My sport watching habits changed severely when I went to university for the first time. When I was younger I had no qualms watching the Saturday night game sitting on the couch drinking a casual cup of tea. At the final whistle I might even send a text to a fellow fan asking their thoughts on the game or letting them know what I thought of player X or player Y. Yet, over the past several years, I’ve formed a new watching ritual. In this one, I have swapped the couch for a stool (or standing depending on the intensity of the game), the tea for a pint, and instead of the final-whistle-text I turn to the nearest interested person and say something along the lines of "Man, what a game. How about them Tigers." So, when I arrived in Beijing I began the search of how to fill this sports bar-shaped void in my life. Even though I was left largely disappointed at the quantity and location of Beijing's sports bars, I did, however, find a few to write home about.
Paddy O’Shea’s. Photo: paddyosheas.com
1) The Stumble Inn View In Map
Found in the heart of the Sanlitun Village, The Stumble Inn sets a great mood for fans of any sport. Its smaller size creates an atmosphere which is unaffected by the number of people attending the event. The Sanlitun priced British style pub food is very well done and worth the dough. "It's just a pub," is the simple yet telling description of the bar by owner Charlie. That's the best thing about The Stumble Inn: it's just a pub.
Add: The Stumble Inn
Tel: 010 6417 7794
Opening hours: 10:00-02:00 (Sun-Thu); 10:00-04:00 (Fri-Sat)
2) SolidazView In Map
Solidaz—or as most know it, The Pavillion—can be summed up in six words: Good in winter, great in summer. In summer they open up the outside area where you can watch games in the sun and mingle with the cosmopolitan crowd. Although a myriad of sports are shown, it is a brilliant venue for watching rugby games of both the Southern and Northern hemisphere variety. While a little too pricey for frequent trips, it’s the perfect venue for a weekend visit in the summer for beers and rugby with the boys.
Add: Solidaz (The Pavillion)
Tel: 010 6507 2617
Opening hours: 17:00-late (Mon-Fri); 10:00-late (Sat-Sun)
3) The DenView In Map
The first impression of The Den, created by the confusing mix of English Pub, what appears to be Parisian sidewalk cafe décor and rather loud music, is a little off putting. But once you're settled down and find that they have an extensive range of sport from around the globe, you’ll begin to appreciate it. For major sporting events it definitely comes into its own as a great sports bar.
Add: The Den
Tel: 010 6592 6290
Opening hours: 24 hours
4) Paddy O'Shea'sView In Map
Irish Bar sports bar, can it go wrong? The worst thing one could say about Paddy O'Shea's is that it might be too popular, and can get really crowded at times. It's relatively small, but once again this makes for a lively atmosphere. Try watching a Six Nations Rugby game there and you'll get the full Paddy O'Shea's experience. The always-present owner gives it a personal feel as you see him interact with the regulars who return week after week. The prices are a bit steep, but you get what you pay for: quality and an awesome vibe.
Add: Paddy O'Shea's
Tel: 010 6415 6389
Opening hours: 10:00-02:00
5) Cu JuView In Map
The new hutong sports bar opened by avid music blogger Badr Benjelloun (a.k.a. BeijingDaze), Cu Ju has been garnering lots of positive reviews since opening late last year. It may be a small bar, but Cuju’s dedication to screening live sports events—regardless of airing time—has won the respect of sports fans. That, together with a wide selection of rums and Moroccan sandwiches, makes this snug bar near Beixinqiao a new favorite.
Add: 28 Xiguan Hutong, Dongsi Bei Dajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6407 9782
Opening hours: Wed-Mon, 18:00-late
6) Frank’s PlaceView In Map
The oldest expat bar in Beijing, stepping into Frank’s is like being instantaneously transported to a sports bar in the heart of America. Boasting numerous TV screens airing anything from American football to soccer, a decent selection of bar grub, a pool table and well stocked bar with Guinness and other import beers on tap, Frank’s is always popular – especially among the American expats in the city.
Add: west of Rosedale Hotel, Jiangtai Xi Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6437 8399 ext.213
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Keywords: best sports bars Beijing Beijing sports bars
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