Shop Talk: Countdown to the Big Game; Where to Watch in Harrison

NOTE: The following was published in The Harrison Report on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. It's reprinted here with additional photos and hyperlinks.

The skinny on Super Bowl savings

Even though our hopes for a New York team in this year’s Super Bowl were dashed, the event is still the highlight of the year for gridiron fans. Sure the cold temperatures of late make it tempting to watch from the comfort of our living rooms, but can that really compare with the commiseration, beer selection and utter fandom that comes from enjoying the game with dozens of fellow Harrisonites in one of our fine watering holes? I agree; it’s not even close. Read on for places to watch on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m., including the specials each establishment is running.

IN DOWNTOWN …

Uncle Henry’s Sports Bar & Grill 309 Halstead Ave. 914-835-0804 Fan Capacity: 125 Hardware: 17 Flat-Screen HD TVs as well as an HD projection TV. The Skinny: Family-friendly Uncle Henry’s is one of the most comfortable bars in town, with tasty fare, affordable prices and a friendly-neighbor staff. The space houses three different rooms, including a party room, the main bar/dining area and a pool table room with couches. It’s a great post-game spot for adult and kid sports teams alike. Super Bowl Specials: $7 pitchers, and a free halftime buffet that includes a pasta dish, a chicken dish and a sausage-and-peppers dish. There is no minimum drink purchase required, but to enjoy the buffet, you must arrive in time for the start of the second quarter. Says Owner Vinny King: “The party starts at 5:30!” Did you know: Uncle Henry’s has the Direct TV March Madness package, so be sure to come back in March for all the college hoops you can handle.

Anthony’s Bar and Grill 237 Harrison Ave. 914-630-0760 www.anthonysabarandgrill.com Fan Capacity: 75 Hardware: 8 Flat-Screen HD TVs The Skinny: Next to the old movie theater, Anthony’s features a classy bar and family-friendly restaurant with fun trivia nights and other prizes for patrons. It’s a great post-game spot for recreational sports teams and the menu includes some tasty items for us vegetarians. Super Bowl Specials: $40 all you can drink, plus a free buffet throughout the game and a 50/50 raffle and other prizes.

Says Owner Anthony Russo: “Despite recent rumors, we have no plans to close.” (Now that’s something to which this business columnist will happily raise her glass!) Did you know: Anthony's runs a weekly special called Recession Tuesdays, where you get 20 percent off your entire bill, no matter what it is or how much, as well as a "Seasoned Citizen Night" on Thursdays, in which patrons ages 65 and older receive 50 percent off their entrees from 4-8 p.m. Two great deals that go a long way in this economy.

My Place Bar & Grill 323 Halstead Ave. 914-630-0982 Fan Capacity: 30 Hardware: 2 flat-screen HD TVs The Skinny: My Place features a cozy neighborhood atmosphere where everybody’s on a first-name basis. The friendly bartenders keep the conversation flowing and there are always great happy hour specials. Super Bowl Specials: $2 drafts, $3 domestic bottles and $5 liquor drink specials, along with free wings and pizza and a 50/50 raffle. Says Owner Mark Calcagni: “Nikki will be bartending beginning at 3 p.m., our normal opening time, so arrive early and enjoy happy hour specials till 6 p.m.” Did you know: My Place is known for its killer karaoke nights. It’s usually every other week, so stop in to get the latest schedule!

