Loyalty does have its rewards. Just ask John Menzer, owner of The Brick Chicken in Bluffton, and his faithful customers.

As loyal as many of his customers are to his establishment, Menzer is just as loyal to them. He listens, responds and makes changes to enhance their dining and social enjoyment.

“Our loyalty program gives you 10 percent back; for every $1,000 you spend in here, I’m giving you $100 back,” said Menzer, a Bluffton resident and a Johnson & Wales culinary graduate with a portfolio of 20 years in the restaurant industry.

“This is probably my greatest marketing tool, and I put a lot of money into it,” said Menzer.

On Mondays after 4 p.m., customers can order 24 chicken wings for $12.95. However, if you’re a Loyalty cardholder, it’s just $9.95.

When Menzer realized that a large number of his regular patrons were billiards players, he went into action. He rearranged his 90-seat space and installed two pool tables.

The result? Eight teams in the American Poolplayers Association (APA) now use The Brick Chicken as their home base for practice and matches.

“The reason I did it is because many of my regulars play in a league in the APA,” Menzer said. “It’s sanctioned and governed and has rules, bylaws and everything. It’s not like bar-room rules for pool.”

Any group of four can claim a table for $1 a game, but if you order a lunch from noon until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can play pool for free.

This “family-friendly sports restaurant” attracts sports enthusiasts with 15 big-screen TVs. Currently, Brick Chicken offers a TV package that features more than 90 out-of-market baseball games per week and will show 10 different Sunday games when the NFL season begins in a few months.

Other attractions include:

  • Team trivia on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m.
  • Fifty-cent wings and $1 Pabst drafts on Wednesday.
  • Thirsty Thursday from noon until closing, with $2 well drinks and $2.25 for a selection of domestic beers.
  • Bingo at 9 p.m. Fridays.

The regular menu showcases a bounty of appetizers, salads and soups, sandwiches and wraps, nine specialty burgers, toasted subs, desserts, and 18 craft beers on tap.

The Brick Chicken, located at 1011 Fording Island Rd. in Best Buy Center, is open daily.

Dean Rowland is a veteran senior editor and freelance writer living in Bluffton.