The bar at The Brown Jug in the Parkway Plaza reached a point of complete silence last Sunday afternoon as Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff lined up to kick what would have been the tying field goal in last seconds of the Patriots-Ravens AFC Championship game.
Owner Michael Matrinko said it was quite a moment in the packed bar, and probably the quietest the place has been in years.
“There was definitely pause in the place when the field goal team came on and the ball was snapped,” he said this week. “Everyone held their breath. For one or two seconds, it was quiet, completely quiet, and then when the referee signalled that the kick was no good, the place went crazy and customers started hoisting the Budweiser Towers as if they were the AFC’s Lamar Hunt Trophy. It was a fantastic time. It really was.”
The same situation unfolded at the new Dockside Restaurant in the Mystic Mall where close to 100 patrons turned out to to watch the game on the 21 televisions and one big projector screen.
Waitress Debbie Murphy donned a complete Patriots uniform – shoulder pads, helmet and all.
“It was a bit difficult getting around with those shoulder pads, but people loved it,” she said.
She said the bar took on a eerie silence when Cundiff lined up for his kick.
“I was in the back doing some work and everything got quiet out front,” she said. “Then I just heard everyone yelling and screaming. I might have missed it, but I certainly heard it. When people started chanting I knew it must have been something very good.”
Meanwhile, at the Jug, Matrinko said that his bar was packed and at maximum capacity.
“People couldn’t get a seat at the bar and most people had trouble finding a place to stand,” he said. “It was a great mix of Chelsea people. You had old, young, black, white and everybody. You had Patriots nation down here.”
While the Patriots Super Bowl run this year means jubilation for fans, Matrinko and other establishment owners said it also means a good piece of unexpected business.
“Without a question of a doubt, the days the Patriots play in the playoffs, the bar business picks up a solid 33 1/3 percent,” he said. “That’s without a doubt…We anticipate the Super Bowl is going to be really big because it’s been some time since the Patriots have been there.”
He said that the Super Bowl is always a good day for his restaurant, but he said business goes through the roof if the Patriots are in the game.
“When the Pats were going to so many Super Bowls in the 2000s, our Super Bowl parties here were great,” he said. “When they’re not in it, you get a crowd, but they’re not in it as much. You don’t get the excitement we had here Sunday or the buzz of the crowd.”