Sports

Best Sports Bars To Watch World Cup Soccer In Charlotte

May 22, 2014 8:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Whether you call it soccer or futbol, this fast-paced sport is the most popular in the world. With its ever-growing multi-national population, Charlotte is increasingly a soccer-loving city, with big crowds turning out to watch games at Bank of America Stadium. Some 63,000 fans turned out for a match between Mexico and Iceland in 2010, and similar crowds are expected for a Guinness International Champions Cup game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan on August 2, 2014. The annual World Cup, played from mid June to mid July, brings national rivalries to the forefront. Don’t miss a minute of the action by following the World Cup at these Charlotte bars.
Big Ben British Restaurant And Pub
2000 South Blvd., Suite 150
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 817-9697
www.bigbenpub.com

Located in South End’s Atherton Mill, this authentic British pub goes all out for soccer, carrying games on its 102-inch high-def projector screen. When the World Cup or other international tournaments aren’t underway, Big Ben airs UK matches and playoff games. The pub stays open late or opens early depending on the times of games, with late night and breakfast menus available. Lots of real British food is on offer, including roast beef or lamb with Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasties and the classic Bubble and Squeak, with a traditional English breakfast featuring bangers, baked beans, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms served until 2 p.m. daily. Fans celebrate wins (or mourn losses) with generous servings of British desserts such as sherry trifle, as well as the obligatory 20-oz. pints of import beers on draft.

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Courtyard Hooligans Soccer Bar And Pub
140 Brevard Court
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 376-2238
www.courtyardhooligans.com

With soccer included in its name, and a soccer ball logo, it’s not hard to guest that this little spot in Brevard Court uptown is a great spot to watch the World Cup. Hooligans, where the brick walls are thick with team jerseys and pennants, as well as TVs, screens all European soccer matches as well as World Cup games and other tournaments. Import beers are the beverage of choice here, with 20 different brews on draft, lots of specials and 20-oz. Guinness drafts going for $5 all the time. The Queen City Outlaws, an organization of Team USA fanatics, make this their headquarters and are out in force for big games when the festivities spill over into Brevard Court with a big screen, live bands and soccer frenzy on tap.

Jackalope Jack’s Restaurant And Bar
1936 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 347-1918
www.jackalopejacks.com

This fun spot in the Elizabeth neighborhood is a favorite with soccer (and rugby) fans, including a large contingent of Brits who make this their pub of choice. A total of 23 TVs carry games live via satellite, including big screens in both main rooms and at either end of the pleasant covered patio, allowing everyone to find like-minded fans to party with and cheer on their teams. Expect a rowdy crowd during the World Cup when teams from England and the United States take the field. Look for specials on Newcastle and Natty Bohs on game days, plus appropriately themed food specials.

Rí Rá Irish Pub
208 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 333-5554
www.rira.com

The original Rí Rá, with an interior imported from historic Irish pubs, promises to carry every World Cup game live, and welcomes fans of every nationality. The extensive beer list features many drafts and bottles from around the world with open-to-close specials every day. Expect specials on Newcastle, Guinness, etc. during matches, or indulge in a Whiskey World Tour—four wee drams of the finest spirits from around the globe. Food here is Irish themed and plentiful with half-priced appetizers during weekday happy hours, extended weekend brunches and traditional Irish breakfast served all day, plus special sports and late-night menus. Rí Rá sponsors the championship Charlotte Celtic FC, a member of the Metrolina Adult Soccer League, so the fans here know their futbol.

Tres Pesos Bar And Grill
100 W. Woodlawn Road
Charlotte, NC 28217
(704) 525-0710
www.facebook.com/3pesosnc

Soccer fans who cheer for Mexican, South American and Central American teams will find a friendly welcome at this spot just off I-77 South. The city’s largest Latino sport bar carries World Cup games, as well as boxing bouts and regional futbol matches between Latin American teams, on two dozen TVs with extra big screens rolled out for big events. Specials on Latin American beers and margaritas are offered on game days. The menu features seafood prepared in the garlic-laced style of the Nyarit region of Mexico’s west coast, including langostinos, a lobster-like crustacean that is the house specialty.

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With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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