The 2018 FIFA World Cup running June 14 through July 15 will be held in Russia. That means most of the soccer matches will start at 7 and 9 a.m. our time — and as early as 5 a.m. one day. Several games are scheduled most days, with the last game of the day usually at 1 p.m. (mlssoccer.com/2018-world-cup/schedule).
As a result, several Twin Cities bars and restaurants plan to adjust hours as well as offer specials and other amenities during the World Cup. And in case you’re wondering, the highly anticipated soccer bar Black Hart in the former Town House on St. Paul’s University won’t be open by the first game. Owner Wes Burdine had hoped to open by then, but he said delays have pushed the roll-out date to sometime in July, at the earliest.
Still, there are plenty of options for catching a match. Here are some suggestions for where to kick it during the World Cup.
B-52 BURGERS AND BREW, 5639 Bishop Ave., Inver Grove Heights; 651-451-3838; b52burgersandbrew.com: The sports hub will be open during regular hours for anyone who wants to watch the matches. In addition, the restaurant will book private early-viewing parties for specific games ($1,000 minimum for 7 a.m. game; $650 for all other morning start times; with the option of a $10 all-you-can-eat breakfast). With more than 40 screens throughout the restaurant, including four jumbo screens in the dining room and four screens on the rooftop patio, there should be plenty of viewing options.
BUFFALO WILD WINGS (several locations throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Roseville, Maplewood, Oakdale, Eagan, Apple Valley, Blaine); buffalowildwings.com: In the Twin Cities, Buffalo Wild Wings, which averages 40 televisions in each of its restaurants, will keep regular business hours. When games occur during those hours, a spokesperson said, the game will be shown on the TVs. Game-time offers will be available for in-restaurant diners, with details still being finalized at press time.
TIFFANY SPORTS LOUNGE, 2051 Ford Parkway, St. Paul; 651-690-4747; tiffanysportslounge.com: Thanks to a recent remodel, the Highland Park hangout has doubled the number of seats and screens — 33 total, including 70-inch screens and high-definition projectors. Tiffany’s will show the games that start at 10 a.m. or later for Round 1 of the World Cup. In addition to regular seating, five private booths are available that seat groups of six and feature two 50-inch televisions each. There is no fee for the booths, and a limited number of reservations will be accepted. The booths are available to walk-ins as well. As the tournament develops, Tiffany’s may open for earlier games. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page, facebook.com/TiffanySportsLounge, for updates.
TIN CUP’S, 1220 Rice St., St. Paul; 651-487-7967; facebook.com/tincup.bar: Tin Cup’s has long been a sports haven, so no wonder the restaurant and bar will have the matches on its five large flat screens. The spot will be open during regular hours (starting at 10 a.m. daily) and will have the game on during that time.The regular menu, which includes fried chicken, Juicy Lucys and drink prices at $3 tall boys, $2.50 taps and $3.74 rails, will be available.
BRIT’S PUB, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-332-3908; britspub.com: The jumbotron on the lawn returns this year, in addition to the expansive pub’s two indoor projector screens, 15 indoor televisions and five outdoor televisions on the veranda. Doors will open for early-morning games, typically 30 minutes before kickoff. (Brit’s will not open early for the 5 a.m. France vs. Australia game, but will show the match on delay later in the day.) Food and drink specials will be available for all games, including the ones with early start times. Appearances by Minnesota United FC players are also planned. Players and dates to be announced. Check the Brit’s website and social media pages for regular updates.
CITY WORKS, 600 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-361-2900; cityworksrestaurant.com: The spacious downtown sports bar boasting 10,000 square feet, two dozen flat screens and four giant quad screens will stick with regular hours (starting at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday). But with 90 beers from around the world on the menu, you might be able to pay tribute to the teams on the screen with the proper brewski.
NOMAD WORLD PUB, 501 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-6424; nomadpub.com: For the 2018 games in Russia, Nomad World Pub will be open for all of the matches and will host a gathering spot outside its doors called Red Square. A jumbotron, beer garden and food trucks are on the roster. Raffles and passports offering specials on beer, memorabilia and a chance at prizes will also be featured. Minnesota United FC players will be on site for meet-and-greets the weekend of June 22 to 24.
THE LOCAL, 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-904-1000; the-local.com: The Local will also be open for all 64 matches — yes, even that 5 a.m. game. Doors generally will open 15 minutes before the start of the first match each day. However, The Local will open earlier for the bigger matches, if needed. Complimentary coffee, tea and pastries will be offered during the 5 and 7 a.m. matches. A special menu will be available for mid-morning matches, pint specials will be part of the lineup, and contests and giveaways are also in store.