With the Jets coming up short in their bid to reach their first Super Bowl in 42 years – and the Giants not even making the playoffs – fans of the local squads might be in no mood to go out Super Bowl Sunday and watch the two teams responsible for New York’s heartbreak.
But, hey, why lick your wounds alone at home, when you can cry just as easily over $3 beer and sliders at a bar-sponsored Super Bowl party, perhaps even meeting a fellow Jets/Giants fan in the process?
The game kicks off at 6:25 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers will go head to head in Arlington, Texas.
What’s on tap
True to Super Bowl Sunday tradition, several area restaurants and bars will offer drink and menu specials in honor of the big game.
“We’ve got beer on tap – and in a bottle,” said Jesse Weeks, bar manager at the Madison Bar and Grill on 14th Street in Hoboken. “Our big deal is that, in the bar area only, we’re going to have $3 beers that day.”
So, what, specifically do bars and restaurants have on tap for the big game?
There’s no special admission price to get in to see the game, but Weeks suggested that anyone interested in watching the Super Bowl should arrive a couple of hours before kickoff.
Michael Anthony’s in Jersey City, on the Newport Marina Pier, is planning a particularly festive, theme-oriented party for its guests on Feb. 6. Restaurant owner Michael Ryan promised a big bash worthy of the NFL’s biggest game.
“The whole restaurant area is going to have a tailgate set-up. It’s going to feel like a tailgating party at a stadium,” he said. “We’ll have sliders and wings, of course.”
The setup will be helped by the restaurant’s 19 TV screens that will broadcast every touchdown, fumble, and missed field goal attempt.
“We put the Red Zone on one of the televisions, so you can see all the stats. That’s pretty interesting. Last year we did something similar, and it turned out pretty good,” said Ryan. “We had around 250 people.”
Since the restaurant can hold as many as 800 people, they can accommodate whoever comes to the bash. Still, Ryan suggests people arrive by 5 p.m. to get the seats they want for their party.
However, this tailgating party does come with an admission fee. The restaurant is offering three special packages. The cash-strapped can pay $25 for the buffet and drink from the cash bar. Those with a little more to spend can get the $50 package, which covers the buffet, beer, and wine. Michael Anthony’s top tier package, for $100, is all-inclusive and covers the buffet, beer, wine, and open bar.
“It’s fun,” Ryan said, adding that this will be the restaurant’s second Super Bowl party. “It really turns out pretty cool.”
The folks over at Hoboken’s Mikie Squared Bar & Grill on Washington Street hope customers show up early in the day for their usual Sunday brunch and then, as co-owner Cindy Samaris said, “just park it” for the Super Bowl later that evening.
The bar plans to incorporate a number of its usual staples – including its Sangria Sunday and “manmosa” specials – into fun-filled day-long festivities.
“We’re going to present a Super Bowl menu with new items,” Samaris stated. “We’re going to have $10 pitchers [of sangria] all day. We’ll also have $12 pitchers of Coors Light and Yuengling, and shot specials every half hour.”
The bar will also have a number of raffles and prizes that customers can win throughout the game.
So, Steelers or Packers?
With a number of Hudson County bars this season openly aligning themselves with the fan clubs of specific teams, it’s easy to wonder whether community watering holes will be rooting for the Steelers or Packers on game day. While a few may be, ones interviewed last week said they plan not to pick sides.
“Nope,” said Weeks when asked whether the Madison would be backing one team over the other. “We gotta stay neutral.”
“No,” she said, “now that the Jets aren’t in it, we’re not going to choose a team. Everybody is welcome. You don’t have to be a Jets or Giants fan, or a Steelers or Packers fan.”
You just have to love football.
E-mail E. Assata Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.