Then head straight to the many restaurants, bars and cafes around the country that have decked themselves up with fancy menus and fancier themes to drag in the football fans when the ‘greatest show on earth’ kicks off tomorrow in Moscow. For Kolkata-based Waled Adnan, watching a football match at a sports bar is the closest one can get to being at the stadium.
“It’s the feeling of unspoken camaraderie that you go for.”
The idea of walking in, awkwardly sitting and scanning who’s supporting who, and then making a team of your own is what drives him to a bar instead of watching a match at home with friends.
“Usually, a missed goal or a foul or even better, an actual goal, is a good way to find your team, if they’re not wearing jerseys to begin with, that is,” he told PTI.
To cash in on this very sentiment, restaurants have come up with creative ideas to ensure maximum footfalls.
‘After Stories’ in the city has come up with a pizza menu inspired by popular teams — Peppy Portugal, German Magic, Belgium Rush, French Connection, Argentinian Ooze and Brazilian Treat being some of the options one can check. A pizza and a choice of beer pitcher can be relished for Rs 499.
Big screens, happy hours, pocket-friendly finger food and a whole lot of cheering is what Pune-based software project manager Subhabrata Chattopadhyay looks out for. And the celebrations go a notch higher when you have supporters of two different teams under a single roof, he says.
‘Monkey Bar’ in Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore has introduced a ‘half-time’ menu for the month-long tournament. Football snacks from around the world including ‘Football Farsan’, ‘Mexican Wave’, ‘Kahn’s Hot Dog’ and ‘No. 10’ and some irresistible deals on beer and drinks will add to the fun quotient at the gastropub.
“The menu is designed to encourage community dining with easy to consume dishes that complement the beverage selection,” Dheeraj Varma, Head Chef, Monkey Bar, said.
They will also be splitting their space in two, for football fans to pick a side to root for.
‘The Park’ in Hyderabad has also curated a special menu with dishes inspired by legends of the game.
There is the Lev Yashin pigs in blanket (Russia), Muller’s striking sausage and sauerkraut turnovers (Germany), Neymar’s free-kick chicken and palm heart pasties (Brazil), mesmerizing Messi’s corn and cheese empanadas (Argentina) and a lot more.
Chai break in Kolkata too has named items on their menu after players — Messi’s magic calzone pizza and Ronaldo kick Mexican quesadilla.
“The city of lights resonates its love for the game and this season we bring out the fervour in terms of our specially crafted menu,” corporate Chef Sudipta Saha said.
While Social in Bangalore won’t be doing a special menu, it will host tournaments of its own to set the mood.
“There will be foosball tournaments, FIFA PS4 tournaments and FIFA quizzes during the season,” Anuj Sama from Social, said.
So, pull up your socks, pick up your team jersey, head to your favourite bar and get ready for the opening whistle to blow.