The World Cup: you'll watch, and you know it, even if you aren't a huge fútbol fan. A couple billion people worldwide can only be wrong about David Hasselhoff -- making them oh, so right about shutting down to watch the month-long international soccer extravaganza unfolding in South Africa.
Also making the argument: the sketch for the Roberto Cavalli outfit Shakira's to wear at the kickoff concert this afternoon in Johannesburg, and the fact that this time around, the time change dictates breakfast comes with beer the whole rest of the month.
The question, then, is where to watch? The answer is "pretty much everyone's showing it," but we've picked out a few choice options from across the Magic City.
The U.S. and England play Saturday in one of the most anticipated World Cup matches of all -- try watching that ESPN bit over there without wanting to call the Queen a right tart -- and even the nations' dignitaries are at polite but obvious war. It's Special Relationship 'Ate Week, and there's no better place to get your revolutionary war on than a venerable English pub full o' lymies.
Not looking forward to being packed into a British pub with chips and beer to light your way? SUSHISAMBA is in on the act with dining and drink specials tailored to the teams on the field, including position-inspired cocktails Midfield (shochu, tomato juice, aji panca syrup), Forward (bourbon and apple cider), and Keeper (mango juice, guava juice, sparkling wine). Perhaps best of all? Caipirinha pitchers during all of Brazil's games, which ought to be many.
Waxy O'Connor's Irish Pub and Eatery
Waxy's has pledged to show every game no matter what the hour, so fortunately for Waxy's, South African time puts the games at 7:30 a.m., 10 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. The promise comes with breakfast service at both the Beach and Brickell locations, and, yes, even you, Fort Lauderdale. (Our advice: Brickell, for that new car smell, river view, and flat screens in each booth.)
72nd Bar & Grill
A fully-stocked neighborhood joint turned sports bar, just for the World Cup? We'd suspect we're dreaming, except there's no Zinedine Zidane. Fútbolers can belly up the bar, hyperventilate in the lounge, or dine away while watching la Copa and enjoying half-priced beers from countries currently playing at 2:30 on June 11, 12, 13, 17, and 18. There's also a ceviche stand. Score.
The Playwright Irish Pub
Have you ever been in the Playwright when there wasn't a soccer game on? Exactly. Arguably the most authentic soccer-watching bar on South Beach, you'll have more of the same for the World Cup. In other words, no frou-frou frozen cocktails with little national flags for umbrellas, but instead you'll get a bar full of hard-core fans willing to crowd around smaller tellies for that Euro-expert experience.
Fritz & Franz Bierhaus
Austria's not in the World Cup, but you can get your sausage on and comfortably cheer for Europe in general in this traditional Coral Gables soccer-watchin' refuge. They'll open at 7:30 every morning of the Cup and serve breakfast.
Yep, your friendly neighborhood bowling alley is opening their doors early for the first time ever, just so you can catch games on the giant projection screens that punctuate each lane, or watch in the bar and lounge -- all while gnoshing on an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet with Bloody Marys. All that, plus jail-bait waitresses in little fur-lined boots. (Our guy friends tell us that's a selling point.)
While this World Cup schedule might be the coolest we've ever seen, this site has a printable TV schedule per time zone -- handy for ensuring you don't miss any 10 a.m. drink specials. Viva fútbol!