Because sometimes you just want to watch some soccer and have a pint and you don’t want to do it alone in your living room.
The original: Moe’s Crosstown Tavern, 714 Rutledge Ave.
The Mac Daddy: Madra Rua Park Circle, 1034 E Montague Ave, North Charleston
East Cooper: My Father’s Mustache, 1405 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mount Pleasant
West Ashley: Mueller’s Pub, Quadrangle Shopping Center, 630 Skylark Drive
Looking for: USMNT/USWNT/American Outlaws? Madra Rua Park Circle. EPL? Madra Rua Park Circle (Liverpool, Tottenham, general), My Father’s Mustache (Arsenal. general), DIG in the Park (Chelsea), Triangle Char & Grill (Manchester United) Bundesliga? Mueller’s Pub (especially Bayern Munich and Dortmund). Special events? Three Lions Club.
Moe’s Crosstown Tavern
The original. Once one of the only places where fans could watch soccer in Charleston (back when they justifiably sported the motto “Having a Good Time on the Bad Side of Town”), Moe’s Crosstown now shares the wealth with other sports bars around the city.
It’s still an Uptown classic, and a good place to catch a game, but don’t expect them to open early for Saturday matches, or to carry obscure soccer channels. They carry the big soccer channels and usually have at least one or two TVs tuned if if there’s a match being broadcast. Whenever there’s a quasi-important match on these days, soccer tends to win out over other sports, and the tavern did brisk business during World Cup, when it became a hangout for Dutch fans.
The neighbors love the Sunday brunch, and it’s even better when it coincides with a Sunday EPL match. You’ll spot some Battery and other soccer memorabilia around the place, too.
A July 2013 addition to the Charleston soccer bar lineup, this neighborhood pub filled an often transient space in the building at the foot of the Meeting Street exit from the Ravenel Bridge. It’s located between Hello My Name is BBQ and Ike’s Gullah Foods at 616 Meeting St.
Local 616 had futbol encoded into its DNA from conception. Dwayne, the owner, is an Arsenal fan, and soccer fans have gathered here to a warm reception ever since the bar’s inception. It was a go-to spot during the 2014 World Cup, and feels like a place that’s legitimately and organically a local soccer bar without self-consciously trying to brand itself as a soccer destination.
Definitely a place to know if you’re a soccer fan on the peninsula.
Molly Darcy’s Irish Pub & Grill
Molly Darcy‘s is located at 235 East Bay St. less than a block from the intersection with Market Street. It’s a general-interest bar in a tourist area, but is owned and occasionally staffed by Irish footy fans, and will usually show the big Euro matches and open early during the EPL season.
The bar carries the YouTube webcast of Battery road matches and dedicates a prime bar area to Battery fans, with club memorabilia and four flatscreen TVs on the wall.
Let’s be clear. The Alley isn’t a soccer bar. It’s a cavernous bar/restaurant/bowling alley/adult playground on Columbus St. opposite The Post and Courier and across the railroad tracks from the Piggly Wiggly. But the owners took an interest in soccer during World Cup, and drew enormous crowds to watch the USMNT matches and the final. The crowd here shows up for the scene if a match has a bunch of buzz around it, which can be fun.
O’Malley’s Bar and Grille
What you’d expect from an Irish-themed bar on Upper King Street, which means in part that soccer isn’t the main course at O’Malley‘s when it comes to sports. But they’re making an effort to support and promote the game to soccer fans, so that’s a plus.
Mueller’s Pub (630 Skylark Drive in the Quadrangle Shopping Center, and on Facebook, too) quite literally fills two important holes in the Charleston soccer scene, which has traditionally gravitated toward the English game. First, it’s located West of the Ashley, home to more than 60,000 people. Second, it’s owned by Germans, and makes a point of televising Bundesliga matches. It apparently became a Mecca for local Germany fans during World Cup 2014.
The owner, Alex Mueller, has revamped the place and while the pub still offers a standard American bar menu, it features German food you’d find in a typical gasthaus: slow-cooked bratwurst mit kraut, weiner schnitzel mit Jaeger sauce, und so weiter. It’s also noted for its “customer-friendly” atmosphere, and if you’ve ever spent any time in Deutschland, you know what that means.
