Thanks to a former Pittsburgh resident, who I met many years ago when I was working on the Kerry presidential campaign, I learned about Francesca’s in Mountain View, CA. I grabbed a ZipCar and headed south of San Francisco.
I was a few minutes late but my Pittsburgh friend Faisal had already ordered an Iron City for me. We had a lovely chat about the difference of living in Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley. Faisal mentioned that in Pittsburgh – he really had a chance to know his neighbors, and he has been in Mountain View for 5 years but doesn’t feel that sense of neighborhood community that Pittsburgh has.
Francesca’s isn’t owned by a Pittsburgher but this is the home of the Steeler Nation in the South Bay. Our bartender was from New Jersey but was a serious Steelers fan. It must have been clear that I was talking Pittsburgh – with in 30 minutes – Chris, the head of the South Bay Steeler Nation came over to talk Steelers.
Chris is from Connecticut but has been a lifelong Steelers fan. He started gathering with a few fans, who are now friends, at a bar called the Sports Page. The group has grown and moved to larger space at Francesca’s.
The South Bay Steelers can be found online at www.SouthBaySteelers.com which leads to their meet up page.
They now have over 100 members and gather for every game at Francesca’s. Before I left I spoke with some other Pittsburgh folks who were in the bar and Chris insisted I see their banner – the photo doesn’t due it justice – but this banner would cover the size of a small building.