BY: MONICA BYERS
NEW YORK – 11th Street Bar is a locals joint in the East Village that, among NYC football aficionados, is known as a Liverpool Football Club fans’ bar. As a card-carrying Liverpool supporter, I felt compelled to check it out. I didn’t quite get my ass into gear during the league season, so I checked out one of the Euro 2012 matches there. (By the way, that card-carrying thing is quite literal – I actually have a Liverpool Football Club member card in my wallet. I am officially a football nerd.)
11th Street Bar is a decent-sized watering hole, with a bar up front and a sitting area with a gi-normous screen in the back (I counted four screens total in the bar). I’m not entirely sure one visit is enough to make a judgment as to whether this is a proper football bar, or regular bar whose football-ness is geared to one team. On the one hand, they stock a few football newspapers at the bar, which is pretty cool if you’re on your own. And, quite a few people did turn up for the match I watched (though nothing compared to the crowd that surely gathered at Nevada Smiths). Plus, they’ve got an LFC sticker right on their front window and memorabilia on the walls. On the other hand, there was no audio for the pre-game coverage and the bartender turned on music during halftime and during the commercial break before extra time. There are a few other bars that do this, and it is a big pet peeve of mine because (1) it’s good to hear the half-time analysis and, more importantly, (2) there is way too much potential for the bartender to screw up switching the audio back to the game when action resumes. Which is exactly what happened on this day - minutes (minutes!) passed without the audio being back where it belonged. I suspect the barman was not really a football guy. One other sign that the bar may not be particularly football-y: the baseball game shown in the photo above……on the day of a big Euro match.
Still, though, I’ll be back during a Liverpool match. Then we’ll see where 11th Street Bar ranks……
How does it rate as a football bar? 7 on a 10-point scale. Nice bar with a friendly bartender, but there doesn’t appear to be any food and the audio thing is just unforgiveable.
Where is it? 510 E. 11th Street, New York
For more from Monica, follow her on Twitter at @MonicaJuniel.
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