English Premier League season starts this weekend, which means Philly pubs will be packed every Saturday and Sunday morning for the next nine months with fans in too-tight soccer kits looking for the best deals on cheap drafts to pair with their full English breakfasts.
Here’s a look at some notable soccer bars and pubs in the city and what specials they have for opening weekend. (Note: If your favorite spot isn’t listed, let me know. We already have a couple of updates below.) There are seven matches Saturday and two Sunday, but the season officially starts this afternoon when Arsenal take on Leicester City at 2:45 p.m. If you want to avoid the surly Gooners, don’t walk by Misconduct at any point after, say, noon.
Misconduct doesn’t have a ton of details on specials on their site other than $4 for “selected drafts and cans.” The ‘Wenger Out’ chants are free.
Remember back to last season’s opening weekend, Fado, at 15th and Locust, was closed for renovations. But they’re certainly open this year, with $5 Carlsberg, Blue Moon and Heineken drafts during matches, touting their new brunch menu. They’re also playing every single match “with live sound.” That’ll be fun at 10 a.m. Saturday when there are five matches on at once. Eh, Liverpool play at 7:30 a.m. so by the second TV window most patrons will be properly soused.
Tir na Nog
Tir na Nog has a ton of food and drink specials this weekend, which includes $4 Yards and Victory drafts and a $6 breakfast sandwich. The $10 cheesesteak is also listed as a special but, I mean, they call themselves “the most authentic Irish Pub in Philadelphia,” so it’s not like anyone’s running to 16th and Arch for that cheesesteak unless it’s made of corned beef, perhaps. But for sure, the matches will be on all their TVs, no matter what you order.
Beware of Chelsea fans, who will be out in full throat after last year’s runaway title. This year, Man City fans are also calling Tir na Nog home (with Crystal Palace supporters too) so there will be lots of blue, in various shades.
The Bards, located at 2013 Walnut St., opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, unless Newcastle is playing. Then they’ll open early, being the Newcastle supporters pub in town.
General Manager Colin Vickery said he’s very happy to have Newcastle back in the Premier League after being relegated to playing Championship football last season. Vickery said the interest wasn’t lower from the Newcastle fans, but being able to get the games from that division is far more difficult than popping on every EPL match. So he’s excited they’re back, even with the fees NBC is charging to get matches that aren’t on regular TV stations this season. It’s $50 for access to all the games that aren’t on TV. For a service that used to be free, NBC is sticking it to fans this year.
Alas, more reason to go to a bar. And The Bards is offering $5 half-and-halts (half Guinness and half whatever you want) and either Guinness Blonde or Harp on draft, with $3 lagers. They have three TVs for matches and can pull out a projection screen for Newcastle games. He said even some Bournemouth fans would come in last season, so feel free to request a mid-table or bottom-half club and they’ll happily put it on.
O’Neals, at 611 S. Third St., is the resident Everton pub in Philly, so it could be pretty packed Saturday, as the moves the Toffees have made this summer have fans optimistic for the 2017-18 season, even sans Romelu Lukaku.
The bar has some Saturday specials too, including breakfast sandwiches and something called the “big daddy,” with $3 Bud, Bud Light and, yeep, Bud Light Lime, which is apparently still a thing. They also have a beer garden with a TV and state they are showing all the EPL matches this season. Well, their site says they open at 9 a.m., so maybe not all the matches.
The Victoria Freehouse
You can walk to The Victoria Freehouse at 10 S. Front St. early Saturday morning for Liverpool vs. Watford but…you’ll never walk alo–nope. Not going to do it. Nope. Nope. Nope.
The local Liverpool pub has some deals this weekend, including $4 Carlbergs, Magners, Mimosas, $5 Bloody Mary’s and curried cheese chips and $10 for an English breakfast, bubble and squeak, or fish and chips. So strap on your Coutinho kit one last time (maybe, maybe not) and enjoy the match. It should be a great season.
Black Sheep Pub
Black Sheep, at 17th and Latimer, doesn’t open until 11 a.m. according to its Facebook page, but it’s the local pub of choice for Manchester United fans.
The Premier League season is finally here! United welcome West Ham to The Theatre of Dreams on Sunday for an 11 am kickoff. Start the season the right way with us at Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant! Full brunch menu to be offered and of course drink specials for all Reds in attendance!
Let’s hope at least a few Hammers supporters crash the party. Those fans together would make for a fun brunch.
The former bar of choice for MCFC supporters, Devil’s Den at 1148 S. 11th St. is open at 10:30 a.m. this weekend. While the staff told us on the phone they don’t have any specific specials for footy fans, they are having a sour beer fest this weekend. Every tap is pouring something sour. Insert a ‘Pep Guardiola’s tenure in the EPL’ joke here.
London Grill, on the 2300 block of Fairmount Avenue, is opening at 10 a.m. with $3 domestics and $4 drafts. They aren’t opening for the early matches, but told me St. Stephen’s Green (1701 Green St.) is. A call there went unanswered, but they had an adorable message asking me to leave my name, number and reason for calling and they’d get back to me.
Are you looking for a football experience in an ‘upscal’e British pub? Then head to The Dandelion at 18th and Sansom, where they don’t have anything planned other than their regular 10 a.m. brunch. But when I called, they assured me if you ask…they’ll put the games on for you.
Another one from a reader. Liverpool are so popular their supporters are at multiple bars.
This was confirmed. Up early? Walk alone to Jose Pistola’s too.