For 14 years, Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub in Alexandria has been a gathering place for New England Patriots fans, drawing on the pub’s connection to Ireland and Ireland’s connection to Boston, where the Patriots have their home field. With the Patriots facing off against the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, this Sunday is sure to be busy. Kenny Mitchell, the bar’s manager, will be in the thick of it, serving up Boston clam chowder, oyster stew and brews.
Would you consider Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub a hangout for Patriots fans?
It’s a Patriots bar, but not really a hangout. Really it’s a hangout for New Englanders and has become a Patriots bar because of that. There are people from all over, but it’s predominantly a New England bar.
How did it get a reputation as a Patriots/New England bar?
People could always affiliate with the Irish background. In Boston most people have an Irish background, straight off the boat. So there’s that. Then about 14 years ago, the owners of the bar wanted to turn it into a football bar. There were other teams discussed — the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants and the Raiders — but the owners decided to let the regulars vote, and they decided on the Patriots. Then, with the team’s winning success, the Pats have gotten bigger and bigger and so have our Sundays.
So are you planning on a big Super Bowl bash?
Sunday night is going to be big. The last time they won the Super Bowl, the place was packed. Things have gotten so big here that we’ve just installed 42-inch, high-definition televisions. There’s also guaranteed to be a lot of singing. Everyone is from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, all over that area, and they go crazy, but in a nice, friendly way. Even rival fans are welcome. There were San Diego Chargers fans here and Giants fans here in the last few weeks, and everyone got along. They’re a friendly bunch of people.