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Bars, restaurants preparing for Super Bowl crowds

By Curt Yeomans and Jaya Franklin

cyeomans@news-daily.com and jfranklin@henryherald.com

Michael Capozzoli probably will not be watching any of Sunday's Super Bowl XLII match between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.

Instead, Capozzoli, the owner of Rocky's Pizza and Sub Shop in Jonesboro, will be in his restaurant's kitchen with four cooks, twice as many as he normally has on a Sunday night. He expects to have to-go orders for specials on pizzas and wings, but his dining room will be packed to capacity as well, as patrons watch the football game on seven television sets.

The screams of customers will tell him when a team has scored.

For Capozzoli, and many other merchants, the Super Bowl means a big spike in his business.

"It starts off like a normal Sunday, but more and more people start coming in about three hours before the game starts," Capozzoli said. "It's twice as busy as a normal Sunday... It's a big Sunday for us, but of course, it's a big Sunday for everyone in this area who sells pizza, beer or wings."

Super Bowl XLII will be played on Sunday, in Phoenix, Ariz. This year's match up is the New England Patriots against the New York Giants. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m., and the game will air on Fox affiliates. Fox's pre-game coverage will begin, though, at 9 a.m., and continue until the game begins.

People can either root for the Patriots' pursuit of the first undefeated NFL season in 25 years, or New York quarterback Eli Manning's bid to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Peyton, who already has won a Super Bowl championship.

Eli and Peyton are the first back-to-back brothers tandem to quarterback in Super Bowls. Peyton Manning led the Indianapolis Colts in a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in last year's Super Bowl.

As game day arrives, local business' which cater to sports fanatics are planning on scenes similar to the one Capozzoli is expecting.

The Three Dollar Cafe in McDonough is planning for a large crowd Sunday. The business has 50 television screens available to patrons. Some of the restaurant's famous menu items include wings, chicken fingers, shrimp and nachos. The cafe does not take reservations on the big day.

"We expect Sunday to be filled to capacity," said Nathan Erdossy, shift leader and manager of the cafe. The restaurant can hold 428 people. Erdossy said he expects the bar area to fill up first because everyone will want to crowd around the bar area. The manager said not only will the cafe be extremely busy on Sunday but they will also have a constant flow of traffic going in and out of the location.

"We ordered a lot of extra food. We will do a lot of platters and take-out orders," he said.