We’re a couple of days in, but The 2014 World Cup is upon us! In keeping with my stubborn stubbornness to shake off any lingering remnants of my Britishness, I decided to conduct a wee bit of research to see which bars in downtown Salem are showing any/all/some of the matches:
A&B Burgers (50 St Peter St/Old Salem Jail)
They confirmed on their Facebook page that they’ll be showing every single match on their big screens. Bonus: They’ve also got a LivingSocial deal on ($30 for $15).
Expat 1UP: They have a shandy on draft! The Narragansett Summer Shandy. And it’s not too lemon-y.
O’Neill’s of Salem (120 Washington St)
If every post on their Facebook page wasn’t enough to convince you that they’ll be showing every match, go take a look at the giant banner outside announcing that they’re Salem’s World Cup headquarters.
Expat 1UP: Being an Irish pub! Get yer Guinness on.
The Old Spot (121 Essex St)
Salem’s very own British-style pub will of course be showing every single match, but they do only have the one telly.
Expat 1UP: It’s a British-style pub, so they have Strongbow (the drink of proud students and tramps), Wells Banana Bread beer, and Pimms.
Village Tavern (168 Essex St)
Confirmed that they’ll be showing every match. Along with A&B, they’re one of the few on this list that have an outdoor seating area, so you can pop outside for a pint or five during half-time.
Expat 1UP: If you ask nicely (and I have done), you can get a little side order of a tastier version of the student fare I grew up with: fries topped with cheese and baked beans. If you’re extra nice, they might even sprinkle a few scallions on top.
Salem Beer Works (278 Derby St)
When asked, they said they “have the game on now”, but didn’t clarify if they’d be showing all of them. I’d imagine they’re likely to at least show the USA games, or if there are no conflicts with more in-demand sporting events.
Longboards Restaurant and Bar (72 Wharf St)
From their Facebook page: “Personally, we are not huge fans of the World Cup, however with 70″ TV’s, we see no reason why a little soccer cant be watched! Stop down and enjoy some food and drink specials, its always comfortable down here at Longboards! Cheers!”
Expat 1UP: They used the word “Cheers”.
Flying Saucer Pizza Company (118 Washington St)
Possibly! But it’s worth an ask. They do only have the one TV that is sports/news-related, but if you ask nicely, they will stick on a game for you (the other telly is reserved for Netflix-y geeky awesomeness).
If You’d Rather Not Mingle With The Peasants:
If you’d rather have the full, British at-home experience, hit up Pamplemousse (185-189 Essex St) for some British beers and ales. They also have an increasingly large selection of English chocolates (hands off the Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut; it’s all MINE). Salem Wine Imports at 32 Church St sometimes has a nice little selection of import beers, too.
Recommended World Cup App:
Having moved from a country that never sees any sun, I often actually go outside and bask in the sunshine (though I learnt recently that even brown people can burn in overcast New England summers). And given that soccer/football’s not that big out here, being out in the sunny world makes it easy for me to forget that I’m supposed to be indoors watching the match.
A mate of mine recommended Onefootball Brasil, which, along with all the usual fixtures/results/etc. that the other apps give you, it actually sends push notifications to remind you about a match that you totally forgot was starting (something I’m perplexed that even the official FIFA app doesn’t provide). Recently sponsored by Volkswagen, you can trust it over the other dubious apps that are flooding the app markets. Oh, and it’s free!
As for me, I’m lucky to have (legal!) access to streaming UK coverage on those evenings when I feel like staying in. But, given that I’m supporting England, it’s (sadly) not exactly a long-term commitment. England will probably bite it in the quarter-finals, and only after normal play, injury/stoppage time, both halves of extra time, regular penalties, and then sudden death penalties, during which the youngest, most inexperienced player will have a go, miss, and be mercilessly sacrificed to our football gods, after which the process shall begin anew.