Whatcom businesses ready to bring World Cup soccer to fans

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 11, 2014 

2010 World Cup, Boundary Bay

Fans at Boundary Bay Brewery react as Landon Donovan scores against Algeria in the World Cup group C match, on June 23, 2010. The Bellingham brewpub again will show the games during the 2014 tournament.

MARK MALIJAN — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

  • WHERE TO WATCH

    These Whatcom County businesses will have public viewing parties for 2014 World Cup matches. Contact the venue in advance for more specific information:

    Soccer City

    147 W Kellogg Rd, Bellingham

    Phone: (360) 306-5511

    soccersaves.com

    Copper Hog

    1327 N. State St., Bellingham

    (360) 927-7888

    thecopperhog.com

    Schweinhaus Biergarten

    1330 N. State St., Bellingham

    (360) 951-1157

    dasschweinhaus.com

    Café Rumba

    1140 N State St, Bellingham

    (360) 746-8280

    caferumbabham.com

    Boundary Bay Brewery

    1107 Railroad Ave., Bellingham

    (360) 647-5593

    bbaybrewery.com

    Brandywine Kitchen

    1317 Commercial St., Bellingham

    (360) 734-1071

    brandywinekitchen.com

    Uisce Irish Pub

    1319 Commercial St., Bellingham

    (360) 738-7939

    uisceirishpub.com

The World Cup party is in Brazil, but it appears Whatcom County residents are getting into the spirit.

World Cup-related soccer gear has been "flying off the shelves" at Soccer City's Bellingham store, and that's expected to continue in the next few weeks, said owner Drew Smiley. Surprisingly to Smiley, Argentina has been the top-selling gear at the store heading into the World Cup.

"We try to make sure we have every jersey in stock along with the official balls, but it has definitely been a chore keeping up with demand," Smiley said in an email. The store will be televising the games, offering price discounts on jerseys based on who is playing.

The World Cup festivities begin Thursday, June 12, when Brazil takes on Croatia and run through the championship match on Sunday, July 13.

Local restaurants and drinking establishments also are gearing up for the tournament. Bellingham's Copper Hog on North State Street will have four televisions on throughout the tournament and will give away 100 U.S.-Portugal scarves during the Sunday, June 22, match between the two teams, said owner Aaron Matson.

Later this month Matson plans on opening the Schweinhaus Biergarten, a German-style beer garden that's across the street from the pub. It will have outdoor seating and also televise the matches.

For more of a Latin American flair, the Peruvian restaurant Café Rumba on North State Street is offering live World Cup matches televised in Spanish, along with new breakfast items and some Brazilian coffee and other dishes, said co-owner Antonio Diaz. You don't need to know Spanish to enjoy a soccer match, he said, because you can always tell when something exciting is happening.

"Just hearing the 'Gooooooal!' shout is part of the experience," he said.

Other restaurants that have announced live viewings of the World Cup include Boundary Bay Brewery, Brandywine and Uisce.

During the 2010 World Cup, Matson said the Copper Hog was packed during the U.S. matches but not as much during the other games.

With a different time schedule (many of this year's matches are at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. local time), it will be interesting to see if Whatcom County residents will drop by establishments during the work week to catch some soccer action.

"I'm not sure what to expect, but customers have been talking about this for some time," Diaz said. "I'm about soccer, music, food and camaraderie, so I'm looking forward to a fun few weeks."

The World Cup has been much debated in Smiley's store in recent weeks, with customers and employees filling out brackets.

Even though the U.S. is in the toughest group, known as the Group of Death, Smiley is hopeful that it can advance out of the group stage. As for the champion?

"I would say Germany. It would be the first time a European team has ever won it in the Southern Hemisphere, but there has to be a first time," he said.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

For ongoing coverage of the 2014 World Cup, go to bellinghamherald.com/world-cup.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read the Business Blog at bellinghamherald.com/business-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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