World Cup fans at Admiral's Cup (J.M. Giordano / July 1, 2014)
The USA has done what everyone thought impossible, advancing to the second round (the knockout stage) of the World Cup and giving us more excuses to hit bars on weekdays—as if we needed any. USA now takes on Belgium this Tuesday at 4 p.m. (just in time for Happy Hour) in a match that’s win or go home. So throw on that stinky red, white, and blue shirt you superstitiously haven’t washed in two weeks and consider this a month long 4th of July celebration.
Inner Harbor World Cup Party – The Waterfront Partnership is hosting an outdoor viewing party at West Shore Park (near the Visitors Center) where they’ll be showing the game on a 10’x20’ LED wall with drinks and food. Mount Vernon restaurant Dooby’s will be serving $4 beers, $5 wines, $7 cocktails, and $8 smoked Korean BBQ brisket sandwiches along with more food options from the Kommie Pig and Daura food trucks. If you like outdoor drinking (who doesn’t) on the water, then this is your spot. RSVP here.
Le Garage – Further north in Hampden, this tasty new spot will be showing the match on their new TV in the bar area, where they’ll be embracing the matchup with Belgium by offering a special happy hour of 2-for-1 American and Belgian draft beers from 3-7pm. While we do not advocate drinking the competition's beer, our love of saisons and the like may have us turning a blind eye for this one. The food isn’t too shabby either.
Hudson Stackhouse – Another beer bar that specializes in Belgian beer, this Canton bar will be offering $2 off all draft beers. If you’ve ever been, you know that this place is one of the more underrated bars in Charm City and has an amazing selection of 35 taps ranging from rare funky sours to bitter American IPA’s, and at $2 off, that can get dangerous.
In Like Flynn Tavern – This brand new spot—in the former space of J. Patricks in Locust Point—is an Irish bar, so chances are pretty good you’re gonna have a fun time watching a soccer game here. They’ll be serving up $3 Carlsberg tall boys along with half price wings during the match. And if they’re honoring their normal Happy Hour you’ll also get $3 Miller Lite drafts, $4 Guinness, Harp, Union Duckpin, Brewer’s Alley Koslch, Evolution Summer Session, Strongbow Cider, and Lagunitas IPA drafts. It’s also just a good excuse to check out what they’ve done with the place—we’ve heard good things.
Claddagh’s Pub – Speaking of Irish bars: It's far from brand new but this Canton institution has been showing World Cup matches since long before we discovered what stoppage time and PK’s were (the website proclaims it “Baltimore’s original soccer pub”). The upstairs and downstairs are adorned with various soccer scarves, posters, and team flags, making it an appropriate place to take in one of the most important US matches in the past decade. We fondly remember it as the place we were when Zinedine Zidane, France’s all-time best, famously ruined his legacy by head butting an Italian in the 2006 final. Specials include $3 Bud Lights and Coronas and $5 Guinness.
Alonso’s – If you’re up north near Loyola University you might want to check out the game at yet another great hidden beer joint, Alonso’s. Every time we come in we’re surprised by the selection and prices and the staff has always treated us as if we were just in yesterday. They’ll be offering $4 Jailbreak pints—the three-month old brewery out of Laurel—with the first one scoring you a free glass. Watch the USA and support a local brewery? We can get down with that.
Alexander’s Tavern – There are some impressive specials over at this Fell’s Point bar where they’re doing free shooters for every US goal, $3 Full Tilt bottles, Union Blackwing, Coors Summer, Red Hook, $12 infusion shotskis, and $2.75 Bud Lights. Any place that has a shotski is ok in our books.
Abbey Burger Bistro – This soccer and burger oasis is home to a pretty huge Arsenal support group during the English Premier League, so although we’ve yet to be there for a world cup match, we’ve heard it’s been pretty crowded if you’re looking to be in the fray. Their well-known (and highly touted) construct-your-own burgers are only a bonus. They’ve partnered with No Idea on a commemorative 25 oz. World Cup mug that’ll cost you $20, with your first beer included and all other beers discounted.
Amicci’s – If you’re looking for Italian grub with your soccer this Little Italy gem has you covered with $6 appetizers, $8 entrees, $2.50 Bud Light’s, $3 Coronas, and discounts on wine and cocktails. Since they opened the bar side a while back, we’ve always found this to be a nice oasis to dip into when in the neighborhood. Keep an eye out for the handmade tournament.
Pratt Street Ale House – For those of you who have 7pm Orioles tickets and want to stay close to Camden Yards, this is a good option—honestly, it’s a good option before any Orioles game. They have plenty of great house brewed beers on tap and their food is also pretty legit pub grub. Starting at 3pm they’ll be pitting Belgium’s Saison DuPont up against their own Draft Punk IPA (best beer name ever) for $3 each. They’re also serving American Hog Wings versus Belgian style Pomme Frites. Yes, Hog Wings, as in, BBQ’d pork-on-the-bone “wings”. Now that’s straight up ‘Murca.