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Can't be in Dallas? Try Cave Creek
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Can’t be in Dallas? Try Cave Creek

CAVE CREEK, Ariz. — The best place in the Valley to watch Sunday’s Super Bowl might be Cave Creek. Four-thousand people live there, but the population could double as two competing bars show support for their favorite team.

The owner of Harold’s Corral calls it Heinz Field West.

“We have the best Steelers bar in the country and a great fan base here in Arizona,” said Dan Piacquadio.

He’s expecting 3,500 Steelers fans from all over the country Sunday.

“I have a dear friend flying in from Pittsburgh. I got two friends flying in from Kansas City, believe it or not. People from California, Lake Havasu, Apache Junction, which is no short drive up to Cave Creek.”

The opposition is not far away. Right next door is the Buffalo Chip Saloon, which owner Larry Wendt calls “the biggest Packers bar in Arizona.”

Wendt expects about 2,000 “cheeseheads” to watch Sunday’s game.

“Two-hundred-fifty seats sold out within about an hour of their win over Chicago,” Wendt said. “We filled up the other tent two days ago. We’re probably going to fill up that second tent pretty quickly.”

Harold’s will serve food from Pittsburgh.

“We do our Pittsburgh delicacies — the pierogies, the kielbasy,” said Piacquadio. “That’s part of our ethnic community in Pittsburgh, the Polish community. Then we have our Primanti Brothers sandwich — a famous Pittsburgh sandwich that has french fries, cole slaw all in one sandwich.”

A short distance away, Wendt said Packers fans will feast on “Johnsonville Bratz and grilled onions, walleye, all you can eat, lake perch, all you can eat, cheese curds right from Wisconsin. I pick them up at Sky Harbor Saturday morning at 9, so we ought to have all the stuff they want.”

Both bars have lots of beer, of course.

The bars are using their rivalry to do something good.

Piacquadio said, “We’re doing a Steelers’ fans kick the Packers’ cans food drive, and they’re doing vice versa. So the deal is every fan coming out to watch the Steelers’ game with us, bring a can of food so we can win this challenge. The local Desert Foothills Food Bank is going to collect all the cans, which they’re in great need of. Whoever has the most weight food has to fly the other team’s flag at their bar.”

Wendt said he has to win that challenge.

“I could not take the humiliation of losing to my restaurant neighbor, the big game. Plus I’ll have to wear their colors for a week if I lose. I’ve got to wear black and gold. Does this look like a body for black and gold?… Green and yellow, that’s it.”

Predictions:

Piacquadio: Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Green Bay Packers 24.

Wentz: Packers “by six points.”

When it comes to fun, everyone who comes to Cave Creek will be winners, the two say.

“This will be the place — not only in Arizona, but across the country,” Piacquadio said. “This will be the second best place to watch the game.”

Second only to Dallas and watching the game in person.