The 5 Best Places to Watch the 2010 World Cup Final

If Netherlands is playing: Barrister's (15 North Meramec Avenue, Clayton; 314-726-5007)

At Barrister's, Clayton's unassuming soccer pub, people wearing bright orange shirts were plentiful and plenty animated when the Dutch upset Brazil this past Friday to advance to the semis. The Netherlands Society of St. Louis has made the bar its unofficial football headquarters, so if Clockwork Orange defeats Uruguay on Tuesday and earns the chance to win the first World Cup in the nation's history, expect a passionate posse to pack the place.

...If Uruguay is playing: Carnicería Latino Americana (2800 Cherokee Street; 314-773-1707)

Mexico got steamrolled by Argentina in the round of sixteen, but that doesn't mean the Spanish-speaking people of Cherokee Street are going to disregard the championship match when there's a South American squad still in contention. On the contrary; the restaurant/supermarket is going above and beyond by renting out the same massive, trailer-mounted TV monitor that was used to broadcast the USA-England match at the Old Post Office Plaza and setting it up on the sidewalk outside its covered patio. Grab some tacos and an imported beer and learn how to say "UEFA sucks!" in español.

...If Germany is playing: the Amsterdam Tavern (3175 Morganford Road; 314-772-8224)

One of the co-owners of the Amsterdam Tavern lives in Germany for several months each year, working as a teacher. His name is Rob and he probably knows more about the German national team than most Deutschland natives. Rob seemed calm, cool and confident when his seemingly invincible German side annihilated Argentina in the quarters. The rowdy, flag-draped horde of German supporters who took over the Amsterdam's patio did not share his serenity. Here's guessing that both parties will be going wild if Bastian Schweinsteiger and company hoist the championship trophy this weekend.

...If Spain is playing: Guido's Pizzeria and Tapas (5046 Shaw Avenue; 314-771-4900)

Despite almost unparalleled talent and a pretty playing style that emphasizes precision passing, Spain has never won the World Cup. This drives Spaniards crazy. The country lives for soccer (as well as siestas, bullfights, big meals and other carnal pleasures), and nowhere in St. Louis is that fact more apparent than at Guido's on the Hill. The food is as authentic as the viewing experience. A large contingent of Spaniards pack the restaurant's narrow bar area to munch tapas, swig sangria and roar in approval whenever striker David Villa scores a goal for his nation. If the Spanish can find a way past the Germans in the semis, Guido's will be a sight to see come Sunday afternoon.

...If you don't care who's playing: the Scottish Arms (6-10 South Sarah Street; 314-535-0551)

Supporters of both Germany and the Netherlands often congregate here, but mostly the Arms is St. Louis' soccer Switzerland. Yes, technically the place is Scottish, but as long as England isn't playing, neutrality rules the day. That, coupled with a friendly staff, great food and extensive beer and whiskey selections, makes the Arms the venue of choice for indifferent football fans seeking a lively atmosphere and a good view of the big game.

 
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