Where To Watch The EURO Soccer Finals

Posted by Holly Whitfield | July 1st 2016 1215 0

Ed Note: The main point of this post is to tell you to go watch the EURO finals at Celtic Crossing this week and next because it’s fun and there are great food and drink specials. I’ve also included a preview of a post I’ll re-share in a few weeks about Premier League soccer-watching fun in Memphis.

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Celtic Crossing in Cooper Young

Part I: EURO Finals!

I know Memphis isn’t technically a soccer town, but the most popular sport in the world is gaining traction fast here. We have two lively soccer pubs – Brass Door and Celtic Crossing. Our semi-pro soccer team, Memphis City Football Club, is finishing up its first season. We also have active, official fan clubs/support groups for Premier League teams (namely, Arsenal and Spurs, but tell me if I’m missing someone) and the U.S. National teams.

Euros

Thus, now is the perfect time to be – or become – a fan of the beautiful game in Memphis. And you can start this week by going out to watch the EURO.

The UEFA EURO is the Union of European Football Association Championship, held every four years (right in between World Cups) and the second most watched football/soccer series in the world. The quarter finals continue today, July 1, 2016. Here’s the schedule:

  • Quarter finals:
    • Friday, July 1 at 2 p.m. – Wales vs. Belgium
    • Saturday, July 2 at 2 p.m. – Germany vs. Italy
  • Semi finals
    • Wednesday, July 6 at 2 p.m. – Portugal vs. Wales
    • Thursday, July 7 at 2 p.m. – TBD
  • Finals
    • Sunday, July 10 at 2 p.m. – TBD

Because the tournament is held in France, Celtic Crossing in Cooper Young will expand on their Irish focus to include some French-inspired specials, available only during games: chocolate and cherry eclaires for $6, quiche lorraine for $9, $2 off wine, speciality import beers for $4.25 (or four for $15).

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Fun fact: The beers are from countries who’ve been represented in the EURO: Peroni Brewery (Italy), Einstock Beer Company (Iceland), Stiegl Brewery (Austria), Grolsch Brewing (Netherlands), Damm Brewery (Spain) and Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic).

Celtic Crossing is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. It’s totally kid/family friendly during the day. They have great daily lunch and weekend brunch specials. On weekend evenings, it becomes a bit more of a club/party atmosphere, there are DJs, and Celtic is 21 and up only. Read more about the brunch here.

If you haven’t been to Celtic Crossing Irish pub in Cooper Young since they remodeled last year, know that it’s been spruced up quite a bit and the inside is no longer smoking. Their patio is covered in the winter, and has plenty of fans and misters in the summer (as seen in the photo at the top of this post).

Go there:
Celtic Crossing
903 S. Cooper St.
Memphis, Tenn. 38104

celticcrossingmemphis.com

Part II: Premier League Preview

Earlier, I mentioned the Premier League. This league, aka the English Premier League, or EPL, is made up of twenty soccer clubs in England. They play 38 matches from August to May, which means they’re kicking off the 2016 – 2017 season in about six weeks. About halfway through last season, I went to my first-ever Celtic Crossing soccer brunch. Here’s what happened.

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what’s a friendly rivalry among friends?

On a gray winter Sunday, I walked up to the bar at Celtic and ordered a beer. It was 9 o’clock. In the morning. No, I was not the only person at the bar – far from it – and no, I was not still out from the night before. I got up that early on purpose to go there to watch Premier League soccer with a bunch of other Memphians.

French toast at an Irish pub. Anything can happen.

French toast at an Irish pub. Anything can happen.

First, know that English Premier League soccer fans are fiercely loyal and rivalries run deep. The games are played in England of course, which means that watching live requires us Americans to get up crazy early. Nine o’clock was actually a late start. All of this, plus the obvious thrill of the actual game, makes for a very lively early morning.

Second, know that if you want to spice up your weekend mornings, you can definitely do that in Memphis. The two main places soccer fans flock to the most here are the Brass Door and Celtic Crossing. From my understanding, the Brass Door is the “home bar” for Arsenal fans, and Celtic is the “home bar” for Spurs fans, but all fans of all teams are welcome.

Photo via Celtic on Facebook

Photo via Celtic on Facebook

I invited a couple of my Twitter friends (who just happen to be huge Arsenal fans) to Celtic (where all the Spurs fans hang out) for this particular morning so we could all experience a soccer brunch at Celtic.  Fun fact: the Spurs and Arsenal are kind of like the Grizzlies and the Clippers – bitter rivals. I didn’t realize that I had led my friends into the den of the “enemy”.

I was a little afraid I’d committed a faux pas, but I quickly learned that it’s all in good fun. It did mean that I got to hear some of the, um, cheers that fans use to taunt one another. I can’t repeat any of them here. Maybe it did help that the teams weren’t playing each other in that morning’s matches. It may have also helped that the Arsenal crew had already been up since 6 a.m. at the Brass Door getting warmed up.

Celtic Crossing brunch 1

Fish ‘n’ chips

Celtic serves a full brunch menu on Saturday and Sundays, and during certain games they have specials. I went for the shrimp and grits.

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Best deal on some solid shrimp and grits in Cooper Young.

The breakfast sandwich, however, seemed to be the hit.

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Look ma, no hands.

The brunch drinks are affordable, too. In a neighborhood where it seems like menu prices are inching ever upward, this food was tasty, the portions were big, and the service was great.

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I don’t want to leave out the Brass Door, either. It’s another great spot for catching the games. You can read more about the Brass Door here.

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Obligatory dimly-lit selfie to prove I was there.

Special thanks to:

– My pal Parks for gathering the Arsenal troops so I could have the full soccer-watching-brunch experience
– Brad, Spurs fan, for explaining English Premier League to me
– Spurs fans Chris and Dermot (among others) for not kicking me out of the bar when I donned the Arsenal scarf
– Celtic for their hospitality and treating us to brunch

As always is my policy, any comped meals or services does not guarantee a positive review. Thanks to Celtic for treating us and making this actually possible. I’ll be sure to remind I love Memphis readers when the EPL starts up on August 13.

Another note: I’ve mostly called it soccer in this article while acknowledging that the rest of the world calls it football.  

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Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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