Photo: Michael Spain-Smith
Hamburger impresario Tommy Up contends that the pickleback shots - a shot of whiskey and pickle brine - served at P.Y.T. during playoff games are neither a charm nor a jinx for local sports teams. He takes no responsibility for the Phillies loss to the Yankees in last year’s World Series, and certainly won’t hear anything about the unusual concoction being responsible for the Flyers double-bummer in the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs. “I don’t think our pickleback shots have magical voodoo powers over any team’s performance,” Up told Grub Street. “But maybe if we double up tonight we can overcome this two game deficit.”
Just as he did during each game of last year’s World Series, Up offered guests at P.Y.T. playoff specials on Saturday and Monday nights when the Flyers faced off against the Chicago Blackhawks that included $3 Miller High Lifes, $3 pickleback shots, plus free pickleback shots at the bar for every time the Flyers scored. Just as with the Phillies last fall, in both instances the Flyers lost.
“It’s kind of become our thing over here,” Up said. “It definitely helps us get rid of our pickle juice, which is a commodity here because we’re a burger joint, and it makes whiskey a bit more palatable too. But does it have an effect on our local teams? I don’t think so.”
One of Up’s bartender’s invented the pickleback in college, and since P.Y.T.’s opening, its become the burger bar’s unofficial drink. “It’s a lot better than it sounds,” he said. “I would say that nine out of ten people that try it really enjoy it. But there’s always one out the ten who says, ‘I hate pickle juice.’” Feeling superstitious? Go to P.Y.T. tonight, drink pickleback shots and see if it helps or hinders the Flyers.