Inspired by the environment of the Irish cottage and its essential hearth, Tigín (meaning small cottage) encompasses both modern amenities and traditional values— Tigín the perfect place to find comfort.

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My World Cup Hangover

After any good binge, there’s always that dreaded feeling of regret. You know it, right? It’s an irrational, melancholy take-over that (for me) so often happens after a great night out with friends and one too many.  Could be my age (yes, it’s because of my age) but I always wake up entirely too early and feel the loss.  And, it just never syncs up.  Even if I had spent the previous night (how I intended) staying up late, laughing, and sharing stories with good friends. Always …the next day, it hits. Whoomp. Back to reality.  Everything ends.

For the past month, I have done little else besides talk about, read or watch soccer. I was on a World Cup binge and now I am paying the consequences. Granted, I do work for an Irish Pub so it is technically my JOB to behave this way …it doesn’t make it any more normal though. And lucky for me, as a fan of the sport and the spectacle, the World Cup was everything I hoped it would be;  world class soccer, sensational stories on and off the field and an exceptional showing by the US Men’s National Team AND the American fanbase.  And, despite a skeptical press, Brazil was a great host while Germany, the complete team, proved to be the consummate champions in the end.

TEN SECOND TIME OUT: Just 1 last replay of the Mario Götze goal here.

Yet, just like a great night out (but TIMES 20) its now over and I am left with a massive hangover that absolutely requires a remedy…wet the hair of the dog. Pronto.

First, I’ve got my reliable go-to in the summer, the MLS, which is host to national heroes Dempsey, Beasley and Beckerman (to name a few). And it’s certainly nice to see them back and scoring goals (well, specifically Dempsey scoring goals for Sounders FC)

But, if like me you need something a bit ‘stronger’ for your World Cup hangover cure, luckily we now have the International Champions Cup - sponsored by Guinness (bonus!).

From July 24 – August 4, you’ll get a sorta random mix of eight teams representing the Premiership, SuperLeague Greece, La Liga, and Serie A in 2 groups.  Although it is random, the teams are top class to be sure.  Now, I do feel a bit badly for the players that their summer is cut short (ok, not really) but this mini soccer tourney affords us American fans the opportunity to see the best in the world in our stadiums, namely Denver, Chicago, DC, Philadelphia and Miami. I have tickets to Charlotte and, I am not going to lie, Suarez up and leaving the EPL for Barcelona FC (and 128 million dollars) is a stinker. I am though still pretty stoked to see Liverpool FC take on AC Milan nonetheless! Every self respecting soccer bar will be showing these games live …because the ICC is like a nice Bloody Mary on a Sunday morning.  It will sooth our heads as we countdown to the start of the EPL season.  On August 10, Arsenal take on Manchester City in the annual Community Shield. Then, on August 16 we have a full day of games starting at the crack of dawn. And, that’s when we fall off the wagon again. Hard.

Btw – fair to say Everton FC is going to sell a few extra Howard jerseys this year, right? And, I couldn’t be more happy for Tim [Brand] Howard …he’s legend and he’s getting paid.

Brazil Fans

World Cup – Always Have a Plan B

Tigín is an Irish Pub and we show soccer, football, footy, futebol ….whatever you want to call it, over 9 months out of the year. It’s been like that since our doors years ago. It’s like The Law -only more serious.  The fans at our Pub are largely expats and international travelers cramming in and around our TVs for coffee and pints in the wee hours of the morning to catch the English Premier League.  From the beginning, we wanted the experience for expats, those guys who grew up watching football at the pubs back in Ireland, England and throughout Europe, to be just like home. We always made the matches available live — with sound on.  Point is, over all these years we have watched the American soccer fan base grow steadily.

During this World Cup, the turnout by the USA fans has been nothing short of fantastic! And I don’t mean just at our bar. The Fandemonium is a thing. Everywhere. #Ibelievethatwewillwin  Unfortunately, Tuesday’s loss was pretty crushing. Excruciating, in fact. And, there was a collective le sigh heard across America as the clock ran out during EXTRA time in the 2-1 loss to Belgium.  Tim Howard  …now a legend.  Belgium’s Captain, Vincent Kompany, showed his respect immediately after the game and so did the rest of the World. #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave  has been trending for 2 days straight.

…More on that later.

So given our long history of supporting footy year-around, at Tigin we have always been psyched for the big tournaments – Euros and World Cup which, luckily for us, rotate every couple of years. It’s in these tournaments that you witness the best atmosphere and display of national pride from all the footy-loving countries in one space. We love it. No matter where the loyalties lie.

World Cup 2014 is no different. Unfortunately though, Ireland didn’t qualify …hell, Ireland hasn’t qualified since 2002. It doesn’t matter (well aside from a nation of dreams being crushed), our excitement for the Cup hasn’t diminished one bit.  Here at the pub, we’ve all got a team.  USA. Yea, we were absolutely pulling for our boys.  We’re an official US Soccer bar for God sakes and we love our USMNT supporters and their clubs. As far as the World Cup is concerned, we all have other teams we love too.  It’s the nature of the tournament. You support your home team and your other home team.  This is America after all, and almost everyone comes from somewhere else. It’s what makes us great.

And, we all choose our B teams based on perfectly [legit] reasons too. Perhaps:

#1 — Your grandparents are immigrants from Russia

#2 — Your brother in law is from Greece.

#3 — You took a trip to Chile during a year off in college to find yourself.

#4 — Your husband proposed to you in Paris.

#5 — You once vacationed in Costa Rica and just LOVE the beaches.

Even if you don’t have a team, you know exactly who you don’t support too.  No need to get snarky here… but we all know who and what I am talking about.

