Every year, the approaching summer solstice signals barbecues, pool days and vacations. Every fourth year is different, and this is one of those times.
The FIFA World Cup kicks off Thursday, June 14, and we have the local spots to visit to enjoy the games.
Native Grill and Wings
457 S. Watson Road, Buckeye
Tina French, assistant store manager for Buckeye’s Native Grill and Wings, said her restaurant is the perfect place to watch the worldwide event.
The last World Cup saw guests donning their country’s colors and to sum it up, “it was fun, live and loud.”
Native Grill & Wings (or, “Native” as the regulars call it) focuses on food and being family-friendly. The sports grill offers 20 wing flavors – from strawberry hot to ancho chile lime, Asian garlic to honey chipotle – that guests can order by the individual wing. It also boasts an extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads and more. Most of the sauces and rubs can be used to customize other menu items.
The restaurants are divided into a bar and restaurant, with approximately 30 to 40 flat-screen TVs throughout, offering sports coverage for families and serious fans, and a customer base spanning all generations.
Fuego Bar and Grill
9113 W. Van Buren Street, Tolleson
Owner Diego Espinoza, also a Democratic member of the Arizona House of Representatives, said he plans to open the restaurant early, especially for the Mexico games, proving his and his customers’ dedication to the World Cup.
“It would be electrifying…People would be enthusiastic about their country,” Espinoza said about the last World Cup.
Fuego Bar & Grill offers authentic Mexican cuisine dating back to four generations of family traditions.
13375 W. McDowell Road, Goodyear
Owned by former Phoenix Suns great “Thunder” Dan Majerle, the restaurant isn’t new to celebrating major sporting events like the World Cup. Last year, the restaurant was filled with soccer fans.
“We always have a good fanbase for specific teams,” said Allison Reeg, the general manager of Majerle’s in Goodyear. “I would say the best thing about watching the World Cup with us is our great bar food. I think there are a lot of sports bars in the area, but I think we have the best bar food in the West Valley.”
The menu features burgers for $10 to $13, and 10 “Gorilla wings” for $13.
Tailgaters Sports Grill
and Il Primo
5110 N. Dysart Road, Litchfield Park
Tailgaters Sports Grill and Il Primo in Litchfield Park, one of its five locations in the state, offers a wide variety of televisions and a majority of them will be dedicated to the World Cup come June 14.
Derek Hernandez, front house manager, is excited about the influx of soccer fans.
“We’ll be trying to accommodate to the people who are coming in to watch the soccer matches,” Hernandez said.
He appreciates the folks who watch the cup because, outside of baseball, sports are at a minimum this time of year. Tailgaters Sports Grill staff is planning on opening the restaurant on gamedays. Call for details.
The menu features unique items like a breaded zucchini basket ($7.99) and breaded cheese curds ($8.99), as well as soup, salads, chili and hot dogs, most of which are less than $10.
Lighthouse Sports Bar
12351 W. Indian School Road, Avondale
General manager Bob Clayton said he is looking forward to seeing soccer fans in his bar, considering the number of sports enthusiasts who visit year-round.
He called Lighthouse Sports Bar one of the few traditional bars in the area, and a prime location for fun.
“We stand out as one of the places for entertainment on the weekends,” he said.
Upon arrival, expect traditional bar food like mozzarella sticks, but stay for the ribs.