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Where Phillies fans can catch the game

The Chicago fans have been quieted. Boston backers, too.

But Philadelphia Phillies fans? That might take some work.

As the Rays and Phillies square off in the World Series, it's worth noting that, technically, the Phillies have more history here than the Rays. Clearwater has been the Phillies' spring training home for more than 60 years, and some local baseball fans have pulled for the Phillies longer than the Rays have been a team.

So if you want to head to a bar to cheer for the Rays, be careful not to pick one of these Philly fan hangouts:

Lenny's Restaurant, Clearwater The walls are lined with Phillies paraphernalia. During spring training, fans and players alike stop in for home fries and omelets. It's such a Philly-centric hangout, Pennsylvania radio hosts used to call up the owners to check on the dining habits of first baseman John Kruk. 21220 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater; (727) 799-0402.

Players Sports Lounge, Tampa This bar in the DoubleTree Hotel Tampa Airport is the home for the Tampadelphia Eagles Fan Club, whose members meet each Sunday to eat cheesesteaks and watch their beloved Eagles. On Wednesday and Thursday, they'll be hosting Philadelphia TV and radio crews in town for the World Series. Then on Sunday, the Eagles play at 1 p.m., with the Phillies game that night. Talk about a full day. 4500 W Cypress St., Tampa; (813) 879-4800, tampadoubletree.com, tampadelphia.com.

Philly Phlava, Tampa You may be familiar with this cheery cheesesteakery's kiosk at the St. Pete Times Forum. But it also has two locations in Carrollwood and Town 'N Country where the devotion to the Philly way of life is impressive: Tastykakes, Herr's Chips, Hank's Soda, Wawa Coffee and Birch Beer, all available with your cheesesteak (available with Cheez Whiz for the purists, by request only). 10039 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, (813) 249-7181; 13149 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, (813) 514-1230. phillyphlava.com.

Philly's Famous Cheesesteaks, Largo The key to a good cheesesteak, owner Paul Campbell says, is a good roll. He orders his from century-old Philly bakery Amoroso's, then prepares them the way he sees fit. "You ask for black olives and relish, and we ask, 'What, are you from Delaware?'" he said in March. "And in Philly, if you ask for mayo? Cooks go bananas. They'll throw you in the river for even asking for it." 4375 East Bay Drive, Clearwater, (727)539-1733.

Charann's Tavern State College, Pa., is about 200 miles from Philadelphia. But we're betting more than a few Phillie fans are Penn State alumni. This is where they meet each Saturday to eat steak sandwiches and cheer on the Nittany Lions. 6821 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa; (813)866-1199. Contributing: Laura Reiley.

.Fast facts

Don't stay home

Beach Theatre: St. Pete Beach's indie theater is bumping some of its movies in order to screen World Series games 1 and 2 on a high-definition, 30-foot screen. Admission is free. 315 Corey Ave., St. Pete Beach; (727) 360-6697

Vintage Ultra Lounge: A VIP party is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. today at Vintage, with Bucs cheerleaders and Coors Light girls in attendance. Organizers expect some football players to show up, too. Tickets are $40 for a pre-party; Coors Light products are all-you-can-drink from 6 to 9 p.m. For tickets and tables, call Michael Oz at Hype Media, (813) 374-0294. 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg.

Where Phillies fans can catch the game 10/21/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2008 10:25am]
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