The World Cup is gone, but the revelry continues at pubs such as the Highbury. Photo by Philip Stockton. It’s 6:30 on a Sunday morning. Most reasonable people are asleep. And then there’s the 36 or so soccer fans lining the Highbury bar on Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View, heads tilted up to the flat-screen TVs […]
World Cup is gone, but the revelry continues at pubs such as the Highbury. Photo by Philip Stockton.
It’s 6:30 on a Sunday morning. Most reasonable people are asleep. And then there’s the 36 or so soccer fans lining the Highbury bar on Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View, heads tilted up to the flat-screen TVs and calming their nerves with a bloody mary or Boddingtons Pub Ale. On the screens, a pair of top English Premier League teams, Arsenal and Manchester City, face off in an entirely different quadrant of the globe. The scene repeats itself at two other local bars, Nomad World Pub on Brady Street and Three Lions Pub on Oakland Avenue. And by the time the “late” Premier League matches – which span England and Wales – kick off, around 9 a.m. Central Standard Time, these places will be packed, each with its own cadre of fans. What keeps them cheering through the end of the Premier League’s season, in late May – and beyond?
Three Lions Pub
4515 N. Oakland Ave.
Perk: Best food, hands down.
Quirk: Everyone and his mate will know more about the Premier League than you.
Three Lions Pub remains the most authentic soccer pub in the area, the place where “across the pond” can be found just across the street. U.K. natives David Price (a Blackburn Rovers fan) and Christopher Tinker (a Manchester United man) opened the tavern in 2011 to create a classic English experience, complete with proper Irish coffee and a full-sized English breakfast laid out along the bar. Jerseys and team scarves from various Premier League squads cover dark wood paneling still rich with the scent of rashers and poached eggs. “I had a season ticket to the Premier League since I was 8 years old,” Price says, “and I want to bring that passion and that experience to Milwaukee. Me and my mates love it here, and we love Shorewood. It’s all about capturing that passion.”
2322 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Perk: Political correctness doesn’t apply.
Quirk: Regulars who refer to themselves as “American Outlaws.”
The rowdiest soccer fans in town roost at the Highbury, the sort of place you go to tell French player Samir Nasri exactly what you think of him. Chief among the Highbury’s partisans are members of a local chapter of the American Outlaws, a passionate contingent that travels around the world to watch the U.S. national team play. “We are an R-rated party, where everyone else has to be a PG party,” says Joe Katz, the Highbury’s owner. “Some of the stuff we shout can’t be said in front of a 9-year-old girl.” But it can be said at 9 in the morning, when bartenders serve bowls of free chili and soup to patrons on bitterly cold Saturdays. According to Katz, who’s enjoyed about a 40 percent uptick in sales since the 2014 World Cup, “It’s never too early for a beer.”
Nomad World Pub
1401 E. Brady St.
Perk: A warm international community.
Quirk: Beer cans left on Brady Street from the night before.
The majority of Manchester United fans (perhaps the most popular team within the widely popular Premier League) frequent the Nomad, the oldest establishment in the holy trinity of Milwaukee soccer bars. Its worldly name and decor attract a variety of international fans, first- and second-generation immigrants cheering on not just English but also Polish, Irish, Brazilian and German teams from top-tier leagues. Come Premier League Saturdays, everyone munches together on a hearty complimentary breakfast of bacon and waffles, kept warm at the kitchen-less tavern using a battery of hot plates.
— by Michael Bleach