches - which to this day are still absolutely top-notch.

The atmosphere is what in my opinion a bar should always be like. It's never too crowded, and the people that are there are always willing to talk to others.

I'm pretty sure the bartenders there have been the same people since I can remember. They are VERY knowledgeable about the beer they serve.

The beers on tap usually change when I go - the last time I went I was lucky enough to try the Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale paired with a roast beef sandwich along with their fine smoked Gouda cheese.

Nothing too pricey either - the service and beer choice is makes it all justifiable.

If you ever go to Syracuse, stopping by at Clark's is a MUST. When I'm home from college, I always make it a point to stop here.

animalchin, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of JustinJTisdale
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%

This is my favorite bar. Its the first bar I went to when I turned 21 and with good reason, they probably have the most complete collection of various beers in syracuse aside from maybe a specialty bottle store.

The staff there are great and easy to get to know. Above all else though these people KNOW beer and arent afraid to answer any questions or let you sample a beer or 2 on the house.

The food (although limited menu) is amazing! Greatest roast beef sandwich in the entire world hands down!

JustinJTisdale, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of Minotaur
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

This is a beer lover's beer bar. Usually a representation of styles on draft and more in bottle. Some local or domestic: many imported

They only serve a few foods. I don't like roast beef, but this sandwich is fantastic. As are the cheese and coldcut platters.

There is no attitude on the part of patrons or tenders. Everyone there knows the beer or will let you taste it if you have any questions or deliberation.

At one stop another patron got rather sick in the bathroom and made the place very... unpleasant to walk in to. The bartender and workers were overly apologetic to us and worked to make us comfortable. Though we weren't even particularly upset about it.

Minotaur, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

First of all, I think I should mention that Clark's takes CASH ONLY, no plastic.

Clark's Ale has is two floors in the armory district of Syracuse. Tall tables downstairs in front of the bar, and normal sized tables upstairs. Some seating outside also.

There are between 20 and 25 beers on tap, and you can get whole pints of half pints. I had a Dark Horse Scottie Karate.

When I went there was also the cask ale festival, which was great. 25 or so cask ales to choose from.

Service at the bar seems fine, it is a walk up counter to order beer and food. Service at the cask ale station was excellent and friendly.

Clark's only serves two sandwiches: roast beer and turkey. That is ok with me, because the beef was fantastic, and it is the perfect night-time beer food. It came with horseradish and brown mustard, which I also dig.

Overall I had a good experience at Clark's, and I will return if I ever get the chance.

Hojaminbag, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of jzeilinger
3.58/5  rDev -16.9%

I've been to this place only a few times and they have a really nice beer selection. The big attraction to this place is the good beer selection and alot of beer vibe. It's like the "anti-Blue Tusk". I think alot of beer people, especially transients like myself might go to the tusk, but I've found Clark's to be way cooler. It's a better crowd, relaxed, casual, and a very nice beer selection. My only gripes are the very limited food menu and the fact they only take cash - that's a HUGE drawback for me. The parking for this section of Syracuse pretty much s*cks, that being said, I would frequent Clark's more often if they'd offer more food selection and start taking some plastic. For the business traveler, it's not real friendly. On the other hand, who's the bulk of the clientelle? The locals. I understand, you have to cater to who pays the bills and the occassional transients like myself don't. There's alot I like about Clark's, and alot I don't. If you're into cool beer, I would make this a stop.

jzeilinger, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of deapokid
3.68/5  rDev -14.6%

Visited on 07/18 - reviewing from notes:

Stopped in alone for a nightcap after a few hours over at The Blue Tusk.

Quiet locale for those seeking a peaceful glass of ale and a few bar games. Quaint and small bar is nice to saddle up to, even if the lack of music and extremely small crowd can make it a bit awkward on a Saturday evening.

Positively, all draught beer is served at the proper temperature for its style (two separate coolers are used for the kegs; one set at 42 degrees and the other at 52 degrees).

Bartender was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, chatting up his favorite pilsners and IPAs, while I talked his ear off about the time I realized that they carried Three Floyds Alpha King on draught (this has got to be the only place I've ever even seen their beers... except on eBay).

There are 20 or so taps and I'm told they rotate quite often. Unfortunately, the selection left something to be desired on the night of my visit.

Beers ranged from Brooklyn Brown and Blunderbus (which I tried and enjoyed), Guinness, Genny Cream Ale, Prior Dark, Franziskaner Hefe, Yuengling Bock, Ommegang Hennepin and several other decent selections. There really wasn't anything exciting or outrageous (which I'd come to expect per the Three Floyds). Their current bottle offering (they usually only carry one) was bomber-sized Maredsous Double.

Now for the best part of the evening, the roast beef sandwich, which has to be the best I've ever had.

Meat was pouring out of the sides of the oniony and fresh Geddes Bakery roll and beef was perfectly cooked, moist and delicious. The side of horseradish was also a nice treat, since it was strong enough to kill an ox and so intense my eyes started to water uncontrollably.

Also of note was the price, which was a meager $11 for a seasonal offering and an top-notch sandwich at 1AM. Despite the bar's faults, that was enough to send me off a satisfied customer.

deapokid, Jul 28, 2009
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Clark's Ale House in Syracuse, NY
95 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.