PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A South Philadelphia sports bar has been named in an ESPN poll as the best sports bar in North America.

Joe Carpinella, director of operations at Chickie’s and Pete’s, says it’s a pretty big deal when you’re named by ESPN fans as the number one sports bar in all of North America.

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“All of our employees were ecstatic,” he recalls.  “I was getting e-mails and phone calls and text messages after the results were posted — I almost had to turn the ringer off just so I could breathe for a minute.”

Fans there say they’re drawn to the food… “We get the crab fries and usually I get the chicken cutlet club,” but mostly, folks come to watch the games.

“We were the number one sports bar in North America, so this time it’s about the sports as well,” says Carpinella.

“I think just as the chain itself has gotten bigger and bigger, and overall Philadelphia sports has just gotten so good, I think there’s more recognition of the city itself,” said one patron.

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“They have a lot of TVs, it’s near the stadiums,” said another.

“Great work! It’s awesome!” agreed a third.

Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio 1060

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