Pints & punts

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

With the MLS playoffs starting in a few weeks, European leagues underway and World Cup qualifying in full swing, fall is the ideal time to visit one of this city's soccer bars. Whether you're looking to catch the Crew on the road, party before and after home games or keep up with the global game, these soccer enclaves have got you covered.--Chris DeVille


4022 Townsfair Way, Easton



A chain restaurant nestled in a suburban shopping mecca, one would expect Fado to appeal strictly to the masses, giving soccer fans the shaft in a city that prizes gridiron glory above all. But starting early Saturday morning and continuing all day long, Fado screens the best of the English Premier League, Italy's Serie A and other top leagues.

The bar also shows international matches and weekday UEFA Champions League contests. And they support the hometown Crew by showing their games and helping to organize bus trips to away games.

Tommy Keegan's Irish Pub

456 S. Front St., Brewery District



Set against an urban backdrop and decorated like an authentic Irish pub, Keegan's feels like the sort of place where soccer rules the day. And indeed, besides Buckeye games, the programming here is strictly football in the worldwide sense of the word.

Keegan's hosts most of Crew Union's away-game viewing parties and makes it a priority to screen club and international matches from all over the globe. Perhaps the coolest thing about Keegan's: They re-air afternoon Champions League matches at 5 p.m., so working stiffs can watch them during happy hour.

Claddagh Irish Pub

585 S. Front St., Brewery District



Across the street from Keegan's, another Paddy-themed pub is aiming to make the Brewery District the undisputed epicenter of international soccer in Columbus. "The Soccer District" has a nice ring to it.

A couple months back, Claddagh started screening English Premier League and other international leagues on Saturdays. And this weekend, like the city's other Irish pub soccer hubs, they'll have all the World Cup qualifying action from around the globe.

Ruby Tuesday

1978 Summit St., Campus



Traditionally a Browns backers' bar and a live music venue, charming old hardwood hangout Ruby Tuesday has been transformed into a place of Crew congregation thanks to the resident Hudson Street Hooligans. Ruby's isn't a go-to location for European matches, but it's a great place to catch Crew away games or party before and after home matches.

Expect things to get rowdy. The Hooligans are young and vociferous, offering lots of energetic alternatives to the common Campus greeting, "O-H!" (Try "Columbus 'til I Die" on for size.) They beat their drums, they drink their Guinness and they come just short of recreating the Nordecke experience in a bar.