Watching early World Cup games over breakfast and a pint
The smack talk didn't start until about 8 a.m., an hour after the first pints were pulled at Fado during the World Cup match Monday morning between Denmark and the Netherlands.
'The Danish fury is coming!' shouted one Denmark fan who until Netherlands' second goal had been as calm as the morning sun rising outside. 'I eat Danish for breakfast!' yelled a Dutch fan watching the game in the other side of the pub. Whether it's sweet pastries or Irish staples like corned beef and boxties, soccer will be on the breakfast menu at dozens of bars and restaurants for the next few weeks as businesses capitalize on Austinites' growing love of soccer and the early start times for the South Africa-hosted World Cup.
The seven-hour time difference won't stop fans like Nils Juul-Hansen , Loren Godson and Tim Brosnan from watching games live. 'The next four weeks will be tailored around the games,' says Juul-Hansen, whose job as a photographer gives him some flexibility to watch the game with his friends and sip on a Carlsberg, a beer from his native Denmark, while most Austinites are just getting ready to head into the office.
Four years ago, he says, he had a hard time finding a place to watch the game at all. Now, more than 30 Austin restaurants, sports bars and pubs are getting in on the World Cup fever that seems to have swept the country. 'It's symbolic of the city,' says Juul-Hansen, who has watched Austin evolve culturally since he moved here 10 years ago. 'You'd expect to find this in New York.'
Fado general manager John O'Brien says the World Cup isn't the only time the pub opens early to show games, but the staff will have to get used to doing it day after day through July 11. 'They've all worked that (early morning) shift' for other tournaments like the European Cup,' O'Brien says, but not for a month straight. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission forbids the sale of alcohol before 7 a.m., but a handful of places are opening as early as 5:45 a.m. for the first matches of the day.
During previous World Cup tournaments, Fado was one of the few places that showed all the matches, and more than 50 people showed up for the 6:30 a.m. game on Monday. 'I'm kinda surprised it's so busy' on a Monday, says O'Brien, who grew up in Ireland and helped open the first Fado in Atlanta before moving to Austin in 1997 to open the company's second location. He said that there were just as many if not more people at Fado on Saturday for the game between the U.S. and England than there were a few months ago for St. Patrick's Day. 'Soccer has gotten huge,' he says.
Soccer isn't just something that interests Lauren Constant and Kurt Schultz every four years. The friends, who met at an Austin Aztex game, were both players long before they were fans, but during the World Cup they'll be tuning in early or late, no matter who is playing. Schultz has attended almost every World Cup since 1986, and he still holds out hope that he can fly stand-by to South Africa before the Cup is over. Constant is stuck here, squeezing in games before and after she has to be at her job at the University of Texas.
On Monday, the Dutch had defeated the Danes before the parking meters outside Fado demanded payment. Constant headed to work, Schultz had a 9 a.m. doctor's appointment, and Juul-Hansen was off for a quick dip in Barton Springs before heading over to Justine's, the French restaurant on West Sixth Street that is opening early for the World Cup, to have a cup of coffee and a croissant while watching Japan and Cameroon face off in the next game.
If watching the World Cup is your goal …
Here's a sampling of Austin places showing World Cup Matches. See the whole list @austin360.com/themo and @statesman.com/go/worldcup.
Showing all matches:
Black Sheep Lodge
2108 S. Lamar Blvd.; 707-2744
1412 E. Sixth St.; 370-2749
1004 24th St.; 243-6361
1123 S. Congress Ave., 448-9181; 5207 Brodie Lane, 892-5200
214 W. Fourth St.; 457-0172
Lion and Rose Pub
701 S. Capital of Texas Highway; 335-5466
1213 Corona Drive; 628-4288
900 W. 10th St.; 477-4628
922 W. 12th St.; 320-8377
1717 W. Sixth St., Building 2, Suite 210-R, 476-2273; 3107 S. I-35, Suite 810, 388-2273; 9600 S. I-35, Building B, Suite 500; 381-2273
We like soccer, too. Places showing a bunch of the matches (call ahead):
Alamo Lake Creek
13729 Research Blvd.; 219-5408
9070 Research Blvd.; 467-8600
204 E. Sixth St.; 494-1335
6901 N. I-35, 454-2247; 214 E. Sixth St., 469-0001
201 Brazos St.; 473-3712
Crown and Anchor Pub
2911 San Jacinto Blvd.; 322-9168
3411 Glenview Ave.; 323-5177
425 W. Riverside Drive, 478-WING; 13701 Research Blvd.; 506-9464
4710 E. Fifth St.; 385-2900
400-A W. Second St.; 499-0300
3016 Guadalupe Suite 100; 302-5200
La Mexicana Bakery
1924 S. First St,; 443-6369
520 W. Sixth St.; 477-2337
Marker 10 at the Hyatt on Town Lake
208 Barton Springs Road; 477-1234
Mister Tramps European Sports Bar & Cafe
8565 Research Blvd.; 837-3500
912 Red River St.; 482-8404
2809 San Jacinto Blvd.; 473-9988
Good for sports watching in general - call for hours: Champion's (300 E. Fourth St.; 473-0450); Cover 3 (2700 W. Anderson Lane, Suite 202; 374-1121); Joe's Bar & Grill (506 West Ave.; 473-0885); Opa! (2050 S. Lamar Blvd.; 326-8742); and Sherlock's Baker Street Pub (9012 Research Blvd.; 380-9443).