Good times in Beijing during the last World Cup given that nearly every bar and its sibling had a TV screen to attract football fans (see All About Placement: World Cup Venues). Some spots are gone–Browns (home of raucous parties during and after games), W, John Bull Pub, Red Ball, and more–but plenty have opened, so there will be no shortage of options.
I will turn this post into a permanent page to list spots to see games, maps (more are coming), and the official / unofficial bars for fans of certain nations. If anyone has any info to add, please let me know at beijingboyce (at) yahoo.com.
Before I get started, if you are looking for country flags, SLS Flags is hard to beat. I also noticed a flag shop just north of The Place, but have not yet had a chance to check it out. And for more on the last World Cup, see these ten observations I made as a viewer in Beijing.
First, some spots that have opened since the last World Cup and that will show or likely show games. There are numerous other places that might show it–Salud? 1F? Aperitivo?–and I will add them if I get confirmation. It would also be cool if games were shown on the giant screens at Sanlitun Village, The Place, and elsewhere. We’ll see.
I’ve put a black star–OK, it’s an asterisk–beside some places I plan to see Ghana play on its way to World Cup victory…
* Paddy O’Shea’s (map) A two-floor Irish bar near the Sanlitun North embassy district that draws an after-work drain-a-pint crowd as well as a loyal local following, and will have specials during games involving France. In addition to the pub grub, patrons can order from Indian restaurant Kamat’s upstairs.
* Blue Frog Look for this place to beam games onto that massive wall facing its spacious deck. Blue Frog also has several screens inside. Best bet is to catch a game during that two-for-one Monday burger deal.
* Tun This place is capable of doing a huge projection on the wall behind the bar. Given its large size and decent beer prices, it could pick up where Browns left off last time.
* The Stumble Inn: Look for the second version of this place to open on the third floor of Sanlitun Village in time for the World Cup.
Saddle Cantina Another spot that could be a hit, especially on the deck, if games can be projected on the white sides of Nali Studio.
Luga’s Basement One floor below Luga’s Villa, it has five screens, though they are a bit small. There is also a deck out front where patrons can kick back and relax.
The Irish Volunteer (map) While not a sports bar, it has excelled at showing sports on demand–from the NHL playoffs to the NCAA men’s basketball final. Has a small but good selection of beers as well as burgers and other pub grub.
Stadium Dog Box off part of the parking lot, stick up a screen or two, and fans would be enjoying a beer and a dog all in the shade of a stadium.
Danger Doyle’s Formerly known as Stadium, this two-floor bar offers plenty of screens, a spacious rooftop, and a wide selection of beers.
Hooters The only Beijing outlet of this U.S. franchise: expect pricey but passable food (try the chili dog), a handful of screens, and waitresses dancing and singing to songs such as “You Are My Sunshine.”
Tim’s Texas BBQ Home of a wide range of Tex-Mex food, including a decent “Mexican burger”, this place also shows sports.
All-Star (map) This place includes booth and table seating, solid pub grub, a four-sized bar, and dozens of flat screens in the Solana area.
Union Bar & Grille: With one of the best designed bars in town, a comfy place at which to sip a pint or two.
Parkside Bar & Grill: Slated to open in Lido in early to mid May with a three-side bar and several 55-inch screens. The plan is to show games in HD.
Now for places that were around for the last World Cup and will or likely will show games…
* The Den (map) Open 24 hours, the place has five screens, good pub grub (four-cheese pizza, deep-fried combo, nasi goreng, and bangers and mash), a reasonably efficient staff, and an excellent happy hour (5 to 10 PM daily, with half-price drinks and pizzas). Downsides: there is no free water and the place is a bit dingy. The Den attracts a diverse clientele, particularly after midnight.
* Ritan Park Compound Former site of sacrifices to the Sun God, this walled circular area in Ritan Park played host to hundreds of football fans in 2006. The organizers erected two massive screens–one with English commentary, one with Chinese commentary–and the time delay between the two created lots of anticipation for half the fans. Entry was RMB30, and included a beer, with Tsingtao available at RMB15 per bottle. Hopefully, there is a similar setup this year.
The Pavillion (map) Among the busiest spots during the last World Cup due to its excellent deck. It also includes numerous screens inside, though some of them are at an angle that can lead to sore necks.
The Goose and Duck (map) Recently upgraded, this is a 24-hour sports bar with loads of paraphernalia and screen and a diverse menu (the steak breakfast special is tasty). Host of the biggest Super Bowl party each year. The location is an issue for many people as is the at-times lackluster service.
Frank’s Place (map) The Lido reincarnation of what is widely considered the first non-hotel bar to open in Beijing. Again, plenty of screens as well as a large party area out back.
Beer Mania With an excellent lineup of Belgian beers, this place showed games last time around and is a strong draw with the Belgian crowd.
The Pomegranate (map) The Shunyi-based sibling of Paddy O’Shea’s.
Eudora Station (map) Located in the Lido area, this place shows sports, has a vast menu, and includes a lounge area out back and a nice patio up front.