Banners featuring Denver Broncos players hang from the walls. The waitstaff is decked out in blue and orange. A busboy’s shirt uniform has a Broncos logo emblazoned on the front.
You might think you were in the Mile High City, but this is actually Butterfield 8 on West 38th Street, the officially recognized Denver Broncos bar of New York City and it is just hours away from hosting a viewing party for Super Bowl 50.
According to bar manager Alyssa Gussack, Butterfield 8 has been in preparation mode since the Broncos beat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game two Sundays ago to earn a ticket to the Super Bowl.
“People started calling to make reservations right after the game and by Monday, we had sold out,” she said.
Gussack is estimating that the bar is expecting about 150 to 200 people to show up, both locals and Denver natives. Although the bar was opening at 4 p.m., a line of people had been forming outside for since 2.
“Having the line creates more of a hype,” said Gussack. “You know, it’s the Super Bowl and we’re the Broncos bar and we have a great staff and we’re excited.”
Outside, about 25 people were eagerly waiting to snag the best seats possible.
“I’m feeling cautiously optimistic,” said one man in line.
“Broncos baby!” exclaimed another man, pounding his fist against the wall he leaned against.
People have come from all over to watch the Super Bowl at the famed Broncos bar. Nicole Crawford is one of the many who traveled from New Jersey to watch at Butterfield 8; she even began her wait on line at 1:45 pm.
“There’s no Broncos’ bar where I live and I was not not going to watch this game at a Denver Broncos bar,” she said.
Although originally from Denver, Bill Brown, now living in Dallas, came into town to visit his friend, Matt Johnson, and they decided they needed to watch the Super Bowl with fellow Broncos fans.
“We’re at this game for Peyton Manning,” Brown said.
Originally with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning, who signed with the Denver Broncos in 2012, has broken the records for most career touchdowns and all-time passing yardage leader with the Broncos. Many fear this will be the 39 year-old’s last game as an NFL quarterback and are eager to see him win one last time.
“He needs to go out and ride this game straight to a Super Bowl ring,” Crawford added.
Despite the sentimentality, the fans were excited, laughing and chatting with friends they just made on line and hoping they would soon be celebrating a big win.
“And who says orange doesn’t look good on everybody?” Johnson joked.