For a small but vocal minority in L.A., the new UK soccer season starting in early August means waxing the elbow and gearing up for some very early morning starts -- and that's if you can even find a place to see the match live on the big screen. You can get almost anything online of course, but nothing beats being in a pub with your fellow fanatics and watching the boys kicking it live.
Unfortunately, since most UK soccer games tend to take place on Saturday at 3 p.m. GMT, you'll need to be at an L.A. pub around 7 a.m., fighting off the natural urge for a beer, not a boiled egg and soldiers, when you belly up to the bar. Brit pubs are often a good bet, but it's always worth checking. If you support a small town team they might record it for you to watch later, but if you follow one of the rich, top tier Premier League teams, you should be in luck of a morning.
As for the international World Cup -- coming up in 2014 and held in Brazil -- that will be shown in sports bars everywhere, but until then here's a list of a few pubs in the starting line-up. And remember, if you're at the pub and it's still dark outside, tip the bartender well!
A favorite hangout for Brits and Brit musicians, it can get really cracking in here -- standing room only -- when there's an England soccer (or rugby) match on. There are a number of screens and a huge 12-foot projector screen at one end of the bar near the darts boards, but they only tend to open with the dawn if you're bringing a group -- always best to call in advance. 6530 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; 323-468-3800.
A serious boozer, this bar and restaurant offers over 60 beers on tap and some good pub grub. English-owned, Lucky Baldwins opened in 1996 in the heart of Old Town Pasadena, and holds regular international beer festivals -- all teams and drinkers welcome. As you might imagine, they'll also open extra-early, around 5 a.m., for the match. 17 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena; 626-795-0652.
Located in Studio City since 1997, this bar opens when the birds are singing the dawn chorus -- or earlier -- for a big game, and they boast a lucky seven satellite dishes, and sports on TV, all the time; that's real dedication for you. There's a tasty Premier League burger, and the Shepherd's Pie is worth a try too. 11100 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; 818-763-7837.
This bar claims to be the first to show live English soccer (back in 1990) and will be showing every game live on their many screens and whopper 135" Hi-Def projection screen -- at 4 a.m. if need be. Also a place for Northern Soul, Motown and reggae. And John Lydon of the Sex Pistols has been known to come in to catch his team when they're in action. 2947 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-399-9696.
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Almost an ambassador in bricks-and-mortar, this bar has screens everywhere, scarves hung behind the bar, and they go out of their way to accommodate fans. Almost every Brit celeb in town has visited this place -- and had their photograph taken here -- and with a large restaurant, bakery and store selling Brit goodies, it's definitely captain of the team. Also in Studio City. 116 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica; 310-451-1402. 12969 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; 818-990-9055.
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