I don't know about the negative reviews, but I've never had anything but FUN at the Fish Bowl. The service is great and friendly; I've never waited more than a minute or so for a drink. The drinks, by the way, are ridiculously strong (go for a $5 Hurricane on Tuesday... one is all you need, two and you'll be hurting Wed morning) and there are drink specials EVERY day (including Sunday Bloodies Sunday, $3 Bloody Marys). The crowd is always fun too, not pretentious, not boring... just laid-back and looking for a good time.
The best thing about the Fish Bowl? Fabulous food from Frankie's next door... Try the Gilroy burger, but only if you love garlic!