- At Cohill's Inn in Lubec, Maine, you might think you're in Philadelphia thanks to the passion of owners Ellen Cohill and Glenn Charles.
On an evening in May 2018 at a quaint pub on the water, a group of football fans gathered together to celebrate the beginning of the summer and relive the ending of the 2017 NFL season.
The patrons wore shades of green and ate cheesesteaks, tater tots, and soft pretzels as they watched an NFL Films special before a replay of the entire Super Bowl from start to finish. A flag with an Eagles logo hung from the doorway to the kitchen just below a New Jersey license plate.
One could mistake this for a bar in the middle of the Delaware Valley, fresh with the everlasting enthusiasm permeating from a historic Eagles season. But next to the large flag on the wall rested a sign that read: Lincoln Financial Field, 653 miles.
Welcome to Cohill's Inn, located in Lubec, Maine, where residents can see the sunrise before anyone else in the United States and owners Ellen Cohill and Glenn Charles share their die-hard Eagles fandom with everybody in the area. Their hotel and bar is known as the easternmost Eagles pub in the United States.
"We immediately set our footprints," Cohill said. "We're in Patriots territory, but that's alright. We're Philadelphia strong here."
The two co-owners, Cohill the head chef and Charles the "mixologist and front of the house," had vastly different paths to the inn, established in 2006. Cohill grew up in Havertown and Media, graduated from Penn State, and worked in New Jersey for 20 years before packing up and moving north.
On a trip for her 40th birthday, Cohill discovered just how beautiful Eastern Maine was, reminding her of the rolling hills in Ireland. When the opportunity to purchase the Chowder House and Inn in Lubec presented itself, Cohill decided to "start a new life."
Charles, on the other hand, went on a courageous journey, stating a goal to "find myself" and kayaking more than 600 miles from Key West, Florida to the shore of Maine. Once he arrived and met Cohill, he never wanted to go back.
Hailing from the Washington, D.C. area, he changed his football fandom and learned to love the Eagles quickly. Being around a fan as passionate as Cohill, she said he had "no choice." From the first day of inn's existence, Cohill has had a flag flying outside of the building. One side says "OPEN" and the other is a large Eagles logo.
"It has flown strong now for 12 years with only potentially two mishaps," Cohill said. "Somebody tried to take it and I caught him, and one person ended up taking it but I found it. He was acting like a puppy that just peed in the house. He was hiding from me, cowering in the corner, pretending he did nothing. He was immediately called out on it and said, 'Ellen, here is your flag.'"
"The local community knows very well now not to mess with Ellen's paraphernalia," Charles added.
The tourism season in Maine starts in May and ends in late October, allowing Cohill and Charles to attend a game or two during their offseason. Last year, they spent New Year's Eve in Philadelphia, catching the regular-season finale against the Cowboys. This season, they plan to travel to the Linc for the Giants game on November 11 and fly to London for the Jaguars game on October 28.
But at the pub in the early part of the season, gamedays are especially exciting with NFL games shown on televisions across the pub and another in the back kitchen for Cohill to watch the Birds. If the game isn't televised in the New England market, Cohill makes sure she can at least hear Merrill Reese on the radio.
"Ellen has the sound system in the kitchen separate from the TV system so even if we can't get the game on TV, Ellen will play it and stream it all over the speakers," Charles said. "It confuses the heck out of everyone in the pub because the audio is different than the game on the screen."
One game the Cohill's Inn did get to see last year was the Eagles' thrilling 27-24 victory over the New York Giants in Week 3 when Jake Elliott hit an Eagles-record 61-yard field goal as time expired.
"It was the most surreal scene as the entire pub went completely silent watching that kick fly and then the room just erupted in excitement and disbelief," Charles said. "It was an incredible scene. We even turned the Patriots fans into Eagles fans for a moment."
Gaining respect and even compassion from Patriots fans has been a fun challenge for Cohill and Charles over the years. Following the recent Super Bowl, Charles said that the anger from the loss has subsided and Patriots patrons at the bar can appreciate how great of a game it was.
Cohill said many local New England fans respect the Eagles and have even come to like them. The majority showed genuine excitement for her, knowing just how much the win meant.
"We have people who come here on Sundays to watch me watch the game," Cohill said. "It's just so entertaining because I'm just so passionate about the sport and the team so I think every one of my true friends was really happy for me and for Glenn."
In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Cohill ignored scores of messages from friends of the inn wanting to talk smack or place wagers on the game. Friendly rivalries are fun, but family takes priority.
Cohill and Charles instead traveled to Cohill's brother's residence in Southwest Florida to watch the game. Cohill said her love for the Eagles stems from the passion of her father Ray, who passed away in 2005. He had season tickets for the Eagles at both Franklin Field and Veterans Stadium and raised his children to be die-hards.
After a week of family fun and good "mojo," the Super Bowl celebration was an emotional moment that Cohill spent with those who mean the most.
"Well, I cried," Cohill said.
"It's the only time I've ever seen her cry," Charles added.
"We never sat down," Cohill said. "Fortunately I'm short because I was about three feet from the big-screen TV for the entire game, clenching and sweating. It was just pretty amazing. It was an amazing game, on both sides. Even our Patriots fans say it was a great game."
While Charles did not grow up with Eagles blood in his family, he said watching the Cohill family celebrate a championship decades in the making was remarkable.
"The Eagles were such a huge thing in their lives with their father that I thought the most touching moment beyond Ellen crying, which I've never seen her do, was her and her brother raising a toast to their father, Ray, and letting him know they were all together in spirit when the Eagles had done this," Charles said. "It was really a moving moment. It was very cool."
Family is what is most important to Cohill and Charles. It's the root of their fandom. It's what made the Super Bowl victory so personal and so special. And it's the motivation to make their business, with the Cohill name painted in big green and white letters on the outside wall, leave a lasting legacy in Maine.
"I thought about my father, and if he could only see this and sit here in this pub, and it's almost for me beyond words because it's so cool," Cohill said. "I feel so proud, for us to be able to bring this together and represent my father, and his spirit, through flying the flag, being Philly proud, and being in such a beautiful area. It's just awesome."