I was up at 6 a.m. today so that I could make the 7 a.m. kickoff for the Mexico-South Africa match, and still had to wait in line to get into Fremont's George & Dragon. Fun atmosphere, though. Awesome bloody-Mary's, as always. The only bad news? Apparently G&D won't open until about 6 a.m. Saturday (South Korea-Greece isn't a big draw, I guess).
That has caused a change in plans, as Kirsten, Graham and I instead will be heading over to Azzurri. As Kirsten detailed earlier today, the Italian Calcio bar looks promising -- plus it requires very little change in plans as it's across the street from G&D.
Since World Cup watching is at least partly about atmosphere, there's a pretty good chance we'll head over to G&D once it opens.
The point of this little post? There are lots of places in and around Seattle that are celebrating the World Cup properly. These aren't all necessarily traditional soccer pubs, but they are places that are making a big deal out of the world's best tournament.
Several weeks ago I promised to compile a list of places that were, in fact, celebrating the World Cup as it deserves to be. What follows is as good a list as I could come up with. It is, by no means, complete. But they are places that I've been able to confirm are showing the games and doing something special. Please, feel free to share your plans and add more places in the comments.
And just to make your viewing experience all the better, here's where you can download all 32 World Cup Team Reference Cards.
Neumo's: I'm pretty sure they aren't planning to show many of the games other than the U.S.-England match, but this will probably be the biggest gathering in Seattle. ECS and American Outlaws are hosting the viewing party with doors opening at 8 a.m. They'll show the Nigeria-Argentina game at 9 a.m. on tape-delay and then the South Korea-Greece game at 1:30 p.m.
Nord Alley: Near Occidental Park in Pioneer Square. It looks like all the 11:30 a.m. games will be shown, as well as the quarters, semis, third-place match and championship. Included in that group is the U.S.-England match. Admission is free and there are supposed to be food vendors there as well, but it will be a dry event.
George & Dragon (world cup schedule): The Fremont stand-by will open for all the 7 a.m. games, have a beer garden for big games and will show some of the 4:30 a.m. games, as well (check their website for details). They'll also be replaying games later in the day.
Azzurri: The wine bar/restaurant/cafe named after the Italian national team loves calcio like few others. They'll be opening for all the 4:30 a.m. games, as well as showing all the others.
Beveridge Place Pub: Classic ale house is opening early (just 11 a.m., crazies) for the U.S.-England match. Can't vouch for the footy bonafides, but some of the SounderatHeart community will be meeting there.
All Nations Soccer Bar and Restaurant (pdf world cup schedule): If you are in the northern Seattle neighborhoods, this is as good a bet as any. They'll be open for all games, but the amount of available service will depend on the number of reservations they receive. If you plan to go, it's probably best to call ahead. At the very least, you can follow their Twitter account @AllNationsBar.
Near Green Lake
St. Andrews (world cup schedule): If you want a place that is going to join in your hatred of England, this place is apparently the real deal. The Scottish pub will be a friendly refuge for Americans looking for a sympathetic ear. Most of the games will be aired live, but Saturday's South Korea-Greece won't be. Check their schedule just to be safe.
Atlantic Crossing (pdf world cup schedule): One of the favorite hangouts of ECS, they'll be opening earlier than normal, but will still tape-delay most of the games that start earlier than 11:30. When the U.S. plays, however, they'll be making exceptions.
Kangaroo and Kiwi (world cup schedule): Basically across the street from St. Andrews on the west side of Green Lake (yes, I realize that means it's not really in the "Green Lake neighborhood"). It's the place to go if you're interested in watching New Zealand or Australia. They're basically showing all the games except the 4:30 a.m. ones.
Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association: viewing parties for 45 games at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. This seems like a legit family event, meaning face painting and the whole 9.
The Dray: Yet another place that will be showing every game live.
Cafe Presse: Better known for its coffee and French bistro fare, this place does love its soccer. They'll be keeping pretty standard hours, but that still means they'll be open for the 7 a.m. games.
Summit Public House: Another favorite haunt of various Sounders supporters groups, they aren't showing a whole lot of games live that don't involve the U.S., but they make my list by virtue of their hosting a pig-roast for the U.S-England match.
Market Arms: Word on the street is that the long-rumored sister pub to George & Dragon is finally open. I'm sure you'll find plenty of fans there.
Ballard Loft: For whatever reason, they have no mention of World Cup festivities on their website. Yet, I know for a fact that they will be doing some fun stuff that will include happy-hour pricing from 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Plus, they are one of the places on the Sounders Pub Crawl list. I'm planning to head over there, probably Sunday.
Vague Downtown vicinity
5 Points Cafe: The famous all-night cafe will be bringing in extra TVs and already has a happy hour from 6 a.m.-9 a.m.
Fado Irish Pub: It's a chain, so I was a little surprised to find out that they are one of a handful of places that I could find that are showing all 64 matches live. If you live near Pioneer Square, it's a pretty solid choice.
Temple Billiards: One of the best happy hour deals in the city will be opening early for many World Cup matches.
This is from a Sounders press release: The Sounders FC announced today a custom Trip on Gowalla, a mobile and web service, to encourage soccer fans to go out and explore the best King County pubs to watch the World Cup between June 12 - July 11.
Fans who visit all 11 area soccer pubs and check-in using Gowalla will receive a Sounders FC Pin in their Gowalla Passport and be eligible for a commemorative Sounders FC scarf and other exclusive items in partnership with Seattle Bank.
The 11 participating pubs include the following:
- George and Dragon Pub- 206 North 36th Street
- Fado's Irish Pub- 801 1st Avenue
- Azteca Restaurant- 17555 Southcenter Parkway
- Spitfire Grill- 2219 4th Avenue
- Fuel Sportsbar- 164 S Washington Street
- St Andrews Bar and Grill- 7406 Aurora Avenue North
- Ballard Loft- 5105 Ballard Avenue Northwest
- Neumos- 925 East Pike Street
- Atlantic Crossing- 6508 Roosevelt Way Northeast
- All Nations Sports Bar- 930 North 130th Street
- Kells Irish Pub-1916 Post Alley
In addition, the Sounders FC have partnered with George and Dragon Pub, Fado's Irish Pub and the Southcenter Azteca Restaurant to provide U.S. Soccer and Sounders FC merchandise for give-a-ways during the three USA or World Cup C matches.
DATE: June 12
MATCH: USA vs. England
KICKOFF: 11:30 a.m. (PT)
LOCATION: George and Dragon Pub, 206 North 36th Street
DATE: June 18
MATCH: USA vs. Slovenia
KICKOFF: 7 a.m. (PT)
LOCATION: Fado's Irish Pub, 801 1st Avenue
DATE: June 23
MATCH: USA v Algeria
KICKOFF: 7 a.m. (PT)
LOCATION: Azteca Restaurant, 17555 Southcenter Parkway, Tukwila