This Sunday isn’t just an average holy day – it’s the holiest of all days for pigskin fans. Even if your favorite team has ended its season prematurely, as happens so often in Philadelphia, it’s still time to leave the living room and exercise your elbow at some of the city’s finest watering holes to watch the game.When it comes to finding a place to watch the big game, there are plenty of choices. Some prefer a more commercial establishment while others favor the cozy neighborhood corner pub. Still others just want the most booze for their buck.
Thankfully, Philadelphia has it all – and then some.
Award-winning local flavor
At 1509 Mifflin St., just west of the Italian Market, the South Philadelphia Taproom is a favorite with the locals when it comes to watching the game. With its quaint, relaxing atmosphere, along with its exquisite food and beverage choices, the Taproom, which was named “Best Beer Bar” of 2006, by “Philadelphia Magazine” draws local jocks and yuppies alike. Seven daily draught selections and close to 70 bottled brews are stocked behind the bar while Head Chef Al Anderson concocts mouthwatering
fares. The hummus is heavenly and the quesadillas are as good as they get.
“To call the Taproom a local bar would be like calling John Chaney just another college basketball coach,” said owner and Temple alum John Longacre.
“It transcends the realm of a normal neighborhood tavern.”
Then there’s C&D’s Triangle Tavern,
at 1338 Reed St., in South Philadelphia.
Though the alcohol selection is sub-par, the prices are cheap and the bartenders
will accommodate you with open arms and open bottles. If you care to watch the game in a blue collar atmosphere without running an exorbitant beer tab, Triangles fits the bill (and wallet).
“I like the fact that it’s a true neighborhood bar. They have a lot of TVs, which makes it great for the Super Bowl,” said senior education major Andy Lofaro.
“It’s nice to be able to watch a game and buy some drinks for your friends and not feeling like you can’t eat for the rest of the week.”
All in the family
With so many bars on South Street, it’s tough to pick just one this Super Bowl Sunday. For the past 28 years, O’Neal’s at 611 S. 3rd St., has offered sports fans quality broadcasting of the game and great beers on tap. With a plethora of high-definition televisions and several levels to house rowdy fans, O’Neal’s is a neighborhood hot spot for all the big games. “The Great Book of Philadelphia Sports Lists” cites O’Neal’s as being the “top sports bar in the Philadelphia area.”
“I’d say we had about 110 people on each floor here for the Eagles – Saints game,” O’Neal’s bartender, Mikey Smash, said.
“Obviously when the Eagles play, more people will turn out as opposed to a Super Bowl without them.”If gambling is in your blood and you want to make the game more interesting, O’Neal’s offers block pools open for employee and customer participation. Three different pools at $5, $10 and $20 a block are offered.
A grid comprises the numbers zero-nine written horizontally and vertically along the sides. Blocks are then assigned at random, and at the end of each quarter, if someone’s box holds the last digit of each team’s score, then they win that quarter’s percentage of the profits. According to Smash, some have gone home richer in excess of $1,000 from the pool.
“It’s a comfortable bar,” Smash said. “We drink with our customers. We’re not into any of that corporate crap … we’re neighborhood people.”
High class sportsmanship
Another gem in Queens Village is For Pete’s Sake Pub, at 900 S. Front St. Since opening in 2002, the bar and restaurant has welcomed both Eagles and Steelers fans – even if they don’t welcome each other.Last fall, football fans owned For Pete’s Sake every Sunday and along with good drinks, enjoyed upscale bar food from burgers and steaks to ribs and ravioli.
“I think with the Super Bowl, we’ve been blessed over the last few years,” said owner Peter Quinn. “The Steelers played last year, and many people came out for that. And two years ago, when the Eagles were in it, this place was packed. This is a great place for people to come see a game.”
Old fashioned luck wins all
Also catering to large crowds is Pat’s Shamrock Sports Bar, in the heart of Northeast Philadelphia. This spacious bar, located at 3517 Cottman Ave., can hold 200 people and has flat-screen televisions installed around the entire building, ensuring that every angle is covered. For Super Bowl Sunday, they are offering
an open bar for $25.
Pride of the west
If you want a bigger venue with more of a restaurant feel, Fox and Hhound Smokehouse
and Tavern, located at 1501 Spruce St., might be up your alley. It is infamous for being the ultimate hangout for Steelers fans, and with close to 20 television
screens throughout, you don’t have to worry about missing any action.
Michael Mudrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.