Published: Thursday, August 10, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
By: Jim Ingram
— Hope springs eternal for Cleveland Browns fans as another NFL season approaches with the urgency of a gritty four-yard run by two-time Pro Bowler Kevin Mack.
After all, this year’s team has to be at least a little better than last year’s one-win campaign, right? And just as high hopes in August are a Browns fan tradition, so are football Sundays at Patterson Pub at 970 Patterson Road in Dayton.
Widely regarded as one of — if not the — best Browns bars in the area, Patterson Pub will be accepting members into its Cleveland Browns Sunday viewing club again this preseason. It’s a club that, for a fee, has many benefits. Members get a table for the game that week, a personalized shirt, drink specials, grilled burgers and hot dogs and entry into the various door prize drawings.
Think of it as a PSL with drink specials and more.
It’s a tradition that’s been going on since the Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999. Back then the bar was known as Taggart’s Pub, and the owner Mike Taggart had hoped to make it an official bar of the Browns Backers — the official fan club of the team that hosts watch parties at preferred watering holes.
Things went over like an errant Tim Couch pass, however.
“The impetus of the whole thing was the Browns Backers were looking for home bars to watch the games in the area, and I was the first person to call and say I was interested. So they said they would come check my bar out,” Taggart remembered. “A few weeks went by and I hadn’t heard anything. So I called them and I found out they selected three other bars.”
So Taggart spent the money to get all the games on satellite (including preseason), added three high-definition projection screens, hoisted two giant Browns flags outside his business and started up his own club anyway. “A couple years later, I had 160 members and the Browns Backers were contacting me asking if they could promote their events in my bar,” Taggart said.
Despite the bar changing hands in 2014 and operating under a different name, the tradition now continues with longtime Taggart’s patron and Browns fan Brian Rinderle — who Taggart called his “right-hand man” — now organizing things. It’s not uncommon to drive by and see a long line waiting to get in before kickoff.
Though he doesn’t run the show anymore, Taggart has fond memories of his former business and an experiment that turned into a success that’s lasted 18 years and counting.
“I was there for almost 20 years and had a lot of fun and made a lot of friends,” he said. “But I think that became the Browns bar.”
Fans interested in joining the Browns Club should contact Patterson Pub at (937) 296-9476 or in person.