The formerly two-year Barstool Best Bar champion, Sup Dogs failed to reclaim its victory in the 2021 competition, and in the face of loss, the local Greenville, North Carolina, bar’s fans and owner reflect on what it means to them.
Sup Dogs Owner Bret Oliverio said as the bar and restaurant won the competition in 2019 and 2020, he did not expect to lose this year to Riley’s Bar in Chico’s, California.
“I thought we had the votes to win again and I was shocked, I thought there was a 1% chance we would lose,” Oliverio said. “But, you know, we’ll live to fight another day.”
Oliverio said he still feels thankful for all of the support he saw throughout the competition. He said Sup Dogs had made plans to return for the competition in 2022.
Sophomore business management major, Isaac Pittman said Sup Dogs should have won. He said when Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers showed support for the opposing bar, Riley’s Bar, it interfered with Sup Dogs’ chance for a three-peat.
“It just didn't happen. I wish we could've done it,” Pittman said. “How I feel about it is kind of devastated. We should have won, but we didn't.”
American Restaurateur Guy Fieri, who is also the host of Food Networks series “Diners Drive-ins and Dives,” posted his support of the opposing bar Riley’s Bar, on his official Twitter account, which may have increased votes for the competitor.
Senior music and language studies major Mikaela Schifter said in a written statement that while she congratulates Riley’s, the 2021 Barstool Best Bar winner, she is unhappy with the outcome of the competition.
Schifter said she has many great memories at Sup Dogs and she is confident they will return for the competition in 2022.
“I will always support Sup Dogs, win or lose,” Schifter said. “Just as they have always supported their workers and customers, especially throughout the (COVID-19) pandemic.”
During Sup Dogs’ initial two-week closure at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar dropped off mass amounts of hot dogs to individuals in need around the Greenville area and paid its staff 100% in full as they were left to face unemployment funds.