Borderstan welcomes new contributor Laetitia Brock. Email her at laetitia[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow her at @FrenchtwistDC and on her own blog French twist DC.
Yes, this weekend is Capital Pride and we’ll all be celebrating the unique heritage and history of the LGBT community here in D.C. but it’s also the first weekend of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. Soccer players are quite attractive and fit, so one really doesn’t have to exclude the other.
The Euro is all about a different kind of pride… European national pride. Pride in the beautiful sport. Pride in calling football “football” and not “soccer” and to know you belong to a small, misunderstood sports fans minority here in the U.S.
Every four years, we Europeans take pride in hating one another: all in good spirit, of course. Because of the time difference, most of the matches are shown in the middle of the day. Which is great on weekends when we all want an excuse to start drinking at noon. On weekdays, it’s a little trickier… though you can always sneak out for a “long lunch” and watch the games at the few bars and restaurants that will be showing them in the area.
Veranda. If you’ve made the connection that the exterior of Veranda pretty much matches the Greek flag, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Logan Circle restaurant is throwing its weight behind the troubled Galanolefki. Poor Greece (and I for once I don’t mean bailout poor) has the tricky task of playing Poland, one of the host nations, in the opening game of the tournament. Not fun. So, take a long lunch break (or the afternoon off, I mean it IS Friday, after all) and come watch the match at noon on Veranda’s big HD screens. Then come back the next day, there’ll be a lamb on a spit. And soccer too. Though the football will be done by the time the lamb is ready (6ish).
James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant and Bar. The boys in green rarely get to go to international tournaments (sometimes because of a French hand and a bad call from a referee) and this is only their second time ever qualifying for a Euro Cup. They’re in a tough qualifying group that includes reigning world cup champions Spain, four-time world cup winners Italy and Croatia, which is ranked 8th in the world. But who doesn’t love an underdog? And Guinness! Both Irish pubs are showing all tournament matches live but I think the Irish game would be particularly great to watch there, with $4 Heineken and $5 Guinness specials.
Duffy’s Irish Pub. Duffy’s would be a great place to watch the Ireland games too, except they’re only showing the weekend games. They will have $3 Tall Boys of PBR available, but since their kitchen only opens at 5 pm (and the games are either at noon or 2:45) you can actually bring your own food or order delivery from one of the many nearby spots. Potluck anyone?
Barcode. Duffy’s is only showing weekend games? Well, Barcode on the other hand is only showing the weekday matches…
Local 16. Is showing all of the weekend games on their outdoor screens during brunch. Always a great place to enjoy the food and drinks.
Lucky Bar. Lucky Bar is always one of the better spot to watch the beautiful sport. On weekends, and maybe even during the week, it will fill up really quickly, so I recommend you show early, or even call ahead and book a table.
Public Bar. If you can make it up the stairs, Public Bar across the street offers $3 Peronis during the games, which is bound to attract supporters of the Azzurri. Italy-Spain should be a great game (Sunday, June 10 at noon) but be careful with those Peronis. You’ll have to make it down those stairs eventually…
Buffalo Billiards DC . Showing all the games live with $3.50 Heineken drafts and $3.50 Newcastle drafts specials.
Ventnor Sports Cafe. While they ask patrons to kindly leave their vuvuzelas at home, Ventnor will be opening up early for lunch everyday to screen the Euro Cup matches. Most of the games will be aired on ESPN and I’ve found that if you ask nicely and there’s no other big sporting event going on, restaurants with a television are not opposed to switching the channel for you (thanks Commissary and Stoney’s!). Though that doesn’t seem to include Estadio, who told me they only show “classic” soccer matches on their television sets… A final option for die-hard soccer fans is to hop on a plane to the Ukraine. According to this Washington Post article, there are still some tickets left for some of the games.
The UEFA Euro 2012 starts Friday, June 9 at noon and ends July 1. We’ll update the post once the teams have been narrowed down to the eight quater finalists. In the meantime, you can find a complete schedule of matches on the tournament’s website. May the odds ever be in your team’s favor!