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WCNP2014 has something for everyone

Kevin Smead | Uptown News

The World Cup is a big deal. This holds true even for us Americans, who shrugged with non-outrage at Landon Donovan’s exclusion from the US team. Save the Olympics, the World Cup is the one sporting event that truly earns its “World” moniker (shooting a squinty, sidelong glance at you, World Series). Be it for national pride, genuine passion, pure curiosity or just to let everyone know you’re intentionally ignoring it, the World Cup is on your radar, like it or not. If nothing else, guessing if the players are actually hurt or just flopping makes for an excellent drinking game. So I posit this to you: Why not go enjoy it?

U31 in North Park wears its World Cup colors. (Photo by McKenna Aiello)

U31 in North Park wears its World Cup colors. (Photo by McKenna Aiello)

And really, with WCNP2014 — that’s World Cup North Park 2014 if you’re not into that whole brevity thing — in full swing, there’s no excuse not to. More than twenty local businesses have come together to not only show the games, but to make this a World Cup to remember. And seriously, there’s not a bad place to watch the World Cup in North Park. There are several, though, that are perfect for specific types of fans.

If you’re serious about soccer and intensely passionate about the game itself, then Bluefoot might be the place for you. Since 2006, they’ve been showing all the World Cup games live and have no intention of stopping.

“When the Cup is in Russia in 2018, we’ll see who’s still open for all the games,” co-owner Adam Cook said. “We will be, for sure.”

Bluefoot’s serious passion for soccer is highly evident, with both owners active soccer players and the bar sponsoring five local teams.

“We were the first people doing this, and it just spread by word of mouth,” Cook said. Packed during games, Bluefoot’s the place to be if you’re a hardcore soccer fan. The bar is also running a generous happy hour, from opening at 11 a.m., all the way until 7:30 p.m.

If soccer isn’t necessarily your thing, but you’re just excited because the World Cup is a wild sporting event in which face painting is not only okay but encouraged, then True North is your destination. With 27 TVs — and one 80-incher — you’ll see every player’s cleats pierce the grass and all the small details you’ll be arguing about for weeks to come.

Oh, and you won’t be alone.

“For the first game, it was standing room only in here,” manager J Klein said. “It was like a football Sunday.”

During the games, the bar will be running various drink specials, as well as offering their full food menu.

“We’re totally behind promoting North Park as the premiere and only destination to watch the World Cup,” Klein said.

For those looking for something a little different in the beverage department, Coin-Op Game Room is celebrating the World Cup via a wide assortment of themed cocktails and snacks. For games with more popular teams, the bar will offer cocktails featuring an alcohol associated with its respective country. For Britain, they’ll have drinks featuring Gin. For France, cocktails will feature calvados, a sweet and nutty apple brandy. In addition to mescal and tequila, a taco truck will outside the bar for all of Mexico’s games.

Perhaps the most interesting of the themed cocktails, however, are the ones featuring cachaça, an alcohol made from distilled sugar cane. Hugely popular in Brazil, Coin-Op currently has four different cocktails they’re serving throughout the cup featuring cachaça. Though they’re $8.50 normally, during Brazil’s games, the cachaça drinks are only $6.

Finally, if all of these sound fun, but going to any of them means you’d be going alone for one reason or another, Hess Brewing Company is your answer. Hess is all-ages, pet-friendly, and you’re also welcome to bring outside food. They do have an in-house, sushi team, though, so maybe check that out. Plus, if you’re jazzed about the game but the people you’re with just can’t get into it, there’s a shelf full of board games to keep them entertained while you root for your favorite team. With some mighty tasty beer and an undeniably cool tasting room setup, everybody wins.

Like I said before, with so much great stuff going on, there’s really no excuse not to go out and enjoy a World Cup game, especially since there’s a spot for all manner of soccer fans and non-fans alike.

Still, if none of these sounded like your thing, be sure to check out the full list of hosts at wcnp2014.com and follow all of your favorite places on social media for updates and daily specials.

And of course, go USA!

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