Even though the United States isn’t in the tournament, Houstonians are coming down with a full blown case of World Cup Fever. Given the city’s diversity, it’s no surprise that people will be rooting for the countries their families immigrated from or just cheering on favorite stars.
Of course, a number of Houston bars and restaurants are catering to Cup fans with special menus and, more importantly, special hours. With the games taking place across Russia, most matches are kicking off in the morning — one as early as 5 am. This guide notes which places are opening early.
After all, there’s nothing like stumbling into work a little late with beer breath after catching a 7 am tilt between Sweden and South Korea.
The downtown taco joint and its companion cantina will be open for all of the matches with plenty of good viewing angles than to its 75 and 85-inch TVs. World Cup specials include $3.99 paleta shots, $4 draft beers, $5 frozen Chamoyritas, and $8 bowls of menudo. Fans can also expect merchandise giveaways courtesy of Soccer4All. Best of all, those who spend at least $20 earn free parking in the garage at 805 Franklin Street. 909 Franklin St.
Pitch 25 Beer Park
In keeping with the spirit of its co-owner Brian Ching, the newly opened beer garden and soccer bar will open as early as 7 am for World Cup matches. Dine on a special breakfast menu while sipping on beer or wine from the 100 taps. Group reservations are also available. Pitch 25 will also celebrate the start of the World Cup Wednesday night with a special four-on-four soccer tournament on its indoor pitch. 2120 Walker St.
The Gorgeous Gael
As the official watch spot for ESPN 97.5’s weekly show Soccer Matters, the Rice Village bar will be open for all World Cup matches with a full menu of food, drinks, and beer. 5555 Morningside Dr.
The Richmond Arms Pub
The venerable English pub will open early for all matches, including the 5 am tilt between France and Australia, with a special breakfast menu. As always, no cover charge to watch the matches. See Facebook for the full schedule. 5920 Richmond Ave.
Harold’s in the Heights
The popular bar and restaurant will open its downstairs tap room as early as 7 am for matches airing Tuesday through Sunday. In addition, it will offer a range of drink and food specials including happy hour pricing on beer during all matches, $5 Lunazel tequila and Benchmark whiskey, $7 pours of top shelf products including Elijah Craig bourbon, Larceny whiskey, Roxor gin, and Nine Banded whiskey, as well as $5 frozens made with Deep Eddy products. Daily specials (such as $4 Saint Arnold drafts and cans on Wednesday and Saturdays), food specials tied to different countries (such as fish and chips for the June 24 match between England and Panama), and swag giveaways all help make Harold’s a compelling destination for Heights-area soccer fans. 350 W. 19th St.
Revelry on Richmond
The popular Montrose sports bar will feature World Cup matches on its 30 TVs. For select matches such as Germany versus Mexico, Revelry will open at 10 am; on those days, it will start happy hour with $5 select drinks and $6 select appetizers. To kick off the festivities, the bar will host a Playstation 4 FIFA tournament on Wednesday night with prizes to the top three players. 1613 Richmond Ave.
Spring Branch's favorite craft beer spot is opening early for select matches, starting with 9 am on Thursday, June 14 for Russia versus Saudi Arabia; 1 pm on Friday, June 15 for Portugal versus Spain; 8 am on Saturday, June 16 for Argentina versus Iceland; and 10 am on Sunday, June 17 for Germany versus Mexico. See the complete schedule on Facebook. Also, co-owner Kyle Pierson notes that he'll open for any of the other matches if a group is interested in hosting watch parties there. Contact The Branch for details. 7710 Long Point Rd.
El Big Bad
The downtown Mexican restaurant and tequila bar will open early for select World Cup matches, starting with 10 am on Friday, June 15 and Sunday, June 17 and 1 pm June 18 through 21; see Facebook for the complete schedule. Those wearing gear from their favorite national teams — even the U.S.A. — may purchase house margaritas for only $5. 419 Travis Street
The acclaimed Peruvian restaurant will be showing most of the matches and will open early on weekends or for matches where Peru is competing. Happy hour specials, including $6 wells, $5 glasses of wine, $3 beers, and half-off appetizers, are available from 2:30 to 6:30 pm Monday through Saturday. See website for complete schedule. 5709 Woodway Dr.
The West Houston institution will open at 7 am Friday through Sunday for World Cup matches. During the week, Nick’s opens at 11 am. By reputation, the calzones are to die for. 2713 Rockyridge Dr.
Eight Row Flint
Agricole Hospitality’s bar devoted to whiskey, beer, and tacos will open at 1 pm (one hour early) to show matches that kick off at that time. Happy hour specials include $3 tacos, $3 select beers, and $3 select house cocktails. 1039 Yale St.
Pluckers Wing Bar
The wing joint will open early for Mexico’s matches — 9:45 am on June 17 and 23 and 8:45 am on June 27 — with $1 off its 34-ounce drafts of Dos Equis. In addition, Pluckers Club members can compete for the opportunity to win $2,500 by correctly picking the tournament’s final four teams. Four Houston-area locations; see website for details.