At Giordano Brothers, Pittsburgh natives can find a home away from home.
That’s the model owner Jeff Jordan was trying for, and on more than one occasion Pittsburgh natives have taken advantage of the watering hole to congregate for hometown sandwiches and sporting events.
This Sunday will be no different as hundreds of Pittsburgh Steelers fans are expected to descend on the North Beach restaurant to watch their team face the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl.
“I’m nervous,” said Jordan, a lifelong Steelers fan who left the Steel City 16 years ago. “Nobody remembers the losers. Green Bay is a very difficult matchup.”
Steelers fan Alex Luke said she too is “petrified” about Sunday’s game, not because of the opponent — but because she is working behind the counter at Giordano’s.
“But I’m also extremely excited,” she said.
Luke said she grew up in a Dungeons and Dragons family with little exposure to sports. When she started working at Giordano, though, she was quickly converted. Under a zip-up sweater, the 23-year-old adorned a Steelers T-shirt.
Much of Giordano’s walls are covered in framed photos picturing Steelers team members and their victories. A few Terrible Towels were displayed on or around TVs.
For Pittsburgh native Jon Woo, 33, the sandwich shop is “genuine Pittsburgh” right in San Francisco. He said he will be there Sunday.
“It’s the scariest matchup,” he said. “But it’s going to be a great game.”
Though the restaurant will not open early Sunday — it opens at 11:30 a.m. — Jordan said he expects a big crowd for the game. In fact, for the AFC Championship Game, in which the Steelers beat the New York Jets for the right to go to the Super Bowl, Jordan turned away as many as 200 fans, though he hated to do it.
But yes, he will turn away Packers fans.
So where will their fans go?
That is a question many cheese-heads are contemplating. The one bar that is considered Green Bay territory — Zeke’s Diamond Bar on Third and Brannan streets — turned down repeated requests for an interview.
A bartender and part-owner by the name of Daniel — he declined to give his last name because he is a 49ers fan — confirmed the bar’s founder is from Milwaukee. There is Packers paraphernalia, including a green “G” and Packers stickers located on the wall behind the bar.
Packers fans shouldn’t worry, however, just because there is not a location they can call their own. Without a doubt, dozens of places in The City will be showing the game where all are welcome.
As the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers prepare to battle for the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, what comes to mind? Gridiron and Gatorade, perhaps. Or gambling. The anticipation of throngs of people throwing down hard-earned cash on Super Bowl XLV is about as surprising as watching the sun come up in the morning.
But for sports and nonsports fans alike who are looking to gamble on Super Bowl events that do not take place on the field, here are a few of the not-so-conventional things you can put money on while watching the game. The following bets are from the gambling website www.bodog.com.
Who will the Fox announcers say has better hair during the game?
Troy Polamalu: -120 Clay Matthews: -120
You must wager $120 on one of the players for the chance to win $100. Must be a direct reference on TV during the game comparing the two players hair or wagers will be graded as “no action.”
Will Christina Aguilera’s hair color be anything except completely blonde when she sings the national anthem?
If you put $100 on yes, and her hair is any other color than completely blonde, you would win $175.
How many current NFL players will be arrested during Super Bowl week? Over/under: ½
Under: -200 · Over: +150
A half of a player cannot be arrested. So that means if no one is arrested, the under wins and if anyone is arrested, the over wins. If you bet $100 on the over, you stand to win $150. If you bet $200 on the under and win, you win $100. Player must be on a current NFL roster. Wager is until Super Bowl kickoff.
— Alexis Terrazas
128 King St., S.F.
Contact: (415) 817-5040
Details: If you are looking for a place to sit back with a few pitchers of beer while watching Sunday’s big game, then Pete’s Tavern is a place to have on your radar. With 11 flat-screen TVs lining the main bar, along with a couple pull-down projectors, landing a good vantage point to check out the action should not be a problem.
Knuckles Historical Sports Bar
1333 Bayshore Highway, Burlingame
Contact: (650) 696-2696
Details: For those looking to escape the thrill-seeking crowds of The City, or if you live on the Peninsula, Knuckles is an ideal place to watch. You can probably even find parking there.
Greens Sports Bar
2239 Polk St., S.F.
Contact: (415) 775-4287
Neighborhood: Russian Hill
Details: This renowned sports hub is equipped with all the amenities football fans seek this time of year — beer and lots of TVs, 25 to be exact, including two big-screens.
Mad Dog in the Fog
530 Haight St., S.F.
Contact: (415) 626-7279
Neighborhood: Lower Haight
Details: Home to the biggest TV in The City — a 15-footer — this Irish bar will be throwing a massive Super Bowl party complete with drink specials and 14 other TVs.
— Alexis Terrazas