Jun 2, 2010 4:32:10 PM
Top spots to watch the World Cup in the USA
Contrary to some opinions, the world’s most-watched sporting event is actually watched by some Americans. In fact, many. If you’re looking for a big screen, or beer-drinking cohorts, to watch (and drink) with, here are a few stand-out spots nationwide.
Otherwise, just find a local taquería, which is pretty much guaranteed to be playing games with Telemundo’s thrilling ‘gooooooooooooolllll’ broadcasts.
Wrigleyville’s Ginger’s Ale House has 20 HD TVs and nothing but soccer in the works. The Irish pub makes a mean breakfast too, good for those early games. (Just don’t mention the Burn — the Chicago Fire and Dallas Burn, MLS teams, don’t like each other.)
Texas has always been more soccer-friendly than outsiders think. And certainly at Trinity Hall Pub, an Irish pub with all eyes set on the World Cup (even if Ireland were unfairly disqualified by a naughty Thierry Henry of France).
Laverne & Shirley’s old town has enough soccer love that Nomad Pub has even made World Cup t-shirts and are having ‘block parties’ for the World Cup opening/finale June/July 11. Their Minneapolis location also will have the US/England game on the Jumbotron.
NEW YORK CITY
Legendary Nevada Smith’s in the East Village doesn’t wait for World Cups to show off world soccer — it’s the de facto New York ‘football’ bar. In Brooklyn, you can watch the first-ever African-hosted World Cup kick off at Fort Greene’s popular South African restaurant, Madiba, which also offers various South African specialties.
Or to follow Brazil, go to ‘Little Brazil’ — or 46th St between Fifth & Sixth Aves — lined with Brazilian restaurants to find a place to watch. Or just go to Queens. The world’s most diverse neighborhood will have locals cheering on essentially every team in the World Cup.
Just south of Oakland in the heart of ‘Raider nation’ is San Leandro, where legendary sports bar Ricky’s has a throw-back feel, good food, plenty of tables and HD/3-D screens showing all World Cup games.
I’ve long maintained that everyone should be a Mexico soccer fan. If/when Mexico should win the World Cup, so much joy would radiate across the globe, there’d be world peace — at least for a while. A great place to go all-out Mexico is San Diego’s (cheesy) Fiesta Hall, where things will buzz during the opening South Africa/Mexico game June 11.
Where else but San Francisco would the city hoist a 13′ x 18′ screen before City Hall to broadcast every game? Really, that’s hard to beat. If you prefer sports bars (as I do), Lower Haight’s Mad Dog in the Fog is one of many places here where soccer is called ‘football.’ I watched many games with beer-fueled breakfasts at the English pub a few Cups back, and watched the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd glumly file out when Italy eliminated England.
With its basketball team in Oklahoma City (and baseball and football teams generally sucking), Seattle is a surprise ’soccer town.’ (Its Sounders play MLS ball.) And the place to watch, by far, is Fadó. It also has locations in other cities, including Austin, Denver, Philadelphia and St Louis.
Home to MLS’ United, DC has a number of soccer-oriented bars, including Lucky Bar, south of Dupont Circle, which will play games live then re-air them in the evenings. Breakfast starts at 7am.
Any great soccer bars we missed here?
–> June 12th prediction: USA 2, England 1