Rest easy: Jennifer Lopez is going to perform during the World Cup after all. In case you’re not able to jet off to Brazil to watch the games (or Ms. Lopez)—taking place from June 12 through July 13, 2014—we’ve got you covered. While every bar on 9th Avenue, Queens Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue will be airing games near and dear to their constituents’ hearts at whatever hour of the day it happens to be, a few spots are putting a little more effort into entertaining viewers than a cheap beer and cheaper hot wings:
Refinery Hotel: This Garment District spot is featuring a pop-up Heineken bar and gallery called “Hatbox” where patrons can catch the game in an arena-like setting. Airing the games on a large projection screen and two flat-screen TVs, guests plop down $5 to get in, and another $5 per draught beer for Heineken, Dos Equis, Amstel Light and Newcastle Brown Ale. The venue opens up one hour before the first game each day and winds down an hour after the last game each day. Continue the party at the hotel’s more permanent watering holes: Winnie’s in the lobby, Parker & Quinn bistro and the Refinery Rooftop. 63 W 38th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), 646.664.0310 refineryhotelnewyork.com
The Ainsworth: The ultimate destination in luxury sports bars, The Ainsworth commonly plays host to celebrities and athletes, equally as interested in catching the games on the bar’s 40 (!!) flatscreen TVs while enjoying a full food and drink menu and the Gilded Age-inspired decor, lounges and event spaces. Located near Madison Square Garden, it provides a great prelude or follow-up to real sporting events as well. 122 W 2th Street (between 6th and 7th Aves), 212.741.0645 ainsworthnyc.com
Maya: Richard Sandoval’s updated tribute to seaside Mexico is offering up a couple of cocktail specials throughout the tournament. When games are aired on the large-screen TVs along the bar, you’ll find $8 Caipirinhas and Caiporoskas (made with vodka instead of cachaça), and $5 Coronas and Corona Lights. Pair with small bites like a squash blossom quesadilla, smoked brisket nachos, or the Taco of the Day. 1191 1st Avenue (between 64th and 65th Sts), 212.585.1818 richardsandoval.com/mayany
Brother Jimmy’s BBQ: Well you know this is going to be packed (At least on the days when games are between countries the bros and dudes have heard of). All five locations (Lexington, Union Square, UES, UWS and Midtown) will be airing games on large screen HDTVs and serving up Brazil’s signature Caipirhina cocktails for $6 each during World Cup games. Multiple locations, brotherjimmys.com
Hyatt Union Square: For those who live and breathe “futbol,” why not make a weekend of it, or turn your vacation into a staycation, with the “Score!” package at Hyatt Union Square? In addition to your room (with free WiFi and a late checkout time), you’ll receive preferential seating at Brazilian-themed pop-up restaurant Botequim. Here you’ll receive tasty caipirinha cocktails and chef Marco Moreira’s tasting menu featuring dishes like Salgadinhos (meat and cheese-stuffed fried pastries) and Feijoada Completa (beans, meat, rice) and wine pairings from sommelier Roger Dagorn. Back at the hotel you’ll score two complimentary caipirinhas at the Singl lounge and two pairs of havaianas sandals. How you score(!) later in the evening is up to you. 134 Fourth Avenue, near Union Square, 212.253.1234 unionsquare.hyatt.com
The 40/40 Club: Jay-Z’s original club location is airing games from noon to 3 p.m. on 23 large screens throughout the massive lounge. Special packages include the Lunch Cup ($25 per person) including two drinks (beer or wine), an entree, appetizer and side, and the Corporate Cup ($350 for 10 guests) featuring unlimited beer for two hours and three food platters. Private rooms are also available for rental, including “Jay’s Lounge” which boasts two 55-inch LED Flat Screens and 4 65-inch versions. 6 W 25th St (at Broadway), 212.832.4040 the4040club.com
Grape & Vine: If endless caiphirinas aren’t your thing, this elegant little spot inside the Jade Hotel might be your go-to Cup spot. The bartender has whipped up player-specific libations ($12 each) to celebrate the characters dominating the field. Consider the Messi Business (Fernet Branca, Coca Cola, orange juice) honoring Argentina striker Lionel Messi or the Clockwork Orange (Ketel One Oranje, Solerno Blood Orange liqueur, Amaro Nonino, orange juice. Wait, where’s the vellocet?) celebrating the Orangemen of The Netherlands. 52 W 13th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), 212.300.4525 grapeandvinenyc.com
Southampton Social Club: In case your summer plans take you east to Long Island, you can still catch the action at this stylish spot featuring multiple TVs, a charming oversized backyard, and access to private cabanas. Caribbean-themed seafood and other dishes from executive chef Scott Kampf, along with cocktails like a Southampton Mojito or the Social Cooler (jalapeño-infused Don Julio tequila, watermelon puree and fresh lime juice), will help put you in the World Cup mood. 256 Elm Street, 631.287.1400 southamptonsocialclub.com
The Chester: This casually elegant American eatery inside the Meatpacking District’s Gansevoort hotel is specifically ardoning its walls with American-made Element Electronics TVs and equipment so you can cheer on Team USA with a patriotically clear conscience. Though the U.S. is up against much tougher Ghana first (June 16), there’s a good chance they’ll get to play a couple more games after that, before you switch your support to Spain or Brazil. You’ll also find themed drinks tied into the countries playing each day along with pitchers of Sangria. 18 9th Avenue (at W 14th St), 646.253.2284 thechesternyc.com
Leave Rochelle Out of It: At this dedicated whiskey bar with serious cocktails but a party atmosphere, swing by throughout the tournament for a variety of shots and drinks specials wrapped around specific competing countries. You might find Jager Bombs when Germany’s up and Stoli cocktail specials for Russia. Aperol Spritz cocktails (Aperol, Prosecco, Club Soda) for cheering on Italy and Jim Beam Black shot-and-beer specials for the good ol’ U.S. of A. 205 Chrystie Street (at Stanton St), rochellesnyc.com
Bounce Sporting Club: A zillion screens, a zillion people, girls who like to dance and an endless sea of backwards baseball caps and hair gel. What else could you possibly want when viewing international sports competitions? Well, at this preimere sports bar, you’ll also find an extensive menu of food and drink, along with some specialty cocktails for the games. A Brazilian Old Fashioned and a Strawberry Basil Caipirinha each feature Leblon Cachaça, a specialty Brazilian rum-like spirit. You’ll also find giveaways like soccer balls and themed key chains, and every match will be televised. Extra special days include Ghana V. U.S. (June 16), U.S. v Portugal (June 22) and U.S. v Germany (June 26). 55 W 21st St, 212.675.8007 bounceny.com
Thirsty for more? Check out National Spirits Examiner or NY Drinks Examiner.
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FTC Disclaimer: The author sometimes receives product samples for review, which carry no cash value and cannot be re-sold, and sometimes attends press events such as lunches or cocktail parties, designed to promote a given product. The author is not paid by any alcohol manufacturer, retailer or distributor, or provided compensation apart from revenue from an assigning publishing company for editorial publication. Opinions are the author’s own. By the way, you should be 21 or older to read this page. Author received no comps or samples related to this article. He hasn’t played soccer competitively since the third grade.