Starting about 3 a.m., before the Blackhawks' plane had landed at O'Hare, fans sat outside The Pony hoping it would be the first stop for the team.
When word spread that the bar, 1638 W. Belmont Ave., was hosting a Blackhawks celebration at 6 a.m., many assumed that meant Lord Stanley's chalice would once again make its way to the bar.
In 2010, after the Hawks feasted at Harry Caray's in Rosemont the night they won the cup, the team went straight to the Pony Inn.
"The thought was go where they went" the last time, said 25-year-old Chris Cooney, who lined up outside the bar at 3 a.m. with a mini version of the cup and a working red goal light on his head.
Dan Fletcher, a 24-year-old Lakeview resident, thought being one of the first people outside the bar might have given him the chance to meet emerging Hawks star Andrew Shaw.
"My main goal was to see if Shaw was going to show up," Fletcher said. "It's like, dude you're badass. Taking a puck to the face and continuing to play."
As word spread throughout the morning and the Cup left the Scout restaurant and bar in the South Loop, hundreds of fans gathered in and outside the Pony Inn. That included several police officers, which most in the crowd took to mean that the Cup was on its way.
Some waited outside for more than four hours.
Others paid the $20 cover charge and decided to turn their Tuesday mornings into a celebration, Stanley Cup or not.
"It's not too often you're going to have Bloody Marys at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday," said 44-year-old Dave Wolfson.
Wolfson waited until about 10 a.m. to call it a day. He had to work and was already late.
The only thing that could have saved him from his boss would have been a photo with the Cup, he said.