Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff Photo
Mike Kennedy, chef at The Knotty Shamrock in Northfield, plates up dishes of food on a busy Saturday night. Kennedy expects the popular sports bar to be busy for the Super Bowl tonight.
Though no local favorites are playing in Super Bowl XLVII tonight, local businesses are gearing up for a party regardless.
One of them is Mulligan’s Irish Pub in Barre. They’re offering giveaways and an appetizer buffet with a different special for each quarter of the game. The pub has the capacity for 100 partiers at a time.
“Every year it’s different (because) a lot of people do house parties as well,” said bartender Alicia Phillips. “We have extra backup for these kinds of events.”
They’re also planning for a crowd at the Knotty Shamrock in Northfield, a popular sports bar with multiple big-screen TVs that’s frequented, in part, by athletes and fans from nearby Norwich University. The preparations at the Knotty were well under way Saturday for tonight’s big game.
That was the case throughout Vermont.
Greg Medlin, owner of Avellino Bakery & Pizza on Belden Road in Rutland, said his business started Friday preparing 300 to 400 pounds of chicken wings that they expect to sell today.
He said Super Bowl Sunday and Christmas Eve are his busiest days of the year, but he’s not expecting this year to be as busy as last year when the New England Patriots and the New York Giants took the field.
“It was crazy,” he said. “When it’s local teams, everyone has a party. We basically had to shut things down because we didn’t have enough ovens for the wings and pizzas.”
Avellino boasts 12 ovens, but last year more than 400 pounds of chicken wings and more than 100, 28-piece pizzas shut them down.
“It was the perfect storm for a food business,” Medlin said.
In an effort to keep people safe today, Vermont State Police are also increasing the number of troopers patrolling the roads, looking for impaired drivers — especially during the hours before and immediately after the game.
Lt. Charles Cacciatore, commander of the Rutland barracks, said Friday afternoon there are always more drivers on the road on Super Bowl Sunday, though he could not recall the number of DUIs handed out in the past couple of years. He said police are taking precautions to keep people safe.
He asked people to be responsible and if they are drinking at a party, to designate a sober driver.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Cacciatore said. “When you have people in a party mentality, there is the possibility of potential problems.”
Whether Vermonters are going to a bar to watch the game on CBS or staying home, a party is still expected to happen.
The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will take the field at 6:30 p.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
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