DENVER — The outcome of the Super Bowl LVI may not have been what Bengals fans had hoped for, but supporters could commiserate in person at full capacity at Sportsbook Bar and Grill in Wash Park.
The bar was a magnet for the most outspoken and animated followers of Cincinnati's long-embattled football franchise.
"It feels good to be back serving people taking care of people and hanging out with our favorite regulars here," said Jackie Mentone, a manager at The Sportsbook Bar and Grill. "To just be here, experience something like this and be fully open where we can see everyone."
The City of Denver let several key masking and social distancing mandates expire on Feb. 3, allowing fans and spectators to watch with little interruption.
For the first Super Bowl since the regulations were put in place nearly two years ago, fans could watch a game like the years before the pandemic.
For these fans, though it was not a fairy tale ending to the season. In the last quarter — the Los Angeles Rams pulled through and defeated the Bengals 23 to 20 — but patrons of Sportsbook say they will keep coming back to cheer on their almost-Cinderella team.
"It's a family here, like everybody that walks by," said one fan. "Win or lose, still extremely happy and proud of my team."