Wellkommen in der Stammtisch! Noch Ein! Prosit!
Triangle Char & Grill, Avondale
Again, not a soccer bar per se, but we keep hearing reports that Triangle (828 Savannah Highway)
has become a gathering place for Manchester United fans. It’s the old gas station smack dab in the center of the Avondale district.
Madra Rua Park Circle
One of the first businesses that pioneered the revival of East Montague and Old North Charleston, Madra Rua quickly moved to the head of the line among Lowountry soccer pubs. They open on Saturdays for early matches during the English Premership season, and draw a lively crowd for breakfast and lunch. They carry Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN, beIn Sports and MLS Direct Kick — one of the only bars in the Lowcountry to offer MLS games not provided by ESPN/NBC. It’s a local favorite.
MRPC is the home bar for the American Outlaws Charleston and the Official Liverpool Supporters Club of South Carolina and SC Spurs. And for teams with smaller or informal local supporters groups, Madra Rua tends to be the spot where people show up and congregate.
During the 2014 World Cup, Madra’s partnership with AOC paid off so well that the club had to put televisions outside in the area behind the bar, and even make plans to host an outdoor viewing party in an adjacent lot.
Another bar just down the street on East Montague — DIG in the Park (1049 E. Montague)– became an informal gathering place for Chelsea fans in 2014. And The Sparrow — East Montague’s prized hole-in-the-wall destination — has been adopted by American/Holy City Outlaws as an adjunct to the often over-crowded Madra Rua.
Three Lions Club
The bar (alternately styled “club” or “pub” by the Charleston Battery front office) in the second floor of the West Stands at Blackbaud Stadium boasts one of the world’s great collections of soccer memorabilia, but it’s generally not open to the public except on Battery match days. Even then, getting in can be tricky.
The Battery sells Three Lions season-ticket packages that come with pre-game and post-game pub passes, so the best way to enjoy this unique bar is to buy one. A $540 TLC VIP pass in 2014 was good for 16 catered pre-match buffets, pub passes, box seats, and free parking for three nights of Carolina Challenge Cup, two U.S. Open Cup matches and 14 regular season games, plus any post-season action.
Getting in without one is a bit more difficult, because there’s a security guard at the first-floor entrance and… oh, never mind. If you can get in after a match, you get to drink beer alongside Battery coaches, players, staff — and some of the club’s most knowledgeable fans.That has to be one of the unique experiences in North American soccer.
Sometimes the club offers tours. Alternately, you can rent the club for your next corporate event or your daughter’s wedding.
But here’s the thing: The Three Lions is Lowcountry soccer Valhalla. A shrine to the game. An homage to every fantasy you ever had of an English soccer pub. It’s a museum of soccer, a hidden gem, the place the Battery’s staff shows off to free agents they want to sign and other soccer professionals they want to impress.
During the 2014 World Cup the Battery opened the Three Lions for selected match days, and the result was a roaring success. Whether they’ll be encouraged now to open the pub for televised soccer on a more regular basis remains to be seen, but i you’ve never been, and you hear about a public soccer event at Three Lions, you just go. Period.
My Father’s Mustache
My Father’s Mustache at 1405 Ben Sawyer Blvd. (and on Facebook) is to soccer in East Cooper as Madra Rua is to soccer in North Charleston. They’re serious about it, and have been since they launched in the Spring of 2014. It’s a predominately British-styled pub with nods to Ireland and Scotland, and the soccer emphasis is on EPL, followed by Euro-centric TV coverage on six large-screen TVs.
A few months after opening, MFM replaced Local 616 as the official gathering place of the Charsenal supporters group. With Arsenal fans in pocket, the bar has even taken to trolling Liverpool fans on Twitter.
The food is British, and since they’re serious about capturing the East Cooper market, that means that for they open for EPL matches with a English breakfast menu that includes baked beans.
Madra Rua Summerville
The owners of the original Madra Rua in Park Circle cloned most of what made the North Charleston venue so awesome and transplanted it onto the side of a busy multi-lane thoroughfare (2066 N. Main St.) in greater Summerville. Consequently, Madra Rua Irish Pub Summerville is a classic local soccer bar and a great place to watch a game and have a pint, yet it lacks some of the homely neighborhood charm of its older sibling.