Chicago

Where to Watch the FIFA World Cup in Chicago

Syda Productions/Shutterstock
Syda Productions/Shutterstock
Syda Productions/Shutterstock
The Globe
The Globe
The Globe

The Globe Pub

North CenterLocal soccer institution set to reopen with new menu and TV system
You can’t talk about soccer in Chicago without talking about The Globe Pub, the city’s most iconic spot for international sports like footy. Despite currently being closed for renovations, pub owners assure Thrillist they will be open for the World Cup… with a June 8 soft launch date and grand reopening planned for after the World Cup. In the meantime, stop in for all World Cup games as well as a new food menu designed specifically for the World Cup which includes their famous traditional breakfast to pair with Krombacher pilsner specials throughout the tourney. The World Cup will also give The Globe a chance to unveil its brand new TV system with 21 HD 4K TVs of 55 inches or larger, plus an additional 20 beer lines to handle to increased demand.

Cleos

Ukrainian VillageThe coolest soccer bar in the city, plus brick-oven pizza
Calling itself “Chicago’s #1 Location for International Soccer,” this cool neighborhood favorite has been rising in the ranks amongst local football fanatics in recent years thanks to 16 HDTVs and a bevy of DirecTV sports packages. Get there early to watch the World Cup from a coveted barstool in front or wander out back to take in some fresh air on the delightful 1,200-square-foot patio. The Cleos menu features more than 50 beers and bar favorites like country fried chicken sandwiches and a “carnivore” pizza made in a brick oven and topped with bacon, Canadian bacon, chorizo, meatballs, pepperoni, and sausage.

Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant (Chicago)
Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant (Chicago)
Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant (Chicago)

Fado

River NorthPopular international hangout looks to be buzzing for the Cup
One of the most famously international bars in Chicago is billing itself as a “headquarters” for this year’s World Cup, and it plans to screen each and every game live as well as the offer the option to book group events for private watch parties. They promise to serve plenty of Irish coffee, shepherd’s pie, fish & chips, and Irish ales on tap (Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks, etc). They also have food and drink specials on sale during every game and have helpfully posted a schedule of all the matches online in PDF form.

The Atlantic Bar & Grill

Lincoln SquareSoccer-loving traditional Irish bar for BLTs and bangers and mash
One of Chicago’s premier soccer bars will be screening all of the World Cup games on five flat-screen TVs in front, plus three in the back, and a large projector screen. Fans of major teams like England and Germany are expected to come out in force for the action, aided in no small part by a bar menu of Irish pub classics like bangers and mash and Irish nachos topped with shepherd’s pie filling, plus more traditional fare like burgers and BLTs. Ireland may not be in this year’s tourney, but you can still expect the crowd to be amped. You should swing by or check the website if you want to know about their daily and weekly specials, but they run the gamut from all-you-can-eat fish and chips to $6 Tullamore Dew + PBR deals and the like.

The Scout
The Scout
The Scout

The Scout

South LoopThe spot to order a foot-long grilled cheese with short rib
One of Chicago’s leading sports bars may not be a “soccer bar” per se, but it will keep all eyes on World Cup action by screening all games via approximately 25 TVs which line the walls in between exposed-brick columns. The bar is famous for its foot-long grilled cheese (which comes in short rib and Cuban varieties), but that doesn’t mean you should overlook additional items like 12-hour pot roast and cedar plank salmon. Show your team colors by downing an array of international ales from Kronenbourg to Peroni. Try something off their game-day brunch menu too, perhaps the pulled chicken breakfast burrito, made with cheddar and pepper jack cheese, scrambled eggs, black beans, and corn.

Galway Arms

Lincoln ParkA relaxed patio atmosphere for your World Cup fun
This friendly neighborhood hang will be screening most World Cup games, including all of the major matches. It may not be the most raucous soccer bar in the city, but it more than makes up for it with one of the most in-demand outdoor day-drinking patios in the city (which, yes, will have TVs showing World Cup action). Dive into some Guinness beef stew or a platter of baby back ribs paired with Irish whiskeys and a range of ales from the Irish big boys to more small-scale locals like Alarmist and Two Brothers.

