Update: After we posted this story on Tuesday, you (our lovely readers) and a number of local businesses reached out to us to tell us we neglected to mention several other bars and restaurants that are showing the World Cup. While we can't guarantee we're going to name every single spot, we agreed that there are a few more worthy of your time. We've added these places and info about their drink specials and celebrations on page 2 of this story. Thanks for all your input!
It's the most wonderful time of the year for soccer fans--The World Cup!
The 2014 FIFA World Cup is being held in Brazil June 12 through July 13. Even though most of us won't have the opportunity to be there for all the international excitement, there are plenty of chances to watch the games and yell at screens with like-minded individuals right here in Houston.
So put on your favorite jersey and join your buddies for some cold beer, pub food and a little country rivalry as we watch the most popular sport in the world at these great bars.
Baker St. Pub & Grill Sherlock's Baker St. Pub Watson's House of Ales Each Sherlock Holmes-inspired bar will be doing something a little different for the World Cup, so check with your neighborhood pub to find out exactly what to expect. Every Baker St. Pub & Grill in town is kicking off the event on Thursday at 3 p.m. and continuing the party throughout the course of the games with "the longest happy hour in town," Mondays through Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. The games will be shown on a big screen via a projector, and there will be 16-ounce commemorative World Cup beer bottles available for the price of 12-ounce longnecks. Similar events are happening at Sherlock's and Watson's as well.
D&T Drive Inn The Heights watering hole is so excited about the upcoming games that they're calling themselves the "2014 World Cup Headquarters." Every game will be shown on every one of D&T's screens, and there will be a special kick-off party on June 12 at 3 p.m. D&T is a great place for frozen shandys, craft beer and way better-than-average pub grub.
Hay Merchant Houston's favorite craft beer bar and home of half off local brews while home teams are winning is celebrating the World Cup the same way they celebrate local victories. Hay Merchant usually opens at 3 p.m. every weekday, but it will be opening at 11 a.m. on June 13, 20 and 27 (Fridays) and at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 26 for the United States game. As always, Houston beers will be half off when the home team (in this case, the U.S. team) is winning.
Local Pour Local pour is making the World Cup, well, local, by inviting Houston Dynamo players Corey Ashe, Giles Barnes and teammates to a watch party on Monday, June 16. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the game will start at 5:30. There will be a suggested donation at the door, with any proceeds going to Dynamo charities. The players will be taking photos and signing autographs, and happy hour pricing on drinks will continue throughout the game.
Richmond Arms This British bar is so into the World Cup that they have a special section of the website devoted to following the teams and updating the match schedule. The Richmond Arms is also giving away prizes to go along with the games. For every game you attend at the bar, you'll be entered to win things like soccer balls and signed jerseys.
Ron's Pub & White Horse Inn Ron's Pub roots for Liverpool while showing British football games, so the crowd will most likely be full of Anglophiles during the World Cup showings. The pub will open 30 minutes prior to every game, which will be shown on the big screen TV. We're told there will be drink specials, but they haven't been determined yet. You'll just have to go and see for yourself.
The Bull & Bear Tavern The British tavern known for showing football (American) will switch to showing football (aka soccer) when the World Cup begins on June 12. Guinness is always $3.75 per pint, and on weekends, the kitchen serves breakfast until 2 p.m. On March first, The Bull & Bear introduced extended kitchen hours for the rest of the week, so you can now order off the extensive menu of pub favorites until 1 a.m. or later.
Check out even more bars showing the World Cup on the next page.
El Big Bad The Mexican gastrocantina wants you to have "the best seat in the casa," so it's showing every game on three projectors and ten televisions throughout the bar. On match days, El Big Bad will open at 10 a.m. to ensure you don't miss anything, and chef Jonathan Jones will be cooking up wings (in addition to the regular delicious menu items) for the games. There will also be a special on the fresh juice, 100% Blue Agave house margaritas--just $5 during every game. Here it might be OK to root for Mexico. Maybe.
MKT Bar The eclectic bar/restaurant inside Phoenicia downtown will be showing all the games and offering food and drink specials (named after soccer players) today through July 13. Get Messi selected craft beer pitchers (60 oz.) for $15, Ronaldo selected international beer bottles for $1 off and Pirlo's pizza specials at $2 off. This is in addition to MKT Bar's regular happy hour, steak night and game night deals. And remember, there's always free parking in the huge lot on McKinney Street.
Bar Munich Commenter Paval tells us there's a large contingent of German soccer fans who gather at Bar Munich every four years for the World Cup (as well as a surprising number of Spaniards), and the bar is embracing that by opening early for select games. Bar Munich usually opens at 4 p.m. weekdays and 12 p.m. weekends, but for earlier games, the bar will be open by 11 a.m. There are no drink specials for the games listed online, but we imagine those rowdy Germans will be able to convince them to knock a buck or two off pints of lager.
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Niko Niko's The Greek restaurant and bar in Montrose (not the extension in Market Square Park) will be showing the World Cup on all TVs throughout the restaurant, just in case the American-style pub food at most of the spots on our list isn't your jam. Munch on gyros, hummus and pitas while you cheer on
Greece whoever you want to and enjoy specials on imported and domestic beer buckets and "hat trick specials" when a player scores three goals in a single game.
The Queen Vic The Queen Vic pub is a dark, curry-filled hangout for Anglophiles and neighborhood folks alike, so it's no surprise that, in spite of having only two TVs, the place draws a crowd come World Cup time. During the games, the Queen Vic will be offering food and drink specials usually reserved only for happy hour. That means $5 craft draughts, well cocktails and house wine and bar bites for $4, $5 or $7. There's also complimentary valet in the evenings if you don't want to bother with parking in the crowded neighborhood.
The Springbok Brand new African gastropub and rugby bar got so many requests from soccer fans to open early that it decided to go ahead and give the people what they want. Though the kitchen won't open until late June, Eater reports that the bar will have "light bites" available, and Springbok's Facebook page is advertising $5 well drinks an $1 off all beers. There are ten TVs spread throughout the African-inspired space, and all ten of 'em will be showing World Cup games.
Galway Hooker Houston's Irish pub Galway Hooker talks a mighty big game when it comes to the World Cup. "Other 'places' might try to imitate and suddenly 'care' about the World Cup," reads a post on the bar's Facebook page, "but Galway Hooker is the ONLY WORLD CUP headquarters in Houston and is the ONLY pub owned and operated by former player and a true fan of the beautiful game." Well then. The bar will be opening at 1 p.m. today for the World Cup opening ceremony and at 11 a.m. for the duration of the games. Galway Hooker also just upgraded all the outdoor televisions to LCD screens for better viewing.