RALEIGH — The United States kicked off its opening “Group of Death” match in Group G of the 2014 FIFA World Cup against Ghana on Monday.
Raleigh offers a host of venues for international football fanatics and U.S. soccer supporters. In no particular order, here are a few:
BuzzFeed, a social news and entertainment website, ranked The London Bridge Pub (110 E. Hargett St.) the best place to watch soccer in North Carolina. The English pub has four 50-inch TVs inside and a projection screen outside under an event tent in case of rain. The London Bridge will stay open beyond its typical business hours for every World Cup game. However, this bar doesn’t offer food.
But don’t fret. Tir Na Nog Irish Pub (218 S. Blount St.) is right around the corner. This larger establishment offers food and drinks to complement its seven HDTVs and 12-foot movie screen with surround sound, which was brought in just for the World Cup audience. This pub also periodically will give away Carolina RailHawks gear and tickets.
East Village Grill & Bar (1 Dixie Trail) offers a rarity off Hillsborough Street – its own parking lot. This kid- and pet-friendly establishment has 13 TVs, a new menu and a deck. It will unveil a March Madness-type World Cup bracket with an opportunity to win a prize after pool play concludes.
Tobacco Road Sports Café (222 Glenwood Ave.) is another family-friendly establishment to watch the World Cup. It has almost 30 TVs, including two that face the outside crowd, and typically has a laid-back “young, professional” atmosphere.
Last but not least is the oldest bar in Raleigh: The Player’s Retreat (105 Oberlin Road). The Player’s Retreat has 16 TVs and two projection screens with surround sound. This might not be the destination for soccer fanatics, but it offers a nice atmosphere for families and a familiar N.C. State feel for students and alumni.