Sports bars going 'all out' for World Cup finals
Daviot Kelly, Staff Reporter
With the much-anticipated World Cup 2014 final set for July 13, sports bars, restaurants, and lounges across Jamaica are preparing to host parties fit for the grand finale.
Christopher Bird, manager at Mandeville's OMG Restaurant and Bar, noted it has its own World Cup lounge upstairs the restaurant, and has been getting regular crowds since the tournament started June 12.
"Between the semi-finals and finals, we'll be working with Calico Jack to offer free cocktails on entrance," he said. Bird said there will also be prizes and surprises and football-themed food offered at special prices. Bird said there are also plans for speciality drinks, featuring the colours of the participating teams. The plan also includes handing out match cards to customers, on arrival, for them to pick the winners. At the end of the game, those with winning cards will get their teams' signature drink. Patrons can also look out for live entertainment between noon and 2 p.m.
In the Corporate Area, Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records is offering up a football feast. Marketing and events manager Kemoi Burke said patrons will enjoy beer deals like two 'regular' Red Stripe beers going for $400.
"Plus, they can have three one-litre Red Stripe beers for $2,000," he said. "We have our Game Day specials, one which includes a complimentary Pepsi and the other a one-litre Red Stripe." There are also burgers and platters. Burke also promised entertainment and numerous giveaways, including for the social-media junkies.
"Once you take a 'selfie' with a Red Stripe and you post it on Instagram, mentioning Tracks and Records, you get a free beer," he said. To replicate the fan experience in a stadium, there will also be face painting to match the team colours.
Margaritaville in Montego Bay will be having its own beer specials of $250 per bottle plus bucket deals for the final.
"We have flat screen televisions to watch the game and at half-time, we'll have giveaways," said Andre Brown, Margaritaville Caribbean's operations manager. He noted there will be a goal shoot-out competition, with winners taking home various World Cup-themed prizes. The final kicks off at 2 p.m. and Brown expects persons to file in early.
"We will have a DJ playing and it's just going to be a fun-filled day and lots of stuff for people to enjoy." Brown noted the excitement would be replicated at all the club's locations. One of the newest sports entertainment venues is New Kingston's Triple Century Sports Bar and Grill, owned by Jamaica and West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle. General manager Radcliffe Haynes promises it is going to be "one big party" come July 13.
"We plan to open from 10 a.m. and we'll have live music, games and prizes," he said, noting there will even be a beer drinking contest. Among the prizes are a 32-inch television and Reggae Sumfest tickets. The hard-hitting opener Gayle won't be present for the final. But to make sure patrons are not totally disappointed, Haynes noted the big man has autographed various sports items for lucky patrons to have a chance of securing.