Volume 23, Number 7| The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 25 - July 1, 2010
From the Archives
Early morning boozing; blame it on the World Cup
By Michael Mandelkern
On June 26, 2002, in an article entitled “World Cup pushes happy hour to the morning,” Downtown Express writer Valerie Nahmad covered the transformations bars made for the World Cup to adjust to the wide time zone gap between the games played in host countries South Korea and Japan and viewing them live in New York.
Nahmad captured the soccer enthusiast spirit eight years ago, reporting that, “About 200 fans crowded into Jim Brady’s Restaurant at 75 Maiden Lane at 7:30 a.m. to watch the U.S. take on Germany in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Energy was high as coffee replaced Guinness and eggs and sausage subbed for nachos and fries.”
She described the demographics of people who woke up early to watch the games from barstools to sidewalks. “Men dressed in suits and ties crammed into the room [at Jim Brady’s Restaurant] and angled for a view of one of the bar’s three television sets. Some even watched the game through mirrors.”
Joseph Rearick wrote about the little-changed Lower Manhattan bar scene during the 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa in “Downtown bars gearing up for world’s biggest sporting event” from the June 11 – 17 issue, proving that hardcore World Cup traditions are still alive eight years later.
Rearick wrote that Mike Rosaly, manager of the Ulysses’ Folk House bar on 95 Pearl St., is “‘offering beer specials on select days throughout the World Cup,’ he said, ‘and giveaways from beer companies’ including shirts and key-chains.”
This year, Beckett’s Restaurant at 81 Pearl Street is making special accommodations to seat excited fans by installing “two 46-inch televisions for supporters seated outside in addition to the dozens of televisions already available to fans.”
The bar owners they interviewed in both articles expected a high turnout and good time.
Noel McDermott, co-owner of Beckett’s Restaurant, told Rearick, “‘We will be packed,’” and that, “‘We are more or less the only sports bar in the area. And we’re showing all the games.’”
Eight years ago, Paul Quinn, co-owner of Jim Brady’s Restaurant, said the June 21, 2002, quarterfinals match between the U.S. and Germany “was the biggest crowd they’ve had thus far. ‘This was great,’ he said. ‘We brought in a lot of eggs and a lot of juice. It went just as we expected.’”
Even though the U.S. lost that match 1-0, many bar patrons still enjoyed watching the game, but it was a bittersweet experience for some.
“‘You’re supposed to enjoy futbol with a nice pint,’ said a 41-year-old investment banker at Goldman Sachs who didn’t want to reveal his name because he was drinking before returning to work. “‘It was a good game. But in the end it’s good to win. That’s what’s good.’”
The South Street Seaport’s Red Restaurant has made one the most extreme World Cup-friendly conversions in Lower Manhattan. “Bearing the tagline ‘Football by day, parties by night,’ Puma City will include an outdoor Jumbotron, a ‘Puma Social Club’ for dancing, and a 30-by-70 foot soccer field available to the public,” wrote Rearick.
Whether early in the morning or late into the night, at a pub or a club, soccer fans who flocked downtown to watch the World Cup eight years ago knew how to party, and 2010 has been no different.