Arena SurfaceThe favorite sports bar of Philadelphia Fans, Chickie’s & Pete’s, will be one of three new restaurants to open inside the new PPL Center this fall. Also joining the lineup will be Tim Horton’s, the number one fast food chain in Canada that is known for their fresh coffee and doughnuts, and Crust, a coal-fired pizza restaurant. All three new eateries will have entrances on Hamilton Street and will be open all year, including non-event days for the arena.

Chickie’s and Pete’s was founded in 1977 in Northeast Philadelphia, and the location on Packer Avenue near the sports complex has become the destination for food and drink before, during, and after a game. The chain, known for its Crabfries, quickly expanded throughout the Philadelphia area and was named America’s Best Sports Bar by ESPN in 2012.

This will not be the first Chickie’s & Pete’s to come to the area, but will be the first one open to the general public year round. In 2011, they opened two stands inside Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, open when the park is, and last year added a full-service restaurant.

The restaurant will be able to accommodate 275 guests indoors and 50 outside, and will feature two bars: one will be Phantoms-themed, and the other will be the chain’s standard bar, complete with its signature sliding wooden ladder for their bartenders to access their drink selection. It will also include a broadcast booth for television productions.

Tim Horton’s is an appropriate addition to the home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms since it was started by former Toronto Maple Leaf Defenseman Tim Horton. He opened his first store in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, and had expanded to 40 restaurants when he was tragically killed in an auto accident in 1974. The business, which started as just a coffee and doughnut shop, has expanded and is now known for its muffins, baked goods, and charity work, and has over 4,000 locations throughout the United States and Canada.