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World Cup brings big crowds to DC bars, restaurants

One bar in the District said it has seen its customer base increase threefold on match days.

WASHINGTON — The World Cup’s translating into big business for bars and restaurants in the D.C. area.

Fans packed sports bars all across the region to watch the international soccer tournament. However, the United States’ match against England, on Friday, was likely the biggest draw.

Staff at Nanny O’Briens Irish Pub said fans filled the Cleveland Park bar to see the United States Men’s National Team.

“[It] brings in great people and great business,” said bartender Teddy Jurith.

He added the bar’s customer base was much bigger than it would be on a normal Friday.

“I would say it increases by threefold,” Jurith said.

Blackfinn DC, downtown, near Farragut Square has also been showing World Cup matches around the clock.

Manager Thomas Custy said big sporting events translate into big business opportunities during the pandemic age.

“We’re getting back into the groove of things and it gives an excuse for everybody to, hopefully, come back and check us out,” he said.

DC granted Blackfinn and roughly 100 other local businesses special permits that would allow them to serve alcohol outside normal serving hours.

Technically, a soccer fan could legally grab a drink at any of those establishments anytime between 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. the next day.

Blackfinn DC opened its doors at 5 a.m. for a few early games, but the crowds were small.

“So, now we’re starting at 10 a.m.,” Custy said.

But he said that was not a big issue for the bar as crowds pack stools and tables during the daytime.

If you missed World Cup action so far, don’t worry.

The tournament goes through December 18.

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