Thirty-two days. Thirty-two nations. Sixty-four matches. One Winner. Every four years, the World Cup draws together soccer maniacs, nationalists, sports enthusiasts, and the usual bar frequenting Joe Blows alike in a celebration of the human spirit. As a suburban Detroiter, I am here to offer a wide selection of venues to cheer for your nation, whoever it may be. I have put together a guide of local, southeast Michigan-based bars to join in on the celebration of fancy footwork, spectacular bicycle kicks, national chants, and mohawks in Detroit and Ann Arbor.
Thomas Magee’s Sporting House Whiskey Bar, Eastern Market, Detroit, MI – If you want to experience true camaraderie among the epicenter of soccer fans in the state, head over to Thomas Magee’s. Already an established meeting place for Detroit FC fans and the Metro Detroit chapter of the American Outlaws, the atmosphere of the World Cup only intensifies at this neighborhood bar. Be sure to check out happy hour for $2.50 domestics and $3 wells from 4-7 PM. daily and Whiskey Wednesdays from 7-9 PM for Michigan-made Two James, Journeyman, and Valentine labels. The Irish Coffee is a must-try and the food menu is simple: Michigan-made Germack peanuts and Better Made potato chips. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food from any of the restaurants in nearby Eastern Market and Downtown. I would highly suggest splitting a pie with your football comrades from Supino.
Foran’s Grand Trunk Pub, Detroit, MI – Admire the unique architecture of the former Grand Trunk railroad ticket office with high vaulted ceilings, interior brick walls, chandeliers, and original wood paneling as you take a step back in time to the early 1900s– that is, with exception of the high definition televisions throughout. The long counter and intimately arranged seating allows fans to convene closely in a classic and timeless setting. Check out their Happiest Hour from 11 PM – 1 AM every Monday and $3 Tuesday Happy Hour from 6-8 PM. The Pub proudly features Michigan beers with a selection of over 170 craft beers to pair with their notable eats including the Dublin burger, GP Reuben, and edimame potstickers.
Conor O’Neills, Ann Arbor, MI – During the World Cup matches, specials are offered including select $15 beer buckets or $4 pints. With an extensive draft menu, you can tailor your drink to your nation of choice. Raise a glass of Hoegaarden for Team Belgium, Newcastle for Team England, Hacker-pschorr Mai Bock for Team Germany, or Estrella for Team Spain, just to name a few. And as for Team U.S.A.? A nationally-recognized Budweiser Lager (as far-reaching as the amber waves of grain), or a local craft beer such as Oberon or Dirty Bastard can be your drink of choice.
The Arena, Ann Arbor, MI – With two dozen screens spread out across the bar, four in the restroom, and each booth equipped with a TV, there will be opportunities to catch every World Cup match that has a broadcast and revel in the experience with your friends. Specials include $2.50 Aluminum Bud and Budweisers during all World Cup matches, $3 premium well drinks after 4 PM, and $2 pints after 10 PM daily, noon on Sundays.
And if watching thirty-two matches on TV isn’t enough, consider the World Cup a pre-game for when Real Madrid takes on Manchester United, two of the world’s best and most recognized club teams, live in front of over a hundred thousand crazy fans at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, August 2nd as part of the Guinness International Champions Cup. So raise a glass, rehearse your GOOOOOOOOOOOAL chant, don your favorite club jersey, and get your head in the game! Tag #MIworldcup from June 12-July 13th with your photos of the World Cup watching in the Awesome Mitten!
Where are your favorite places to watch the World Cup in Michigan?