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center
DANK Haus German American Cultural Center
DANK Haus German American Cultural Center

DANK Haus

Lincoln SquareWhere fans of Germany have a home
Fans of reigning World Cup champion Germany can watch the perennial powerhouse go for a repeat of its 2014 triumph at the German-American cultural center in Lincoln Square. It’s showing all Germany matches on multiple screens on the second floor of the Brandenburg Room. They’ll be serving beer and pretzels, and the suggested door donation is $5. So far, watch events are scheduled for Germany’s first three games on June 17, 23, and 27, but no one thinks the party is going to stop there.

A.J. Hudson’s Public House

LakeviewNeighborhood British pub with a serious soccer obsession
This neighborhood corner bar isn’t kidding around when it comes to soccer, and will be screening all World Cup games with 110 beers to choose from, including Carlsberg specials during the World Cup. The bar will open early for the games, which should allow you plenty of time to explore the beer list alongside more traditional British pub offerings like British BLTs and fish and chips. Grab a Hudson burger with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and watch the games alongside fans of major teams like England and Spain.

Theory Sports Bar and Grill
Theory Sports Bar and Grill
Theory Sports Bar and Grill

Theory

River NorthAn upscale take on the Cup with craft beer and avocado toast
This Downtown sports bar with an upscale twist will be screening all World Cup games on more than 35 TVs, with VIP option for 25 people to watch on a 133-inch screen if you’re too sophisticated to mingle with the general population. Grab buckets of domestic brew or craft offerings from the likes of Cigar City and 5 Rabbit to pair with menu entrees including avocado toast and beef sandwiches. This is a fancier spot than some of the other bars on this list, and hooliganism is discouraged, but they also helpfully post all their daily specials for the week ahead of time on their website to help folks plan ahead.

Courtesy of Angela Luzzo
Courtesy of Angela Luzzo
Courtesy of Angela Luzzo

Timothy O’Toole’s

StreetervilleThe best wings in the city, wild boar meatloaf, and a “Big Timmy”
With 72 TVs and 48 beers on tap, plus billiards and some of the finest wings in the city, Timothy O’Toole’s has everything you need to settle in for the World Cup long haul, including DirecTV and screenings of all the World Cup games. There’s also wild boar meatloaf and tater tot poutine and, for those who want to get in on some sporting action themselves, try to finish the “Big Timmy Challenge” (two half-pound burger patties with four types of cheese, bacon, and BBQ sauce plus Irish nachos and onion straws) for a free T-shirt. Plan ahead by taking a look at all their specials on the website a week in advance.Find out where to watch the World Cup games with all the soccer fans in your city with our list of the best World Cup bars in NYC, LA, SF, DC, Miami, Houston and more.Sign up here for our daily Chicago email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Jay Gentile is a Thrillist contributor and he is banking on Tunisia going all the way this year. Follow him at @thejaygentile.

Chicago

Robyn DaCultyre Is Doing It for the Culture

"The cool thing about Ohio is that there is literally a place for everyone."

Photo by Kayode Omoyosi
Photo by Kayode Omoyosi
Photo by Kayode Omoyosi

I was introduced to Robyn DaCultyre at an Untitled Queen show at C’mon Everybody in late January, and it was one of the most unique drag shows I’d seen in a while. Afterwards, I tracked down this self-described “drag creature” and video chatted about her drag origin story, the state of drag in her native Ohio, and the dual identities that make up her persona. Thrillist: I want to ask you about how Robyn DaCultyre came about and your point of view behind your performance.

Robyn DaCultyre: I’ve been travelling around the country from a young age in ministry and Christian studies. I moved to Chicago right after high school. Four years later, moved back to Columbus and decided I didn’t really want to do church anymore; that wasn’t where my heart was.

I had a really low point in my life and had a suicide attempt and then really found drag and started doing drag as a coping mechanism and way to let off steam. I started in July of 2019, and it was really a lot of punk and metal music. I created this drag creature of sorts and they were really out of this world and celestial and all of those fun alien type terms.

