With more than 3.5 billion fans worldwide, soccer (or football as it’s called by every country outside the U.S.) is the No. 1 spectator sport across the globe. And, although it doesn’t garner as much fanfare for Americans as March Madness or the Super Bowl, with the U.S. having qualified for the quadrennial event for the first time since 2014, there’s plenty to be excited about for even the most casual of fans.
Starting Nov. 20, the nearly month-long FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be taking over bars across NYC with teams representing popular demographics in the Bronx, like Mexico, Ecuador, Italy and Ghana.
In anticipation of the frenzy, here are seven spots across the borough where you can meet up with your friends, lose your minds and scream “goooooooal.”
Behan’s Public House
4299 Katonah Ave.
Open 10 a.m.-4 a.m. every day.
Katonah Avenue, in the Woodlawn neighborhood of the Bronx, is definitely Irish. Like, name-your-local-pharmacy-Emerald-Pharmacy-and-slap-a-clover-on-the-green-canopy, Irish. And as would be expected in any Irish neighborhood, there is no shortage of bars. If you like your sports rough and rowdy, then Behan’s may be the place for you. They don’t serve food, but they do serve Guinness — lots of it. Did you know that the Guinness Book of World Records is the same Guinness as the famous Irish brewery? The book was created all because of a drunken squabble over which game bird was the fastest — Behan’s feels like the kind of bar where the Guinness book was invented; drunken men yelling at one another over pints of stout and pours of whiskey and it’s perfect just the way it is. There are eight TVs across the bar for easy viewing and a pool table for some healthy off the pitch competition.
The Rambling House
4292 Katonah Ave.
Open 12 p.m.-2 a.m. every day, until 3 a.m. on Wednesdays.
If Behan’s is too rough around the edges, then make your way directly across the street to the behemoth gem that is the Rambling House, which celebrated 20 years on the block this year. With a capacity of more than 500, a 360-degree bar, two projectors, more than 30 TVs and an interior that glows like amber, the Rambling House shines like a beacon and attracts locals like a moth to a flame. This bar/restaurant is stunning without the feeling of being stuffy. Anyone and everyone are welcome. Whether your preference is the bar, a booth, a high-top or a long table with a group of friends, your seating requirements will be accommodated. They also have a large menu with Irish favorites like the traditional Irish breakfast, Fish & Chips and Shephard’s Pie, plus much more. Guests happily drink, dine and chat at this ornate Katonah Avenue treasure. They will open early for morning games if the crowd calls for it.
The Bronx Alehouse
216 W. 238 St.
Open 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; until 1:30 a.m. on Fridays & Saturdays.
When the Bronx Alehouse opened in 2009, no one thought they needed it, and now some can’t live without it. The Bronx Alehouse was the first to bring craft beer to Kingsbridge when Irish bars like the Punch Bowl and Keenan’s dominated the scene. The Bronx Alehouse carries a great rotation of craft beers that alternate between their 16 taps with the exception of one hefeweizen that is always a half-liter pour. Burgers and wings are the go-to at this bar and both are done well. They have two overflow rooms, 23 TVs and one large projector to show all the action. The bar will have special World Cup glassware on-hand courtesy of several breweries and like the Rambling House, they will open a little earlier if need be.
601 E. 189 St.
Open Monday-Friday: 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; 12 p.m.-2 a.m. on Saturdays and noon ’til midnight on Sundays.
From the claw machine and ski ball to the shot-o-matic and photo-booth, it is clear that this bar is made for fun. Located walking distance from Fordham University, the bar gets an equal dose of locals and college kids. But what’s really impressive about this place is the care given to the deliciously curated craft beers. On the left side of the bar is a wall with 20 gauges that monitor the pressure and temperature of each keg. That, paired with their fun bites like tater tots smothered in melted cheese and gravy — what’s not to love? Besides the TVs at the bar, there is a back room with long picnic tables and four large flat-screens that will cater to fans.
247 City Island Ave.
Open 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 12 p.m.-3 a.m. Fridays & Saturdays; 10 a.m.-12 a.m. on Sundays.
On the 1.5-mile stretch that is City Island sits a chill, underwater-themed watering hole with a long bar, several dining tables and a jut of space outfitted with a pool table and vibrant murals done by local artist Mike A. NYC. The sea creatures are rendered with highly saturated colors and bold lines that make this oasis a truly immersive one. This place caters to a boilermaker crowd but touts an impressive list of beers — 43 cans and 47 bottles. You most certainly won’t go thirsty here. They have five TVs and a large “100×100” projector for events just like the World Cup. Although the kitchen is currently out of commission, bartender Jules says, “The kitchen is under renovation, but the owner is a really good cook – there will definitely be food.”
The Yankee Tavern
72 E. 161 St.
Open 12 p.m.-12 a.m. everyday.
This historic watering hole has bore witness to the careers of Yankee greats like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Reggie Jackson — to name a few. Since 1927, the Yankee Tavern has been sitting on the corner of 161st Street and Gerard Avenue and while it started as a pub, it has expanded to a full-service restaurant. Since the 1960s, it has been owned by the Bastone family and on any given day, you may find current owner Joe Bastone chatting away with regulars and making sure things are running smoothly. The walls are decorated with framed posters and photos of storied baseball players and the bar area has more than 100 seats. By noon, this place already has a steady crowd of lunch-goers chomping away at a burger on an english muffin or a saucy chicken parm’ sandwich. Of all the sports bars in the neighborhood, this is possibly the only one that stays open year-round.
HK Kitchen & Draft House
3599 E. Tremont Ave.
Open 11 a.m-12 a.m. everyday and until 2 a.m. on Fridays & Saturdays.
All the way on the Eastchester Bay side of the Bronx is HK Kitchen & Draft House. Buried in Throggs Neck, HK is a wide-open space with rustic vibes. It features a 360-degree bar which co-owner Carmelo Soto says was a choice made to imbue an old-school New York flair into a modern establishment. Unlike your usual beer bars, there is no list available as Soto says that it makes for an “interactive experience” between the bartender and the customer. They offer a 10% discount to first responders and Every Tuesday feature $2 tacos and $2 tequila shots. Make sure you make this your Tuesday stop on the World Cup schedule.
This story was updated at 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 10.
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