The Best Places to Drink to the New Soccer Season
The new English Premier League season kicks off this weekend, and what better excuse can there possibly be for getting down to a bar, drinking the cheapest beer you can find and joining in some incoherent chanting/possibly having a bar fight? The time difference might make for some early drinking mornings (the big televised game on Saturday, last season's surprise package Newcastle against a Tottenham side with no strikers, will be at 11:30 a.m. in Dallas, and that's the late kick-off!) but that just means you have a whole day to "relax" into. Find yourself one of these salubrious locations, see if you can locate a meat pie, and wax lyrical about how money has ruined British soccer, how these fancy-dan soccer players are forever flinging themselves to the ground, or how on earth a game can end in a tie with no overtime or shoot-out deciders.
Among the English Premiere League includes the West Bromwich Albion "Baggies." No, we do not know why.
An authentically designed Irish bar that does an excellent fry-up for those early morning hangovers and has several screens, most of which are positioned in such a way that you'll have to get there early if you want an unobstructed view. During the recent European Championships, it was a hive of activity with a great atmosphere, fans of most of the participating countries (including one brave Danish fan that nearly started a fight with an entire bar of Germans) and attentive staff that bring the drinks to you so you don't have to miss any of the game. The beer can be pretty expensive here, though, and it's right next to DART's Mockingbird Station, so maybe some pre-gaming is in order if you can stomach drinking that early.
No, not the Uptown Londoner. The Addison Londoner is, I am reliably informed, host to the bulk of the expat community and also the base for several of the larger team's Texas supporter groups, including Arsenal. My issues with their fish and chips are on record (they are too delicious to be legitimate fish and chips, essentially) but the beer is reasonably priced and you can smoke indoors, something that recalls the halcyon days of British pubs before the recent nationwide smoking ban. You can always guarantee a good atmosphere and some banter here when a British team is playing, and it's the place to be for big British soccer events. For instance, the recent Champions League final with Chelsea saw about a hundred people, including your erstwhile correspondent, stuck outside watching two relatively small wall-mounted televisions as the Londoner physically couldn't fit any more people inside. The atmosphere inside sounded electric -- when Chelsea scored the door flung open to reveal a tantalizing glimpse of a man in a Chelsea shirt crowd-surfing across the bar.
Left-field, I know. This Hispanic Hooters down on Technology Boulevard has a wall absolutely plastered with dozens of televisions, booths with individual private televisions that you can set the channel on yourself, and happy hours deals on beer and margaritas that will guarantee you don't even remember the end of the match. It's a down-and-dirty sports bar that focuses almost entirely on soccer, and so absolutely fills a gap in the market. The food's nothing special, but it is super cheap and good enough to go with beer. As far as I can make out, they show every single soccer game they can get their hands on, and they are always more than happy to search for one you can't find. The atmosphere for British soccer isn't so great, but if you go and watch a Mexico or Barcelona game there, you are guaranteed a huge crowd, chanting and a cracking atmosphere across the whole bar.