And then we went into a global pandemic and I had a lot of time to figure out who I wanted to be. Digitally I was still doing a lot of drag creature-esque numbers and all of that, but I had this moment where we’re on the front lines getting hit with pepper spray and rubber bullets and pepper spray-all of those lovely things. And I said, I have this platform and I need to start showcasing what’s happening.

Untitled [Queen] stepped in at the right time and messaged me and said, “I’m doing this show for Independence Day called Untitled in America with 52 different performers and I want you to be a part of it.” It was at that moment I was able to take the footage I had been recording on the front lines and incorporate it into digital content. I did a song called Black Like Me by Mickey Guyton that talks about white picket fences, but if you want to see how America is, then you should try being Black like me. The imagery of what’s literally happening in Columbus in that digital performance really spearheaded me into focusing on people who look like me.

Nina Simone is one of my biggest inspirations, and one of her quotes that resonates with me is that it’s the duty of the artist to resonate with the times. My art is politically charged. I like to entertain, but there will definitely be a time when you come to a show expecting to have your drink and be chill and that might not be the case.

How did the name Robyn DaCultyre come about?

I was smoking with Ursula Major, who was on season one of Dragula, and the first time I introduced myself to her I was Robyn Banks, which is my drag name originally. She said, “Well, do you just not want to be original at all?” [Laughs] And I sat with that for a couple of months, and I got really stoned one day and was listening to Janelle Monae, and she talks about doing it for the culture, and I said “I do it for the culture, too!” And the rest is history.

And you started a series called Melanated.

We started Melanated last February. I told the idea to my show director that there were no shows specifically run by Black people that only featured Black entertainers. I wanted to do this show for a night and she said, Why don’t we do it once a week for the whole month? The first show happens, and it’s a sold out crowd, and [my director] comes back and says we should do this every month. So I sucked it up and here we are a year later.

Melanated is the only fully Black show in all of the state. It’s a horrible marketing tool and not something I want to promote, but it is just a fact. It amazes me that we are the 13th largest city in America and there’s nothing here that’s fully focused on Black entertainers. The name also comes from Janelle Monae; she says she’s highly melanated and I said, that works.

Photos by Chay Creates LLC (left) and Bridget Caswell (right)
Photos by Chay Creates LLC (left) and Bridget Caswell (right)
Photos by Chay Creates LLC (left) and Bridget Caswell (right)

You refer to yourself as a drag creature, as opposed to drag queen or king…

This is actually the first time I’m making this public. I am in this place where I want to separate the alternative creature from who this melanated goddess or whatever is. DaCultyre is definitely the person who runs Melanated and then Robyn is this drag creature that is out of this world and really loves punk and alternative music. And both intertwine to make Robyn DaCultyre.

You also do pageants. Tell me about that.

In 2020 I was appointed by Nina West, who is from Columbus, as the representative from Ohio for National Entertainer of the Year in Louisville, Kentucky. I placed ninth out of 13 contestants and I really fell in love with the system and fell in love with the pageantry and loved the idea of reigning and being different. I want to show that we as alternative performers, as bearded performers, you can come into these systems and shake things up.

Is there a uniquely “Ohio” style of drag?

No, and I think that’s one of the things that makes it so amazing is that everyone has their own unique style, and it’s all pretty much accepted. I started as a performer and a drag creature and there was space that was afforded to me and I transitioned to more glamor and pageantry and that’s afforded to me as well. I’ve been a bearded entertainer for a year now. The cool thing about Ohio is that there is literally a place for everyone.

I think I have everything I need. Is there anything else I didn’t ask you about that you want to bring up, or‚Ķ

I don’t think so. Are there any generic questions you haven’t asked?

Generic questions‚ĶI think I asked all of them already [laughs]. I like to ask what you’d be doing if you weren’t doing drag?

It’s a great question. I have a day job that is very demanding so I need drag to get away. I’m also very creative and artistic. I used to do web design and all these other things to pull into my creativity. Drag is the longest thing I’ve stuck with in all parts of my life, so I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

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John deBary¬†is a drinks expert and writer. His first cocktail book,¬†Drink What You Want, is available now, and his next book,¬†Saved by the Bellini, is expected in early 2023. He is also the co-founder and president of the¬†Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of hospitality industry professionals through advocacy, grant making, and impact investing.

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