By Josh Cook
There will plenty of Louisville locales where locals can get their kicks watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which gets underway in South Africa on Friday morning.
And the good news is that soccer hooliganism should be at a minimum, at the most, around town.
The World Cup kicks off 10 a.m. with the host nation taking on Mexico, and there will be several restaurants and watering holes around the Louisville-area where "football" fans can go to cheer on their favorites teams.
One of the city's most well-known hotspots is Molly Malone's Irish Pub & Restaurant, which has locations on Baxter Ave. and on Shelbyville Rd. Molly's bills itself as "Your Official FIFA World Cup Headquarters" and it always rolls out the red carpet...or at least the large HDTVs...for soccer's month-long Super Bowl.
There will be ample viewing opportunities throughout the Highlands (the Monkey Wrench on Barrett Ave. was a favorite during the last Cup), and up and down Bardstown Road (from the Bambi Bar to Left Field Lounge to Molly's), as well as throughout the city.
For the opening game between Mexico and South Africa this writer thinks Ernesto's Mexican Restaurant on Preston Highway should be a good place to take an earlier-than-usual lunch hour. But with all due respect to the rest this writer would suggest taking in the Cup's first match at El Tarasco on Fairfax Ave. in Saint Matthews. There you can enjoy the match as well as some of the best authentic Mexican cuisine, and friendliest service, the city has to offer.
Excitement will be at a fever pitch in several local establishment for Saturday's 2:30 p.m. showdown on the pitch between the United States and England. In fact Louisville's own professional soccer team, the Louisville Lightning, will have a viewing party for Saturday's game between the United States and England. There you'll be able to watch the game with the Lightning players and possibly pick their brains about who they think the winner will be, or what they think of the decision by England coach Fabio Capello to ban his players from engaging in sex for a month.