In 1977, Chickie’s & Pete’s opened in Philadelphia, taking over a small neighborhood taproom in Mayfair in the northeast of the city. At the time, Peter and Henrietta Ciarrocchi named it after their nicknames, and by 1987, their son Pete was running the place, adding his spin on crab fries. They younger Ciarrocchi had bigger dreams, and found a location near the former Veterans Stadium, home of the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies, to build out a sports bar where fans could cheer. He went on to create an empire of 19 sports bars, mostly around Philly, and now adds Las Vegas to the fold.
Chickie’s & Pete’s opened at the Sahara with a roster of crabfries, seafood favorites, and just about anything sports fans can eat with their hands.
“I gotta be honest, this is the ultimate. If my parents were around, they wouldn’t believe it — from a little tiny corner bar to this, our third casino, and it’s in Las Vegas,” says Pete Ciarrocchi, Chickie’s & Pete’s chairman and CEO. He can’t wait for fans to try the crab feast with a pound of snow crab legs, one Dungeness crab, king crab legs, and corn, as well as a jumbo lump crab cake sandwich, Chickie’s-style hot shrimp, mussels in red and white sauce, baby lobster tails, and Lisa’s blonde lobster pie. No sports bar out of the City of Brotherly Love is complete without cheesesteaks, and Chickie’s & Pete’s serves them five ways including the classic, made with Chickie’s & Pete’s cheese sauce; the lobster; the chicken, and the Buffalo chicken.
“We believe that there’s a lot of sports fans in this country and they all visit Las Vegas,” Ciarrocchi says. “They want to watch sports in a sports bar that you can bet on sports. I mean, there are sports books out there that they open up and then they sell alcohol and so on but they’re not a specialized sports bar and crab house like we are.”
Game day favorites include Philly cheesesteak nachos, Chickie’s wings, fried shrimp, and a lineup of burgers including the Ultimate Tailgate burger that, of course, features a jumbo lump crab cake. Those crabfries feature crinkle-cut French fries with a sprinkle of crab spices and white creamy cheese sauce for dipping.
The 8,200 square-foot venue sits along Las Vegas Boulevard with garage doors that can roll up when the weather is nice. Fans can watch their favorite teams — whether it’s the Eagles or not — on one of 20 55-inch televisions in the bar area and another 24 more even bigger screens across the dining area. Three VIP gaming pods each include two televisions, oversized sectional sofas, video game consoles, a buffet-style table, and custom Las Vegas panoramic murals. The space includes two stone fireplaces along with lounge seating and booths. The sports bar even has a private dining room with room for 24 people with its own a private patio and fireplace. The William Hill Sports Book within gives diners opportunities to place a bet on their favorite teams.