So at our bar – you pick your team but you always have 1 or 2 on standby. Because, let’s be honest, the chances of your team making it through (England, Spain, Italy …say wha?!) are pretty slim.  So you need a back up - a team you can get behind and redirect all of that pent-up energy and brooding love.  Case in point: I only started pulling for Mexico after about the 50th minute against Brazil …it was that Ochoa. He had the game of his life and he sucked me in.  Mexico was lucky to even qualify for the Cup and ultimately lost in a heart breaker in the Round of 16 to the Netherlands. It was the final minutes and there was Robben + a dive + a penalty which ended things quite abruptly for my new team.  And that Dutch team, who I was pulling for at the start, I quickly found myself wanting to lose. That said, I picked Holland to make it to the final in my bracket so I technically need them to do well. My point is, the Cup sucks you in and divides you. You REALLY do care about more than one team. It’s an emotional roller coaster, frankly. Trying to love two (or more) sure ain’t easy. But, it’s World Cup fever, and it doesn’t break easy.

It really is about all this drama  …it’s what makes the World Cup so special.

Still dubious? Then you haven’t seen the fans. The passion and commitment game after game. This is what makes the experience at our bar so special. Just last week, on an ‘average’ Thursday, during an early round game against Ivory Coast, a group from Colombia were here singing and dancing for 4 hours straight.  They came to our bar (instead of any old sports bar “near work”) because they KNOW how committed we are. The games are on ALL the TVs, the sound IS ON, AND there’s simply not a bad seat in the house.

As things wind down (or gear up) in the knockout stage, we are seeing something pretty great here in the States (which is only a good thing for the sport in America) ….the CONCACAF has absolutely shown up in ways few expected. USA, Mexico, Costa Rica have all out performed expectations, and, dare I say — earned a bit of respect.

So back to the Yanks and that loss yesterday.

USA sad face

When you are surrounded by expats day in and day out, you no doubt hear all the World Cup stories. Their stories of crushing or epic moments from THEIR team on the pitch.  Platt’s goal in the final minute of extra time for England against Belgium to go through to the Quarters in Italia ‘90 or when Ray Houghton scored for Ireland to upset Italy in their first game of USA ‘94. These stories ARE great.  And, now — I really get it. USA had its moment and we’ll be talking about Howard’s 16 saves and this defeat for a long time. The US has a bar story now too.

Howard gloves

Friday and Saturday are the Quarters with Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Belgium, Costa Rica, Netherlands, Germany and France still left …a huge weekend of drama no doubt.

So, I’ve already changed my Facebook profile to reflect Plan B.  How about you?

USA Fans go mad!

How to Navigate Game Day like a Pro – World Cup Version

The turn out for the World Cup has been tremendous!

So, if you are new to the soccer bar scene this World Cup and your friends have persuaded you to take the day off work Thursday (absolutely), please take heed …the pub will be rammed.  I don’t mean “wow, it sure is busy in here”. I mean more like, “when you go to the bar mate, go on and order me 2”.

THAT busy.

Kick off is Thursday at noon ET.   So, play it smart.

Here’s our version of how to “Navigate a big game day like a Pro

Arrive early.

Do:  Arrive early …duh.  And, 20 Minutes before kick off is NOT early, you likely won’t get in. More like an hour early.  We are opening doors early so you can get your party started. So, get your beers in, grab some food, and start singing.

Gear Up.

Do: Wear your colors. Fly your flag. Sing …the Columbians, Argentians and Dutch all do this quite well …and, I am proud to say that the Americans are in on it too — in a BIG way.  It all makes the atmosphere on game day what it is.

P.S.A: DON’T stand on the tables. Sure it’s understandable- your girlfriend is only 4 1/2 feet tall and you’ve been drinking. I get that sensible doesn’t always get a vote, but trust me here, it’s just dumb. And, no one likes cleaning up after dumb.


Do: Order in Rounds. And, always try and keep up with the fastest drinker of the group. So, if someone is heading to the bar and you still have a third of a pint left, just go on and get a drink in.  On a big game day it’s just smart.

Not drinking? Don’t stop a server in her tracks with a tray full of beers & ask her to take your glass and refill your Coca-Cola. We do love D.D.’s but you can do better. Be patient. She’ll be back around soon enough.  And when you place your order, request 2 cokes. On a big game day, it’s just smart. Are you getting the theme here?


Do: Order during off-peak times. Peak times would be described as a time when soccer fans stop, breath, go pee and realize also that they are hungry …usually that’s Halftime. During USAvGER though there just isn’t going to be an “off peak time”.  So, just plan to arrive early and get eating out of the way. We’ve got a match day menu that’ll make the decision making easy and a bit cheaper too. THAT’s a Pro move.

Don’t be a pain in the arse when ordering. We’ve been doing this for a long time and know how to get food out to a packed house with fairly consistent ticket times. Don’t be that table –the one determined to take a menu and turn it up on its head. Save the special order for Trivia night.  This is the final game for the USA and Germany in the Group stage of the 2014 World Cup.  This is serious. Put all your worries into that basket.


Do: Request your check in advance of when you actually want to leave. For example, if you want to leave as soon as the whistle blows …like really bolt (because you’ve painted your face and your team’s conceded 3 in the 1st 60 minutes), give your server an extra heads up. Only so many people can check out at once so at the very least anticipate it. In general, it’s best to avoid the mass exodus when the whistle blows.

Don’t: Seriously, how about don’t bolt? I say, have another pint. You need to celebrate your win or inoculate your loss. You’ve navigated game day at the most serious soccer bar in the city. No one will be going back to work, so as far as I’m concerned it’s time to relax and really let loose.

So, come Thursday am, play it smart, have a blast and don’t forget to take care of your servers.  It’s fun for us too, but it isn’t as easy as it looks!