The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Where's The World Cup Party (Globe Pub vs. Smallbar)

By Ben Schuman Stoler in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 15, 2010 6:00PM

The crowd taking in USA-England at SmallBar Division St.; Image courtesy SmallBar Division St.
We're almost a week into the World Cup already and judging by the number of USA jerseys and general conversation/webhype overheard around the city, it looks (gasp!) like people are actually paying attention to soccer (except for the haters, but that's why they're called haters, the snobby parochial nitwits). Where is everyone watching? Last weekend, there were some public viewing spots sponsored by the South African consulate in Chicago, and people came out to Montrose and Daley Plaza to watch the first games on jumbotrons - rain and all. It seems like every bar has some kind of deal or special, but two bars, especially, have risen to the top. Longstanding Chicago soccer bar staple Globe Pub and relative newcomer SmallBar are dominating the field of soccer bars.

Globe Pub, on Irving Park just east of Damen, has won a bunch of national awards for best soccer bar in America. Its solid following of committed English Premier League patrons has at least tripled for World Cup games so far. The back room is what makes the Globe special: projection screens all over the place, it's like a 360 degree heavenly arcade of soccer.

SmallBar, meanwhile, has three locations but it's the ones on Fullerton and Division that you'll find packed for the World Cup. SmallBar has always been more than a craft beer spot - it's been outspoken as a US soccer bar for as long as the chain's existed. Now, thanks in part to a pair of brilliant twitter accounts - Fullerton and Division - it's edged its way even with the Globe, especially for the Wicker Park/Bucktown/LP crowd. And this Friday morning, June 18, the Fullerton location is hosting a USA-Slovenia match viewing charity event with Section 8 Chicago, the independent supporters association that reps fans of the Fire.

Both the Globe and Smallbar also support the Fire - buses to Toyota Park stop at both - and open early for domestic league games during the Fall/Winter/Spring.

Readers, have you been to either? Where are you watching the games? And what about the other bars in the city - is there another bar that belongs in the same category as SmallBar and Globe?