Playing the Field

Americans call it soccer. The rest of the world calls it football. In 2009, the Wall Street Journal identified this word choice with American Exceptionalism. We’re stubborn and exceptional, damn it, and we’ll show it through arbitrary sport names! But what hasn’t been so exceptional is the size of soccer’s American fan base. Taking a back seat to American football and basketball and probably even hockey, soccer failed to catch on. But that started to change when we hosted the 1994 World Cup, when Brandi Chastain took off her shirt, and when David Beckham came to our shores. This year, South Africa is hosting the World Cup, but as your arbiters of all events boozeworthy (i.e., everything), New Times has designated these three local spots as ideal stomping grounds for your soccer-watching, as they boast exceptional drink specials, a good atmosphere, and great company.

Kalahari Bar: Since South Africa is hosting the cup, we’d be remiss if we failed to include Kalahari (4446 NE 20th Ave., Oakland Park). Named after the small patch of desert on the mother continent, this neighborhood watering hole takes pride in its heritage and its décor, which indulges in South African vibes. Call 954-351-9371, or visit

O’Shea’s Irish Pub: The second-oldest bar on Clematis, O’Shea’s (531 Clematis St., West Palm Beach) gathers the creative types who spill over from the West Palm Beach nightlife hub. The bar boasts a ton of sitting room, authentic Irish décor, and a no-bullshit attitude. Call 561-833-3865, or visit

Kingshead Pub: Start your celebrating early at the English bar Kingshead Pub (2692 N. University Drive, Sunrise), which opens its doors at 7 a.m. The place is cozy enough that no matter where you land, you’ll surely be able to see the game on one of three flat screens. And when England plays the United States, you’d be hard-pressed to find a rowdier bar for the event. Call 954-572-5933.

For more venues showing the tournament, visit our World Cup Soccer Bar Directory here.
Fri., June 11, 2010

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