Indiana bars expect big Super Bowl crowds
With Super Bowl XLVIII set to kick off Sunday, local bars are ready for the big crowds and big business.
Philadelphia Street is riddled with bars and restaurants like The Coney, Twisted Jimmy’s and Grub’s Sports Bar. The one thing they all have in common is this: They’re taking advantage of the business that only a Super Bowl could bring in.
Tony Lang, owner of Twisted Jimmy’s and Steel City Samiches Bar & Grille, located on Seventh Street, said that the Super Bowl is the biggest football event Twisted Jimmy’s has.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Twisted Jimmy’s is offering both chicken wing and beer specials, Lang said.
The showdown between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will be playing on every television in both Twisted Jimmy’s and Steel City, and there will be a projector broadcasting the game as well.
Ken Arthurs, owner of Grub’s Sports Bar and Wolfie’s Pub & Club on Philadelphia Street is taking advantage of the popularity of the game as well.
Aside from offering drink and food specials, Arthurs said there will be giveaways during each quarter of the game.
“We try to entice people to come out,” Arthurs said. “We do giveaways at the beginning of the game and at the second, third and fourth quarter to get people to stay.”’
Some of the giveaways at Grub’s will include a Super Bowl chair, a table and a refrigerator.
Arthurs said he likes to make the night a huge event, and preparations usually begin three weeks before the big game.
“It all really depends on who’s playing,” he said. “If people really care about the teams, then we put an emphasis on that. We try to play up on controversies if there is one, and some years there isn’t, so we choose a different angle.”
This was the case during a past Super Bowl game, Arthurs said. The two teams playing were fairly unpopular among the Indiana community so Grub’s held a “screw-the-Super Bowl event.”
While guests watch the game at Twisted Jimmy’s, they can order chicken wings, which Lang said is “definitely our top seller.”
“Football and wings just sort of go hand in hand,” Lang said. “It’s more of a tradition. What’s better than eating some wings and watching some football?”
In preparation for Super Bowl Sunday, Lang said he orders a thousand more wings than his usual order of about 2,000.
Wings seem to be the “go-to” food for sporting events, and Arthurs described them as “football food” along with hamburgers and pizza.
“The food is usually burgers, wings and pizza in third … and we order about a week before,” Arthurs said. “[Super Bowl Sunday] typically could bring us 50 percent more sales so we have to double up on all three items.”
Both Lang and Arthurs agree that year after year the popularity of wings is consistent. One thing that hasn’t been so consistent throughout the years, however, is the weather.
In recent weeks, Indiana has seen below-zero temperatures; however, Lang said the brutal weather has not negatively affected business at Twisted Jimmy’s.
“Since school has been in, we’re doing exactly what we expected [in business] – a little bit better actually,” Lang said. “[With the Super Bowl coming up], people plan on going out. I don’t think the weather is going to affect the turnout for the Super Bowl.”
Where Lang has seen success despite the weather, Arthurs tells a different story.
“Because of bad weather, we have had less business,” Arthurs said. “A bad weather report is all anyone needs to stay home. Winter is winter, but this is a lot colder than normal.”
Arthurs even expects less business on Super Bowl Sunday. He attributes this to the fact that people living on the East Coast are more inclined to hold Super Bowl parties at home rather than venture out into the cold.
“Tradition on the East Coast is a lot of home parties, and if their team wins, then people come out and celebrate after,” Arthurs said. “We do get a big rush after the game. If people really care about the team playing, they’ll be here afterwards partying afterwards.”