photo: courtesy of Bridget Cicenia; pictured: an early-morning match at Ginger's
Haven't gotten your paws on FIFA '10 for the Wii yet? Can't convince your roommates to shell out for the Fox Soccer Channel on digital cable? It can get tough out there for a penniless football (that's British football) fan following the UK action overseas—you're a very particular, cultivated and slightly obsessive breed—but it's getting easier. Pick your club and head to any of these festive spots, where patrons will feel your pain and your passion—and you won't need to explain the definition of "pitch" or "kit".
Get a kick out of cheap beers? Check out these World Cup promotions.
Ginger's Ale House
Join the loyal group of patrons who come early in the morn' to chow on a traditional Irish breakfast and watch a match or two (whether it's American MLS or European matches) on one of over 30 televisions and two giant screens in this English and Irish soccer pub. The energetic bar staff breathes football just as much as you do, and slings pints of Carlsberg and hoppy, full-bodied ESB.
The Globe Pub is a veritable treasure for football fans. The owners here cull a local soccer community by organizing a shuttle bus to Chicago Fire games and fervently sponsoring local amateur teams. On premise, league-lifers and early-risers gather from 8 a.m. on to catch the live broadcasts, which are also re-aired later in the week. Grab a pint of Boddington's and keep your eyes peeled: hot-shot David Beckham has been known to stop in, and the bar's got the pictures to prove it. Also spotted (rather randomly, we might add): Rod Stewart.
Fado Irish Pub
Settle into Fado's hearth-like environs, grab a Guinness and cheer for your favorite team at this River North spot. Tables with television views are somewhat scarce and often bunched together, but the familial atmosphere adds to the fun. Patrons who can't take the pressure of a particular match, or are merely too tired to make it in at 9 a.m., should busy themselves with the (free to play) Ultimate EPL Fantasy League on fado.com. Score!
Small Bar (Wicker Park)
This Wicker Park tap made a good decision when it chose to cater to football fans; the local hipsters (a dying breed) have certainly latched onto the sport. Not only that, but you'll be able to lure your beer-loving friends here with a wide selection on tap and in the bottle. Fancy a little Guinness and eggs? Small Bar's larger-than-life menu will hold your attention during lulls in the match. Note: The Lincoln Park location is a good place to watch games, too.
More places to yell gooooallll!:
It's all Irish at Abbey Pub
Wear your jersey to Galway Arms
Go Dutch at Sedgwick's Bar & Grill