Joey Grihalva

Milwaukee World Cup Bar Guide

Where should you watch the World Cup? Read on.

By - Jun 10th, 2014 01:21 pm
The Nomad's World Cup Beer Garden. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Nomad’s World Cup Beer Garden. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Avid soccer fans who watched Championship Sunday or the Champions League Final will recall a slick, colorful spot for Nomad’s 2014 World Cup festivities. The commercial punches well above its weight, considering competition for soccer fans in Milwaukee is not exactly a 32-establishment affair. But it’s the Cup, when the audience expands for soccer, so you don’t have to be able to name the three teams being promoted to the English Premier League next season to enjoy the playing, the parties, the prizes, and the food and beverages offered during the month-long celebration. Here’s a guide to your best bets in the city.

Nomad World Pub (Brady Street) – It’s safe to say this is Milwaukee’s official World Cup headquarters. They’ll be hosting not one, but two block parties (Sunday June 22nd for the USA-Portugal match, and Sunday July 13 for the Final) featuring tacos from Bel Air Cantina, a beer garden, jumbotron, and a favela-style outside bar (which will be open throughout the month). You can enter their bracket challenge for $35, which includes a t-shirt and drink coozie, and an opportunity to win prizes. Another way to win is by visiting Nomad often and filling out their World Copa Passport. Live DJs will also spin world music on different days. Chances are this modestly-sized two-story bar will be packed on non-block party days, so if you’re not into big crowds, or just want to mix it up, you’ve got other options.

The Highbury takes its soccer seriously. Photo by Kristyn Botic.

The Highbury takes its soccer seriously. Photo by Kristyn Botic.

Highbury (Bay View) – The Highbury is serious about soccer. So serious in fact, that they’re currently in the running for a Sirius XM competition for best soccer bar in the country. They’ll have a tent out back and a beer truck from 9AM to 9PM on Saturday June 14, Monday June 16 (USA-Ghana @ 5PM) and Thursday June 26 (USA-Germany @ 11AM). Drink specials as well as country-themed drinks will be available, along with raffles, fresh pork rinds, and their usual live music on Fridays/Saturdays and karaoke on Sundays.

Upper 90 (Downtown) – Nestled around the corner from Old World Third on State Street, just a block from the BMO Harris Bradley Center, this newish downtown spot is hosting its first World Cup parties. They will have featured beers from the countries that are playing, an expanded food menu, lunch specials, giveaways including soccer balls, jerseys and a Prairie Vodka Beach cruiser bicycle. Opening at 9AM for all the games, they’ll also have a tent and big screen in the parking lot next door for the final on Sunday July 13.

Three Lions (Shorewood) – If England is your team, this British-style pub is where you’ll want to watch The Three Lions in action (that’s the nickname for the English team, get it?) For the duration of the Cup they’re doing a Krombacher Mug Club. $20 gets you a half-litre mug and $6 gets you a refill. At some point they’ll be expanding into the space next door, formerly Big Bay Brewing Company, but whether or not that happens in time for the Cup remains to be seen. Either way, they’ll be open at 10AM for all games, and are hosting a block party for the final on Sunday July 13 featuring a projector screen, 3-on-3 tournament, and live music. I recommend stopping in simply for their impressive collection of soccer scarves, jerseys and other flair. (England matches: vs. Italy Saturday June 14 @ 5pm, vs. Uruguay Thursday June 19 @ 2pm, vs. Costa Rica Tuesday June 24 @ 11AM).

Transfer Pizzeria & Café (Near South Side) – Join Transfer’s free bracket to receive $3 Furthermore taps, $3 sangrias and $3 off large pizzas throughout the Cup. In addition, random winners and bracket winners will take home prizes. Catch all the games in their recently renovated back room, including multiple TVs and an HD projector. They’ll also have live jazz each Thursday night at 7:30PM including Brazzaz (Brazilian jazz) on June 12, (earlier that day Brazil plays Croatia @ 3PM), with other performances by CNJ Latin Jazz Trio.

Old German Beer Hall (Downtown) – If Germany is your team, or you just like giant baked pretzels and playing hammerschlagen, then you’ll want to catch the boys in Black, Red and Gold at our own Hofbräuhaus Munchen. They’ll offer half-off tap beer during matches for anyone wearing Germany, USA or apparel of the teams playing at the time.  (Germany matches: vs. Portugal Monday June 16 @ 11AM, vs. Ghana Saturday June 21 @ 2pm, vs. USA Thursday June 26 @ 11AM.)

Stenys Tavern and Grill (Walkers Point) – This classic sports bar will open at 10:30AM for all the matches, offer tequila and beer specials, a full kitchen, games, prizes and jersey giveaways. Not exactly a soccer specific spot, this will be a good place to catch the Brewers, NHL/NBA playoffs plus World Cup action.

Uptowner (Riverwest) – Full disclosure, I bartend here occasionally, and on Sunday June 15 I’ll be fixing drinks and cracking tall boys while my fatherland, Ecuador, is in action against Switzerland @ 11AM. We’ll open at 10:30AM and I’m bringing in free llapingachos (Ecuadorian fried potato cakes), while supplies last. Later that day ex-Argentina national player (and father of one of our bartenders) Cacho Cordoba will be on hand for the Argentina-Bosnia and Herzegovina match @ 5pm.

Lowlands Restaurant Group (various sites) – Pairing Belgian food and beer with Belgium matches will be easy to do all over the city either at Café Hollander (Eastside and Tosa Village), Café Benelux (Third Ward), Café Centraal (Bay View), or Trocadero (Lower Brady Street). Their newly added Café Bavaria across from Café Hollander in Tosa Village offers a German rivalry. While they aren’t doing anything Cup-specific they will play all matches with audio on their TVs, and feature their usual specials.  (Belgium matches: vs. Algeria Tuesday June 17 @ 11AM, vs. Russia Sunday June 22 @ 11AM, vs. Korea Thursday June 26 @ 2PM)

Replay Sports Bar (East Side) – The sheer number of TVs at Replay landed it a spot on the guide. They’ll also have games and prizes, plus Bud Light and Jack Daniels specials.

Is that the full list? Well, Ireland failed to qualify for this year’s Cup, but I’m sure the atmosphere at Milwaukee’s array of Irish pubs will be very Cup-friendly.

And if you want to get outside and enjoy the beautiful game, head down to Lakefront Soccerfest in Veteran’s Park on Sunday June 15 for 3-on-3 games, youth soccer information and a fundraiser.

PS. If you bring a case of High Life to my parent’s house I bet my Dad would let you watch a match in 3D on his big screen.

Here is the full Match Schedule:

0 thoughts on “Taverns: Milwaukee World Cup Bar Guide”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Club Garibaldi in Bay View is going to have specials and prizes too! Sorry for forgetting about that fine establishment.

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