Whether your team is in or out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup matters little, for there is plenty of action left and many places to watch that action. And if you’re a fan of the U.S. national team, Tuesday at 1 p.m. offers some must-see TV (and a good excuse for your boss).
U.S. soccer star Jozy Altidore is available to play for the United States in Tuesday's second-round game against Belgium, so pull up a seat and grab a drink. Here are the best local spots for watching matches with other festive fans.
• Bonn Lair
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3651 J St., Sacramento
For the past 20 years, this J Street pub has been open for all World Cup games, even at the earliest hours. Small and quaint, Bonn Lair is littered with European pennants, jerseys and flags donated by patrons who have been loyal to team and sport for their entire lives. The space is intimate with only two large screens, so arrive early if you want a seat.
• The Davis Graduate
805 Russell Blvd., Davis
When Spanish football player Andres Iniesto scored the goal that would give Spain its first World Cup title in 2010, the enthusiastic fan reaction at The Davis Graduate was featured on ESPN. Rosendo Garcia, a soccer fan and Graduate regular, said watching games there is like sitting in an “ultra” section at a stadium, typically where the most rowdy fans gather to cheer for their team. The Graduate houses one 15-foot screen and five other large monitors to view the games. First-timers to the Graduate will find fans for teams spanning the globe.
• de Vere’s
1521 L St., Sacramento
217 E. St., Davis
De Vere’s is the home base for the Sacramento Republic FC and countless diehard fans of the World Cup. Spectators can catch the games at any angle from the pub’s nine mounted screens. During matches, de Vere’s acoustics can make it feel stadium-like, with patrons encouraged to let loose, said manager David Walsh.
For those who are thirsty, de Vere’s features more than 200 whiskeys and 32 handles of beer. Owner Henry de Vere said that while he’s rooting for the U.S., “all teams are welcome and all jerseys are accepted.”
• Hot Italian Pizza & Panini Bar
1627 16th St, Sacramento
With its urban European aesthetic – including a new Fiat sitting parked across from the bar – Hot Italian doesn’t shy away from what team it has its money on, said regular Bob Rogan, who watched the World Cup there four years ago. But Italy is out. Still, Hot Italian will be open for the U.S. game. Games are broadcast live on a projector screen.
1801 Capitol Ave., Sacramento
Zocalo offerings will include food and drink specials and samba dancers for July 13’s championship game. The large, airy bar features several TVs, and the banquet room will be equipped with a large plasma television for all the matches.