Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Bartender Brian Zimmer took the first phone call the following morning.
The Philadelphia Eagles had just clinched their spot in Sunday’s Super Bowl, and fans were already contacting Madison Avenue Bar & Grille in central Las Vegas to coordinate plans to watch their beloved Eagles take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The call frequency hasn’t slowed.
Within a week, 80 patrons had prepaid $55 for a reserved seat — and a commemorative shirt, open bar and one menu item — at the area’s longtime Eagles establishment.
Plenty of others have called expressing interest, meaning the celebration won’t be limited to the 150-seat bar on Twain Avenue near Swenson Street. The party will start at 1 p.m. with a tailgate in the parking lot.
“We are just all diehards,” said Zimmer, a Philly native. “We all have the same hope — to win, win.”
At Madison Avenue, it’s more than just watching the game. Patrons get the sense they are back home in the City of Brotherly Love.
There’s no doubting you are in Eagles country as soon as you walk in. From the green ceiling and barstools to the Eagles and Phillies memorabilia proudly displayed on the walls, everything shouts Philadelphia. At the entry, a sign reads, “Believe in Green.”
You get Philly food favorites, too. The menu offers cheesesteaks, scrapple, Taylor Pork Roll and Tastykakes that likely evoke nostalgia. Scrapple is a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, and delicious with eggs, Zimmer said.
There’s no Yuengling because the brewery doesn’t ship Philly’s favorite ale to Las Vegas.
“Some of the food, people out here have never heard of,” Zimmer said.
The Philly love isn’t limited to game days.
On Monday morning, Don Burlegh stopped in for coffee and friendly conservation with staff before running some errands. Burlegh retired to Las Vegas in 2000 and has been a regular patron of Madison Avenue ever since. Everyone knows his name.
“The energy (during games) is something else,” Burlegh said. “It’s a lot of people with the same love, the Eagles.”
And a lot of people with the same dislikes — the Patriots. You probably won’t see anyone in a Brady jersey come Super Sunday.
“Enter at your own risk,” Zimmer said to Patriots supporters. “Of course, everyone is welcome. But I wouldn’t recommend it (for Patriots fans). I’m not going to show up at a Cowboys bar wearing my Eagles jersey, am I?”