In the past two decades, soccer has increased in popularity throughout the United States. What was once a “foreign” activity that U.S. citizens hardly took notice of has begun to catch on as an important sport for both elementary and high school students. And while professional football, baseball and basketball continue to enjoy their roles as American pastimes, soccer has its fair share of devoted followers throughout the United States.
No other soccer event attracts the attention of U.S. viewers like that of the World Cup. And yet some American bars and restaurants in U.S. cities do not televise the matches. Just finding the perfect place to watch World Cup matches can be an especially daunting task in a small city like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The following list makes the search for the perfect spot to watch the World Cup in Pittsburgh just a bit easier. When considering ambiance, number of television screens, and food quality, these three places are the spots to be during any major World Cup game.
3. Mullaney’s Harp and Fiddle Irish Pub
Mullaney’s does subscribe to Fox’s soccer channels, although no reference to this fact is stated on the bar’s Web site. Located on the outskirts of Pittsburgh’s Strip District (2329 Penn Ave.), Mullaney’s touts itself as an authentic Irish pub. A perusal of its menu items, which include corned beef and shepherd’s pie, reveals that its claims are more authentic than those of bigger suburban chains like Bennigan’s and the Fox & Hound. So, if you want to watch the World Cup in a small, independent Irish-style pub, Mullaney’s is likely the place for you.
On the downside–while the pub does offer quality beers on tap–their beer list is not extensive, and the four-dollar cost for just a pint of Coors Light is a bit steep. I recommend calling Mullaney’s before going, just to be sure that your particular World Cup game will be played there. For more information, I do not recommend looking at its limited Web site. Instead, call ahead at 412-642-6622.
2. Piper’s Pub
This English pub, located at 1828 Carson Street in the city’s Southside neighborhood, offers its customers the opportunity to view major soccer games for free, as long as the matches are not pay-per-view. As you root for your favorite team, try some of the delicious food, which balances traditional British fare (and yes, those are real bangers on the menu) with other offerings like zucchini strips and grilled steak salads. At a place where the proprietors refer to soccer as football, customers are sure to have a great time watching their favorite teams battle it out. Feel free to try a delicious import from the pub’s extensive draft and bottle lists. For more information about its “football” schedule, check out the Web site:
1. Claddagh Irish Pub
Located across from the Cheesecake Factory in the Southside Works area (407 Cinema Drive), this pub is Pittsburgh’s best place to view World Cup games.
At this pub, the food is styled after Irish fare, and the bar is stocked with fine liquor. Customers wanting a good stout or ale can also choose from one of the bar’s various import and domestic taps.
Aside from its food, Claddagh Irish Pub offers the best chance to see any one of the World Cup matches, as the bar offers a vast array of televised sports events from which to choose. Whether it is rugby or soccer, customers can catch their favorite matches and games, even those events broadcast from around the globe.
For further information, take a look at the chain’s Web site:http://claddaghirishpubs.com/
Overall, places to view the World Cup are very limited in Pittsburgh. Nonetheless, Claddagh Irish Pub offers a first-class opportunity to kick back and watch the sport’s best players battle it out, even if they really are half a world away from you.