[Photo by Flickr user thisisbossi]
The World Cup is upon us, that celebration of soccer that transfixes the planet (and maybe sort of transfixes the United States) every four years. While there are plenty of bars and restaurants that will be showing the games, which start today and culminate in the title game July 13th, Curbed decided to look at the bigger picture of soccer fandom throughout the District. D.C. is home to people from around the world, so after the jump is a half-serious look at where some of those international fan bases might be located in our fair city.
— Andrew Wiseman
Honduras: Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant
Honduras, a surprise team out of the CONCACAF region (North and Central America) has probably the easiest fan base to locate in D.C.: the Latin American neighborhoods of Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant. Particularly in northern Columbia Heights, plenty of shops on 14th Street are selling Honduras jerseys — and there's even a market named for Francisco Morazan, the Central American Simon Bolivar. Tegucigalpa, the fantastically-named capital of Honduras, is located in Francisco Morazan district. Expect to see lots fans with H's on their blue and white jerseys and lots of commotion coming out of the Central American restaurants along that stretch of 14th Street — it may well have the most World Cup-esque atmosphere in the city.
Germany: Dupont Circle/Foggy Bottom
Germans in an area named for a French-American family? Ja! The German Embassy is sponsoring a World Cup Festival on June 26 with a huge screen on the circle to show the Germany-USA match, so presumably a lot of Deutschland supporters will be there. The area is also the home of the Heurich House, the palatial home of Christian Heurich, who came from Germany in the 1800s and proceeded to brew beer, a very German undertaking. Heurich's brewery was located in Foggy Bottom, which has a fair amount of German history as well — a planned settlement in the area was named Hamburg and there's a church, founded in 1833 in the 'hood that still has a German-language service. John Philip Sousa, the German-American march composer, attended! (That said, if you want a more authentic German World Cup experience, try the Goethe Institut, a German cultural center that will be showing most Germany matches, and the Biergarten Haus on H Street NE is having giveaways and deals during the matches.)
Ghana: 3512 International Drive NW
That's the Ghanian Embassy, but unlike most other embassies with World Cup teams, they're actually doing something. On Tuesday they hosted a dinner with the national team. It's surprising that more embassies or their cultural branches aren't hosting events for their teams, as it would be a good opportunity for public diplomacy. The other option for locating a Ghanian fan base in the city, the tasty Ghana Cafe on 14th Street NW, seems to have closed for good. Too bad.
Belgium: Belga Cafe and Granville Moore's
Depending on which you like better, the two tastiest Belgian spots in the city should be good spots for enjoying mussels, frites, Trappist ale and some soccer by the darkhorse Belgian team. It would be funny if the Flemish fans went to one and the Walloons went to the other.
Kudos to the Swiss Confederation: like Ghaha, their embassy is one of the few actually doing something for the Cup. They have a number of happy hours and dinners at bars around downtown for some of their matches. Considering the events seem to only be advertised on the Swiss Embassy and Swiss Club's websites, we figure lots of actual Swiss folks will be there. Fingers crossed there will be some Romansh spoken.
Russia: Russia House
This one is obvious — the bar and restaurant in northern Dupont is always full of actual Russians, and their downstairs bar has TVs. Have a few infused vodkas or the huge bottles of Baltika beer and try not to mention Ukraine or antagonize any huge guys in suits.