The 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament is THE big deal in soccer (or "football," as it's called around the world). Taking place in Russia until July 15 when a team wins it all, there are several Long Island spots where you can go to watch the games in full spirit. While Team USA failed to qualify, local fans are rooting for their own favorite teams.
Plattduetsche Park (1132 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square): “For many of our guests, the World Cup is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, which is why we open for all the matches,” says general manager Matthew Buck. And open they are — for all games, even 8 a.m. games or other hours the restaurant is normally closed. They’re even serving a breakfast menu that includes a 10-inch pretzel imported from Munich, with dipping mustard. Furthermore, while Germany may be the house favorite, Buck says “you don't have to be German to enjoy watching a match here. We wanted to make the experience even better by providing a passport that earns fans a gift certificate to the Plattduetsche, food and other fun touches during each match so soccer fans can really get into the action and excitement.” More info: 516-354-3131, parkrestaurant.com
Prost Grill & Garten in Garden City (652 Franklin Ave.) is offering beer specials that vary with matches. It will open for 10 a.m. games, unless Germany plays earlier, for which they will open regardless of time. More info: 516-427-5215, prostgrill.com
ABOVE THE PITCH
Rooftop 32 (23 North Park Ave., Rockville Centre; upstairs, stairwell behind the building): You’ll get a chance to watch the semifinals, with drink and food specials, at this outdoor rooftop space high above the village. “Watching games while relaxing under the sun … with amazing fans from different cultural roots makes it that much more special,” says Tommy McNicholas, co-owner of Rooftop 32, who predicts Germany will win but says Belgium is his sleeper team. More info: 516-766-5049, kaseysrvcny.com
HAMPTONS: FIFA CRAZY
Not normally known as a place that makes a big deal of sports, the Hamptons — possibly in part because of the number of international travelers that frequent the East End in the summer — is where you’ll find several spots offering FIFA-watching parties.
Rowdy Hall (10 Main St., East Hampton) puts a 60-inch screen in its alleyway patio and will be featuring 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. games, as well as 10 a.m. games during the top 16 rounds. “We have fans from many countries that come to Rowdy to root on their favorite team,” says owner Mark Smith. “If you can’t get to Russia, you can get to Rowdy.” More info: 631-324-8555, rowdyhall.com
Townline BBQ in Sagaponack (3593 Montauk Hwy.; 631-537-2271, townlinebbq.com) will also show these games, while Amagansett's Indian Wells Tavern (177 Main St.; 631-267-0400, indianwellstavern.com) will be open starting at 11:30 a.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. weekends for the games. Springs Tavern in East Hampton (15 Fort Pond Blvd.; 631-527-7800, thespringstavern.com) will be open for 10 a.m. games, offering giveaways, prizes and drink specials.
Craft Kitchen and Taphouse (44 Stauderman Ave., Lynbrook) is showing all the games, plus drink specials and half-price appetizers. They’ll also be selling their signature fried bologna sandwich with Fritos for $5. More info: 516-341-0547, craftlynbrook.com
Mineola's Heart of Portugal 241 Mineola Blvd.; 516-742-9797, heartofportugalrestaurantli.com) and Churrasqueira Bairrada (144 Jericho Tpke.; 516-739-3856, churrasqueira.com) will show games during regular hours, as will Lucharitos in Greenport (119 Main St; 631-477-6666, lucharitos.com), which will also have drink specials.
All Croxley Ales locations (Franklin Square, Rockville Centre, Farmingdale and Smithtown) will open at 11 a.m. for patrons to watch games and will run happy-hour deals. More info: croxley.com