Fricker’s is an Ohio-based chain of sports bars, with 19 locations roughly situated around the Interstate 75 corridor of western Ohio. Many a Dayton and Toledo neighborhood have one alongside all the major chain places, which according to the Fricker’s website is “an riginal concept.” I can certainly say there are a lot of things about this chain that I’ve never encountered before in my visits. I cannot, say, however, that it’s an “apropos” place for a return visit.
The food at the restaurant is standard sports bar fare. Fricker’s banks on its wings as the best thing on the menu. Well, don’t go for the wings. They’re dry. The sauces are bland. The vegetables on the burgers and wraps are consistently wilted and disgusting.
At the Findlay location, it took 20 minutes at a time for a refill on beer. Upon the arrival of a large party of children, the staff was more than apparent in their irritation. Apparently sometimes, doing the job one is paid to do is just too much to ask.
At the Vandalia location, the kitchen was an absolute disaster. At a slow time of day with only a dozen or so other people in the bar, it took 45 minutes to get food, as the kitchen brought out food and called it to the waitresses, who then ignored it for five minutes as it got cold. The frustrated expediting employee would then come back out with another meal to find the last one still hadn’t been delivered. The food comes cold. Once I even found someone else’s food in a cup of ranch. The beer here came in a reasonable time…except it was halfway to flat.
Across multiple locations, across multiple cities, I have never seen a bar chain of this size so consistently mismanaged and with such embarrassing results. The problems are the same across multiple locations. The staff is either rude or inept, leadership is nowhere to be seen and no one seems to place a priority on running the restaurant efficiently or professionally. As a consequence, the food suffers glaring and basic problems. I have never had a positive experience at a Fricker’s. And I’m about done trying for one. I really can’t recommend a dish, they’re all about the same. I can’t really recommend a location, either.
From the outset, Fricker’s has a lot of good ideas to make the business successful; it’s got a nice interior and a pleasant sports bar concept which could be very cozy on game day afternoon. I would even go so far as to say the menu is well-balanced and the food is thought out in a way that it would otherwise be enjoyable. I’d like to believe what I’m experiencing is a fluke, and of course people have bad days here and there, but it’s far too consistent to overlook, and the results really affect the food. And that’s a real shame.