Thursday, June 10, 2010

where to watch the World Cup in Athens, Georgia

I did this in 2006 for Portland, so here's another round for Athens. That's Georgia, not Greece.

Portland is a football-mad city--more than 10,000 people turned up for the Italy v. France 2006 final shown on a giant screen downtown in Pioneer Square. I confess that 2/3 of us have been more than a little worried that we'd spend the month watching every single match alone in our living room. That's better than nothing, of course, but half the fun of the World Cup is the camaraderie, the party atmosphere. Slinking out of your house at 9 am to sip Guinness with other football-loving commie reprobates and furriners. In the US, the love of soccer is like a secret handshake. An instant icebreaker. One of my Portland Timbers Army comrades with a respectable identity in the real world but known in local footie circles as Bickle once described it more or less thusly: you like football, you are my friend, and it's true.

Anyway, we've identified a few local places so far that have definitely caught World Cup fever, and we'll be updating this list throughout the tournament. We'll also visit as many of these fine establishments as possible, just as we did back in Portland in 2006, and provide you with reviews.

Also, if you are local, and you love footie, I urge you to get out and try to support as many of these places as possible, particularly the ones that are opening early and going out of their way to promote themselves as World Cup venues. It's not easy being a soccer fan in the US; it's even harder to be a football fan in the American-football-mad South. Let's show them that fans of the "other" kind of football are here to stay.

Here's what we have for you so far:

Transmetropolitan -- No website, but this well-regarded pizza joint at 145 E. Clayton Street in the heart of downtown has been advertising in Flagpole that they will open at 7 am throughout the tournament, providing a special brunch menu, showing matches on seven giant TVs, and running a beer special--$2 pints of Guinness. We'll be taking in the England v. USA match there on Saturday and I'm so excited I'm ready to start camping out in the sidewalk in front right now. Fortunately, that probably won't be necessary.

Casa Mia Tapas -- Also right downtown, 269 N. Hull St. (stumble up to the Manhattan afterward to drown your sorrows if your side loses badly). Also another restaurant I haven't gotten round to trying yet, and want to, so we'll be checking it out soon too. There's nothing on their website about it, but they tweet that they'll be up early for the game tomorrow morning and running $2.50 specials on all beers.

Farm 255 -- Also downtown. 255 West Washington St. Farm 255 just posted (literally, as I'm writing this) to their facebook account that the Farm Cart in all its glorious goodness will be open at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with World Cup specials including $2 PBR and Highlife Tallboys. I'm assuming you'll be able to get your food and drink at the cart and watch the TVs at the bar inside? Anyway, I've eaten at both the restaurant and the cart and the food is phenomenal and it's a great space inside; we'll definitely be hitting this spot too.

The Globe -- Pretty sure they're showing games at the upstairs bar. Love this bar on the corner of Clayton and Lumpkin beyond reason as it's barely changed since my university days here (added food and an upstairs bar). Will confirm and provide more details later.

The Royal Peasant -- 1675 Lumpkin Street. Despite their hopelessly outdated footie calendar, this British-style Five Points pub is also a pretty safe bet, as they promote themselves as a place to watch the Premiership and I notice their TVs are always tuned to football when I stop off at the liquor store next door (what?). This is another place I've been wanting to make it to and haven't -- Hillary Brown, food critic at Flagpole, raved about their food not long after they opened.

Agua Linda Tacqueria -- This picture, worth at least 100 words if not 1000, came via Athens Feed's twitter account (worth following if you're local), so clearly that's another spot. Not sure what their hours will be. That's the Atlanta Highway location (I can't find the address), not the one on Prince Avenue. We won't be visiting this one for a review as we are dirty commies without a car and I am kind of allergic to the Atlanta Highway, but it will probably be an especially fun spot for Mexico games.

More to come!


Stephen McNearney said...

thanks for the linkback lynda - for all your food and drink specials throughout the world cup!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post - I have been wondering where in Athens would be showing the matches.

Watched the game this morning at Auga Linda on Prince. About 17 or so people in the bar area +staff watching. Also I think the Peruvian restaurant next door (Las Conchitas) will also be showing the games.

derek said...

Excellent to know about Auga Linda and Las Conchitas on Prince. We'll have to make it down there.

lynda said...

I'm so glad someone local could use it! Thanks for the info on the Prince Avenue Agua Linda and Las Conchitas--I'll do an update post in a day or so with that information. Enjoy the World Cup!

Ivy said...

I called around and found a couple other places, too. Maybe I'll see you tomorrow for England v. USA?

lynda said...

Ivy, thank you! I'll be updating w/ a new "where to watch" post tonight or tomorrow and will def. highlight your blog. I'll look for you at Transmetropolitan tomorrow--hope we can meet up at some point during the tournament!

Anonymous said...

A friend suggested Soccer Near Me on itunes. I downloaded it and it is great! You can find places to meet with soccer friends, or post the place you will be (around the world!). Very cool!

Cody said...

Hi, Transmet does have a site. It's

Is there anyone here who plays? I want to get a team going for 4v4 intramural at UGA or just play informally... I don't know anyone here that plays yet. I'm from out-of-state :)


lynda said...

Cody, neither of us plays but we'll see what we can do to get the word out. Judging from the crowds out for the US v England match, there are a lot of fans in town.

That transmet site appears to have lapsed for the moment...think they forgot to renew their domain or something.

Cody said...

Oops, I didn't check it before posting because I just visited it not too long ago. Maybe it'll be back up soon. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting together this site! Up until now we've been watching all the games for free online on Univision but our Internet connection is slow and we have been trying to find a place to watch on TV in Athens. Thanks!

lynda said...

I'm really glad people are finding this and going out to watch in Athens! An updated post is here, and be sure to check out Urban Haiku's entire blog on the topic.