Portland was a patchwork of hot spots and dead spots during the Super Bowl on Sunday, with patrons packed inside area bars and most upscale Old Port restaurants shut down for the night.

With the New England Patriots playing in the big game, most Portland businesses that don’t revolve around beer and big-screen TVs saw little more than a trickle of customers Sunday night.

Some restaurants, including Central Provisions and the Corner Room, posted notices on the front door stating that they would be closed Sunday night because of the game. Others, including Fore Street and Street and Co., said they were closed for renovations or maintenance.

The few that remained open, such as Scales and Tandoor, had only a handful of diners inside as of 7 p.m.

But at local bars, it was a whole different ballgame.

Boisterous crowds could be heard down the block from establishments such as Fore Play Sports Pub, Mark’s Sports Bar and Gritty’s Portland Brew Pub.

While most city residents were glued to their TVs at home, a party or a local bar, area grocery stores took the Sunday night lull as an opportunity to restock shelves following a flood of pre-game business.

Still, there were some city residents not interested in the Super Bowl who seized the chance to shop in relative peace and quiet.

“We thought, ‘Wait, the local team’s in the Super Bowl. Great. Let’s go shopping,’” said Portland resident Alan Mooiman, who was on his way to Whole Foods about 7:30 p.m. “We didn’t want to go beforehand, and since neither of us cares about sports …”

Eileen and Zachariah Merrigan, who just moved to Portland from Kittery, said they decided the Super Bowl was a good time to get better acquainted with the city and do some much-needed grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s.

“We did kind of wait until later in the day (for the crowds to subside),” Zachariah Merrigan said, to which Eileen Merrigan added, “We literally had no food in the house, and no cable at home.”

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: jcraiganderson

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