The only Chiefs bar in Philadelphia is celebrating Kansas City’s win, but 'everybody's welcome here'
Big Charlie’s Saloon, also known as “Arrowhead East,” is known for its diehard support of the Kansas City Chiefs. After closing during Super Bowl Sunday because of overwhelming demand, the bar is back open and already looking forward to next season.
This story was originally published on WHYY.
Most Philadelphians were disappointed by the results in Super Bowl LVII — but one group of football fans in South Philly were starting the new week on a high note.
Big Charlie’s Saloon, also known as “Arrowhead East,” is known for its diehard support of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Despite its allegiance, Charlie’s closed Sunday following an overwhelming demand from Philly-based Chiefs fans to get tickets to watch the big game at the bar. The doors were open again Monday as promised, regardless of the outcome.
The 2023 Super Bowl came down to the wire; that included a controversial holding penalty the Chiefs used to run down the clock and kick a game-winning field goal. Big Charlie’s owner Paul Staico said he thought the game could’ve gone either way.
“It was Ali and Frazier,” Staico said. “Monday might be your day, Tuesday might be my day, and that’s all it was. Yesterday was our day. The next day, I don’t know.”
Kansas City was led by Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, who Staico couldn’t help but praise, comparing the 27-year-old quarterback to another athlete with a knack for winning big games.
“I think we have Michael Jordan,” Staico said. “When you got Michael Jordan, you got a shot,” Staico said.
Back in Missouri, Kansas City is getting ready to host a Super Bowl parade that’s expected to draw at least 500,000 people to celebrate the team’s second title in four years.
Meanwhile in South Philly, it’s back to business as usual for Big Charlie’s during the NFL offseason.
“We always talk about football,” Staico said. “If it ain’t football on, we create something about football. We talk about the draft, we talk about the schedule. We’re always in football mode.”
The Eagles are coming off one of the best seasons in franchise history, picking up an NFC Championship title with a team that included eight Pro Bowlers. Staico said he had feeling it wouldn’t be the last Super Bowl appearance, for either team.
“I think it was a perfect storm as far as two teams getting there,” Staico said. “They are the two best teams. The way it looks now, I think it’s gonna be the Eagles again with the Chiefs.
Despite the Chiefs allegiance, everyone is welcome at the bar regardless of whether you’re an Eagles fan, or if you aren’t even into the sport. One of the bar’s loyal patrons, Dennis Schuler, said the neighborhood always comes first.
“We may be a Kansas City Chiefs bar on a corner, but at the end of the day, we are all born and raised in South Philly,” Schuler said. “We have Eagles fans here, we have Chiefs fans here, we have fans from every team imaginable here. At the end of the day, everybody’s welcome here.”