Even though their respective squads are located thousands of miles away, fans of the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints should still be able to find their own brand of home-field advantage in select San Francisco bars for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Only a year ago, finding a local saloon that catered to the long-suffering New Orleans franchise was no simple task. But with the underdog Saints in the midst of a Cinderella season, the team’s backers have suddenly come to life in San Francisco, with more fans proclaiming their love for the team with each successive victory.
One San Francisco establishment that has particularly benefited from the resurgence in New Orleans football is the Black Magic Voodoo Lounge, located at Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Street. A Cajun-themed bar and restaurant that serves New Orleans-brewed beers, the Voodoo Lounge has been the impromptu meeting place for Saints fans during their surprising run to the Super Bowl, according to Joseph Vernieri, who has owned the bar for the past 12 years.
“Until the past few months, I never knew there were so many Saints fans living in The City,” he said. “We’ve had impressive crowds for most of the games this season, and the fans are real nice people. We’re expecting another big group of folks for the Super Bowl.”
Unlike Saints fans, backers of the Colts are accustomed to success, with the team consistently in the upper echelon of the NFL for the past decade. And while Indianapolis fans can’t enjoy a local bar with as distinctive a hometown feel as the Voodoo Lounge, the team’s continued success has consistently brought out loyal backers. On Super Sunday, there will be plenty of establishments with sizable populations of Colts fans.
Sports bars in the Marina district, such as Blue Light and the Horseshoe Tavern, have long played host to a devoted Colts following, and the Final Final, located on Lombard Street near the edge of the Presidio, also will be packed with locals rooting for Peyton Manning and his Indianapolis teammates.
“The AFC Championship Game [on Jan. 24] was pretty crazy here,” Final Final owner Arnold Prien said. “We had lots and lots of Colts fans. These guys keep winning, and their fans keep showing up. They’re certainly good for business.”
Mojo away from home: Bartender Olivia Marquez is a Saints fan.
Black Magic Voodoo Lounge
Where: 1400 Lombard St. (at Van Ness Avenue)
Phone: (415) 931-8711
On the Web: www.myspace.com/blackmagicvoodoolounge
Final win or loss? Bartender Tim Doyle at the Final Final will be rooting for the Colts on Sunday.
Where: 2990 Baker St.
Phone: (415) 931-7800
On the Web: None