The Pittsburgh Steelers will face the Green Bay Packers in the 2011 Super Bowl Feb. 6 and Hops Fogelsville Hotel will be -- well -- hopping.
The bar and restaurant at 7921 Main St. in Fogelsville has served as a gathering place for Steelers fans -- and followers of other teams -- since the Hoppy family of New Tripoli purchased the old hotel in 2005.
Steelers fans packed the bar area of the building, once a hotel dating back to 1798, and cheered lustily Sunday night as their black-and-gold clad team defeated the New York Jets, 24-19, to win the AFC championship and advance to the Feb. 6 Super Bowl in Dallas.
"Football enthusiasts come here every Sunday and for followers of all teams, the goal is to come here and have a good time," said Michael Zehner of Fogelsville. "We razz each other, but we pass the pizza and beer around and just have some fun."
Ed Fulmer, who occupied a seat at the corner of the bar with a great view of one of the 14 big-screen televisions, largely agreed.
"We're all compadres here," Fulmer said. "We all get together and pick on each other."
The theme is evident when entering Hops as the bartenders and servers are clad in Steelers garb and a large team banner adorns the back of the bar. A majority of the patrons are clad in Steelers hats, jerseys and buttons.
Scott, Carol and Byron Hoppy purchased the business in 2005, according to manager Pete Zondlo, who said Byron pushed the Steelers theme.
"Byron was the huge Pittsburgh fan," Zondlo said. "The family has made huge improvements to the building, which actually was a hotel, although the rooms upstairs are dormant. They've done some huge improvements here and you see can see the Steelers swag all around, which the beer companies help us with."
Hops features a large bar area and two separate dining rooms with televisions viewable from almost every angle.
"We get about 50 hard-core Steelers fans here on Sundays. We'll even get some Jets fans. A little friendly heckling never hurt anyone," Zondlo said.
The only Jets fan brave enough to don a green and white jersey was Peter Finger of Breinigsville.
"I'm the head chef here, so the Jets have to be represented," Finger said.