February 1, 2014

After making list of best sports bars, Chappell’s in North Kansas City decides to open for Super Bowl

“The Super Bowl is not the best game of the year” for bar owners, Jim Chappell said. But that hasn’t stopped other entertainment venues from pushing a super football experience Sunday, including several places in the Power & Light District.

Jim Chappell’s popular North Kansas City sports bar will be open Sunday afternoon for the Super Bowl.

That’s actually a surprise. The tavern, which is crammed with old helmets, hats and jerseys, is usually closed Sundays, even big football Sundays.

Not enough customers. “You can blow off a cannon down here and not hit anybody,” Chappell said Saturday.

But last week, USA Today named Chappell’s, at 323 Armour Road, one of the 10 best sports bars in the country. The story didn’t say the bar would be open for the Super Bowl, but implied it — so Chappell figured he had to open the doors at 3 p.m. Sunday for whoever shows up.

He doesn’t expect a big crowd.

“The Super Bowl is not the best game of the year” for bar owners, Chappell said. The game’s late start, competition from well-stocked man caves, and a Monday workday combine to hold down attendance at taverns and restaurants across the area, he said.

That hasn’t stopped other entertainment venues from pushing a super football experience Sunday.

Several bars in the Power Light District have advertised Super Bowl specials. Saturday, they were preparing extra food and drinks for expected customers.

“We ordered four times the amount of wings we usually get,” said Mac Taylor, manager at McFadden’s. “It’s a huge opportunity for us.”

Urban bars are trying to lure people who live downtown, Taylor said. Those customers want to be able to walk home after the game, which often ends late in the evening.

“Plus, a home party is 15 or 20 people,” he said. “We’ll have 300 people.”

Other area sports bars expect to offer specials on food and drinks for the Super Bowl.

Bill Nigro, who works with bar owners in midtown and Westport, said taverns in those areas will air the game Sunday evening. But he said owners and managers don’t expect a bigger-than-normal day, particularly since a local team isn’t involved.

“It’s really more about home parties,” he said.

Those home parties will provide lots of work for pizza restaurants and delivery drivers, according to national studies.

The National Restaurant Association says 48 million Americans will order wings, pizza, dips and spreads at some point during the game. Several national chains are offering specials and discounts, the association said.

Customers munching on all that comfort food may disagree on the best snack during the contest, of course, and may disagree on the team they want to win.

But most will agree on the desire for a close, entertaining game.

Chappell is skeptical.

“It’s been called the Super Bore,” he said.

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