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Primanti's bans 'anything with a fin' to support Steelers

| Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, 10:30 a.m.
Primanti Bros. fish sandwich

Don't go to Primanti Bros. this weekend for a fish sandwich — you won't be able to get one.

To send good vibes to the Pittsburgh Steelers for their playoff game against the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 8, the restaurant chain will take fish off the menu through Sunday at all locations.

“We've been trying to think of what we could do for the team,” says Toni Haggerty, a longtime employee at the original Strip District store. “And then we realized it's more about what we shouldn't do, and that's support anything that comes from the ocean.”

“We know that a dolphin is a mammal, but we're just hoping people have fun with this,” says marketing director Ryan Wilkinson. “We're banning anything with a fin.”

Primanti's also is asking fans to support the Steelers by showing off their non-fish Primanti Bros. meals with #NoFishFriday on all social media accounts. Lucky fans will be awarded prizes and gift cards. Posts should be tagged @PrimantiBros.

The fish ban will extend throughout the weekend, as will the chance to win prizes.

Wilkinson says prizes will include “swag” like T-shirts and hats. With the gift cards, “people can come back and have a meal on us at Lent,” a time when southwestern Pennsylvanians love to dig into their fish sandwiches.

Primanti Bros. sandwiches are often at stake in bets, Wilkinson says.

“We don't like to make the bets ourselves, but we are here to support the hometown teams however we can,” he says, noting frequent food bets between politicians in rival sports cities.

In January 2016, Primanti Bros. boxed up 100 sandwich kits to send to Buffalo Bills headquarters.

The meals were a thank-you for the Bills' 22-17 victory over the New York Jets, which paved the Steeler's way to last year's playoffs.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto followed up for the Steelers-Bengals wild-card game by offering Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley a food package that included Primanti sandwiches and other signature city foods. Cranley countered with Cincinnati's famous ribs, chili and coney dogs.

Both agreed, win or lose, to donate the promised treats to local rescue missions.


Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750 or

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