While the WVU Men’s basketball team will be playing on the national stage in the Sweet 16 Thursday night, Calacinos Pizzeria in Beckley is making sure fans that can’t go to the game get the Mountaineer experience.
If you’re wondering how much Calacino’s owner Jerry Zaferatos likes the Mountaineers, well the writing is on the wall.
“This jersey was given to us the year Coach Huggins beat Kentucky,” said Zaperatos pointing to a hanging jersey.
That was in 2010, when a #6 seeded WVU beat the #2 Wildcats in the Elite Eight. That year was one of many stops Bob Huggins made at the popular Beckley restaurant. The tailgate atmosphere is what brings people in.
“It’s going to be exciting, our crowd is going to have a great time with it and hopefully we will have another big win like we did 5 years ago.”
To prepare for the biggest game of the year so far, Jerry and his crew need to prepare.
“we’ll do 10 pork loin roast steaks, then we’ll do 200 pounds of wings.”
And you can’t go to a pizzeria without the staple items.
“We’ve got 200 pounds of dough to prep for all our pizza and calzones and pepperoni rolls.”
With a 9:45 p.m. tip-off time, there’s a jazz band lined up for dinner hours, but when its gets closer to game time, it’s all about basketball.
“At Calacinos everybody know’s you will hear the game live.”
They even have a Mountaineer shuttle, in case you need a ride home. As for an excuse to miss work on Friday, they have you covered too.
“If West Virginia knocks off Kentucky, they have my permission, and Calacinos’ permission to not go to work.”
While Huggins and company take the court Thursday night, WVU fans will be taking a seat, for what should be, a wild ride.
On weeknights Calacinos typically closes at 9 p.m. but on game days they stay open.