PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Eagles will soon battle for redemption over their last Super Bowl appearance that didn’t end in our favor.
While the team and its fans are gearing up for the big game, a popular Center City bar is taking both sides.
Philadelphia is a city known for its patriots, but it’s not a town rooting for the New England variety, unless you’re seated at Smith’s bar near 19th and Chestnut Streets.
“We are the Patriots’ home away from home,” said bar owner John Barry.
Barry opened the restaurant more than a decade ago, and it was a hotspot for Cleveland Browns fans.
“It was the Giants-Pats Super Bowls and I claimed my allegiance to the Pats and that’s how it all started,” explained Barry.
On one side of the bar, Patriots gear hangs from the walls and Pats fans fill the seats, while the other side is still reserved for those that bleed green.
“Luckily, there are restrooms on both sides, too, so there is no reason for anybody to invade their turf,” said Barry.
“I found this spot and I walked in and it felt like coming home again,” said Patriots fan Natalie Halamar. “There were Pats fans everywhere.”
The unofficial Patriots anthem blasted after this weekend’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. New England fans are planning to pack the place on Super Bowl Sunday.
“I think it’ll be a contentious environment,” said Halamar. “Two very passionate fan bases.”
“It’ll probably be pretty hospitable to the Patriots fans,” said Pats fan Andrew Doyle.
Doyle now calls Philadelphia home.
“I think we respect the Eagles, for sure. I’ve been living here for 13 years,” said Doyle.
Like other Pats fans planning to watch the big game, he’s expecting a tough match, in an even tougher environment.
“Eagles up there and some strict rules – no mingling back and forth,” said Barry.
“I really want them to win a Super Bowl,” said Doyle. “I just don’t want them to beat the Patriots to do it.”
The Eagles will face the Patriots in the Super Bowl on Feb. 4.