Murphy's Law 110 Halstead Ave. 914-630-2760 Listing on Zip Local Fan Capacity: 54 in bar/main dining room, 40+ in second dining room/private party room. Hardware: 5 HD TVs in bar/dining room; 60-inch HD in private party room. DirecTV and NFL package. The Skinny: Murphy's Law opened in November 2009 , taking over the premises previously occupied by Trips Tavern and, before that, Wellington's. It has a strong local following, and the menu features standard bar food, traditional Irish specialties and higher-end entrees. Weekly staples include Trivia on Thursday, Karaoke on Friday and live bands on Saturday. These happen every week, not once a month or every two weeks. They also serve brunch from 12-3 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. And come summer, patrons can enjoy a Sunday BBQ (all-you-can-eat) and Lobster Night on Thursdays. Super Bowl Specials: Super Bowl trivia starting at 4:30 with prizes and giveaways. Beer, drink and shot specials throughout the game (Jager when the Steelers score; Apple Vodka when the Packers score). $15 all-you-can-eat buffet from 5-9 p.m. (wings, ribs, burgers, mac 'n' cheese, sausage and peppers, and more). Also, specials for "Wings and Things To Go." Says Co-Owner Jim Morganthaler: "We'll make it a fun day, regardless of who you are rooting for. Bring your friends, family or fly solo. Food and drink will be plentiful and affordable and, true to Irish Pub tradition, we'll make you feel at home." Did you know: Murphy's Law is a popular destination for live sporting events. WINS Radio has broadcast live from there during the 2010 AFC Championship Game and also during the 2010 ALCS.

IN WEST HARRISON …

97 Lake Sports Cafe & Restaurant 97 Lake St. 914-328-1414 www.97lake.com Fan Capacity: 150 Hardware: 28 HD TVs and a 108-inch HD big-screen The Skinny: The family-friendly sports spot is the new place in town, and anyone who tried it when it first opened should see it now. It’s all fresh food, which takes longer to cook, but they’ve got it down, and in addition to classic burgers and pub fare, there’s also a gluten-free menu. Having dined there last week, I was impressed with the homemade potato chips and sweet potato fries, as well as the inclusion of a goat cheese salad on the menu. With a TV at every angle, there’s no bad seat in the place, and even the attractively decorated, well-kept restrooms house TVs, so you won’t miss a play. Super Bowl Specials: From 5:30-9:30 p.m., the “Bowling at the Lake, Super-Style” is $50 for adults in advance, $60 at door; $20 for kids in advance, $25 at door (limited number of kids seats available). This special gets you: 1) a hot and cold buffet: wings, nachos, calamari, mini-quesadillas, potato skins, pizza, sliders, hot dogs, salads and dessert; 2) two drink tickets per adult for either tap, beer or wine (kids get unlimited sodas and juices); and 3) one raffle ticket to win one of three prizes, including a 42-inch plasma TV. In addition, the first 100 people get a free $5 box in the Super Bowl pool, for a chance to win up to $500. To purchase advanced tickets, stop in or call to reserve with a credit card.

Says Owner Alan Smith: “We’ve got 50 bottled beers, 12 wines by the glass and over 40 bottled wines, so there’s definitely something for everyone.”

Did you knowThe icy taps at 97 Lake are called Cobra Heads, which use sensor technology to ensure that beer pours at a temperature of 30.5 to 31.5 degrees!

So the big question is, where will you watch?

*****

Valentine’s Day Is Just Around the Corner

You’ve got just over two weeks to find the perfect valentine. Luckily, Greetings & Salutations, 255 Halstead Ave., is having a sale! Come in for 25 percent off everything in the store, including coveted Vera Bradley bags, Willow Tree figurines, scented candles, Valentine’s Day stuffed animals and of course, greeting cards.

Despite the rumors, this lovely store won’t be closing. However, owner Marilda Smyth is looking to spend more time with her 18-month-old. “I’m not looking to close; I’m looking to sell,” she said. “I’m from Harrison, so I’d rather see the store get passed on to someone so it can remain a unique gift shop for Harrison residents.”

Greetings & Salutations is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 914-835-7338.

*****

Openings

On Jan. 22, The Harrison School of Music, 253 Halstead Ave., held an open house to announce the opening of private lessons for adults and children alike. Eighty percent of the teaching staff come in from New York City and all have Master’s degrees, with a few of them holding doctorates.

“Our school is a great addition to the community that will bring the arts to Harrison,” owner Sam Faraci said.

His wife, Cassie, was on hand at the open house as well. “We cater to all ages, from toddlers to adults, so if you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument, please stop in. It’s open enrollment all year-round,” she said.

Visit www.harrisonschoolofmusic.com to see videos of classes in action or call 914-315-4223.

Carla Rose Fisher is a freelance copywriter and Harrison resident. E-mail businesses you’d like to see featured here to carla@saidandsung.com.