Getting together to watch the New Orleans Saints play is a special ritual for New Orleanians — but for half the season our beloved boys in black and gold are on the road, so we cram together in barrooms and living rooms to cheer them on, rather than fill up the Superdome.
We’re chronicling those other places that mean so much to us, from corner bars to TV studios to living rooms.
The Reginelli's Pizzeria on the corner of Magazine and State Streets is the gem in the crown of the local pizza chain. It was the first one (though has since moved into new digs across the street), and is still one of the busiest — especially during Saints away games, when many of the 70,000-odd people that normally pour into the Superdome start calling.
Most of those calls are for delivery. Driver Nathan Wallow, a UNO computer science student, says delivery orders usually start piling up about an hour before games start. "It usually stops around the end of the third quarter," he says. Saints games tend to be busier than LSU games, Wallow says, though LSU games were busier last year.
A few people do trickle into the dining room before the game begins, like Shelley Napolitano and Jacob Gower, who were nursing their hangovers after the LSU 45-13 victory over Kent State the night before. "Gotta get food and a Bloody Mary in you to recover from the day before," before catching a Saints game on television, Napolitano says. "And a bar with a big enough television."
Patrick Richmond was tossing dough in preparation for the rush. "You can always tell where the game is at, because the [order] ticket machine starts going off," he says. The kitchen staff stays on top of game developments by piping in WWL Radio, with occasional breaks to catch a few moments of the action on the televisions out in the dining room.
Even though they have to work, the Reginelli's staff says, it doesn't mean they have to miss the game.
Do you have a special place? We want to know about it. Send us an email and explain why your place is like no other place, and we might feature it after the next away game.