INDIANAPOLIS - The United States squares off with Germany in the World Cup today. Whether you're a soccer fanatic or you just love the excitement, a Thursday afternoon can be great spent with fun people sipping on a good brew.
I myself fall into the second category. I love watching people watch sports... and beer is pretty great, isn't it? Sounds like an afternoon at the pub is in order, since I work the early shift here in the newsroom. Getting in at 3 a.m. can be rough, but getting off at noon to go to the pub is pretty heavenly.
And if you're calling in "sick" to watch the match (I don't judge), you're going to need a good spot to view. Particularly if you don't have ESPN.
The match will determine the Group G champion, and could decide whether the Americans move on to the round of 16. It begins at noon.
Here are some good places to watch the game around town:
It has two locations: One at 719 Mass. Ave. downtown, and one at 8211 E. 116th St. in Fishers. The Mass Ave location opens at 9 Thursday, with Ralston's Drafthouse on Mass Ave being dubbed the "overflow spot" for the Chatham Tap crowds.
"Chatham Tap" is a common phrase in the RTV6 newsroom when chatting about great spots to gather and watch sports downtown. Upon entering you feel like you've stepped through a magical door right to a British pub. A popular location, many end up standing when it gets crowded - so get there early if you want a table inside. Otherwise, you'll spill over to nearby Ralston's.
Nine Irish Brothers
Coming from a beer lover and Purdue Boilermaker, you can't go wrong with an afternoon at Nine Irish. I have to say, when I heard the O'Bryan family was expanding its restaurants to Indianapolis from the Lafayette area, I was plum delighted.
Its newest location, found at 575 Mass. Ave., opens at 11 a.m. and promises tons of fun. The best way to describe an experience at Nine Irish would be, you're stepping into an old Celtic pub leftover from the 15th century where everyone knows your name. Delicious Irish eats and a great beer and whiskey selection, any Nine Irish is one of my top picks in the state for a good time.
Plus... any place where you can be as loud as you want is always a winner!
Union Jack Pub
A fun British-style pub in Broad Ripple, it's the official U.S. Men's National Team fanclub bar. Find it at 924 Broad Ripple Avenue. It opens at 11 a.m.
The one thing I can never get out of my mind when I think of Union Jack Pub is how unbelievably delicious its fish and chips were. There's something amazing in that batter. That dish paired with an ale over the US-Germany match would mean an afternoon well-spent.
Claddagh Irish Pub
This pub with two locations (234 S. Meridian St. and 3835 E. 96th St.) should have plenty of great spots to cozy up, drink a beer and watch the match with friends. We've even heard that a couple of Indy Eleven players will be watching the match from the north-side location, if you're looking to rub elbows with local athletes!
Located at 339 Mass. Ave, MacNiven's is clear on its enthusiasm for soccer and all things Scottish. And when it's not too hot, it's a great when they open up the big front windows. Just another great place to head if you're downtown and want to watch the game, as it's just down Mass Ave from many other pubs.
Old National Centre: The Non-Bar Watch Party
$10 can get you into the Old National Centre's Egyptian Room (plus a free drink!) to watch today's faceoff. This option might be better for you if you're looking for a more comfy chair than a bar stool - plus a less crowded atmosphere than a pub or bar.