Cheers was a bar where everyone knew your name, but Par's Place in Fairfield seems to be a bar where almost everyone is a UC fan. Owner Perry Brandt likes it that way, but he wasn‘t always a UC diehard. Although born in Cincinnati, Perry spent some of his youth in Flint, Michigan before moving north of Columbus to Marion, Ohio. Despite living in the heart of Buckeye land, Brandt never warmed to the scarlet and gray. "I went to Ohio State because it was close to home and all my friends were going there, but I was a Michigan State fan."
Becoming a Bearcat didn't happen until the early 90's. "We moved down here in 1991, and I attended graduate school there. Then it just kind of got in my blood. It was like some kind of drug that just seeps into your system. I attended a couple football games on a lark, and they were really awful at the time. I saw high school football that I thought was better than that, but I just fell in love with it."
Fell in love, indeed. Now Perry leads a group of loyal Bearcat football fans and Par's Place regulars. They tailgate at home games, take several road trips for away games and meet as a group at Par's for televised games. These folks love their tailgating. Perry explained, "We usually meet at Par's Place on our new front porch and head down anywhere from 3 to 5 hours before kickoff. I usually supply some food from our menu and others bring something. We just have a ball." They always have plenty of food, games, and a television to stay current with other college football action. The group usually ranges from 10 to 30 people, but last year‘s Miami game set a record with nearly 50 pre-game revelers. This year they plan on taking road trips to Pittsburgh, Miami and South Florida. Traveling to bowl games seems to be Perry's specialty since he's attended the Humanitarian Bowl, two Motor City Bowls, the New Orleans Bowl, and The Fort Worth Bowl. Plus, he got to be in the middle of the Bearcat brawl at Hawaii in 2002.
Televised Bearcats games are also fun to watch at Par's Place because Perry gets creative. In the past he's had drink specials. Bearcat touchdowns meant reduced drink prices. The longer the TD, the cheaper the drink. A really long score could mean a beer as cheap as a quarter. Last year Par's had a pig roast for the Syracuse televised game. It was so successful Par's is doing an encore for this year's televised Syracuse game on October 29. "We've got a 250 pound pig to roast this year so we won't be running out of food. We'll tie it in with the noon televised Syracuse football game. We'll tailgate out on our front porch with our new 42" plasma television. People will be able to sit outside to watch the game."
Par's is located at 6121 "old" Winton Road in Fairfield, Ohio. To get there from I-275, take the exit at Forest Fair Mall. Go north toward Fairfield on Gilmore Rd. Turn left at Mack Road, and Par's is about a football field on your left. If you're a Bearcat fan, you're guaranteed to be among friends.