If you've been counting down the days until the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, get ready to order that pint. You will be rewarded soon enough.
The 14th European Championship featuring 16 national football teams organized by UEFA—commonly referred to as Euro 2012—kicks off Friday, June 8 and runs through Sunday, July 1.
Now it's only a question of where to watch. Fortunately, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill are an expat's paradise when it comes to viewing sports. So you won't have to travel as far as Poland or Ukraine, the two hosting countries, to get in on the action.
Here are the best spots in town to raise a glass to your favorite team:
This French restaurant and bar has quickly become a neighborhood staple for its chic atmosphere and tightly edited menu of favorites.
In fact, a happy hour and sandwich special will be offered during the games, said general manager Apostolos Valleras, who expects the largest crowd when the French square off against the English on Monday, June 11.
On the topic of other teams, Valleras was unfazed by the recent controversy regarding a big match-rigging scandal in Italy.
"Listen we’re used to all of these things,” he said. “Italians, Greeks they all have problems in their domestic leagues. These things are not a big secret. They’ll survive it.”
This casual yet festive pub is offering 50¢ wings and $5 pints during all UEFA games. But you can be sure that the busiest matches will be around 2:45 p.m. when the Irish team is set to play, said the hostess.
With Ireland in the same group this year as Italy, who they famously beat in the USA World Cup back in 1994—perhaps Ireland's most famous victory—fans can expect a spirited fight from the men in green.
A habitual hangout for watching English Premier League games live, this watering hole won't be putting on any frills for the UEFA face-offs. But co-owner Andy Templar did promise a welcoming atmosphere and plenty of suds to drown your sorrows, should you need to.
With just one flat-screen hanging in the front room of this classy Cilento-themed eatery on Atlantic Avenue, Hopeland is perhaps the most intimate of all options for game viewing on Saturday and Sunday. But the owners themselves are avid futbol fans and will likely be watching along with you.
Bar Bruno, which features black and white photographs of soccer players all over its walls “sadly does not have a TV at the current time,” noted a staffmember to Carroll Gardens Patch. They are working on getting one, however, and if they succeed in doing so by the weekend we will update Patch readers immediately.