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June 18th, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE | Bar Reviews
 

World Cup Beer Garden: Popping For The Cup

bar_4033(beergarden)IMAGE: WW Staff
     
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All of Portland loves a pop-up, even when it’s not really a pop-up—see Vitaly Paley’s and Aviary’s recent “pop-ups” in their own restaurants, which we’d just call dinners. But the World Cup Beer Garden (625 NW 21st Ave., 719-5544, facebook.com/worldcupbeergarden) is the real deal, something that sprang from nothing into full-fledged existence, and will disappear just as quickly after the July 13 final. The defunct Gypsy’s parking lot has been tented over and filled with flag decorations, a tight array of picnic tables and a set of outdoor flat-screen TVs. The beer garden exists only for soccer, and will die when soccer ends. And it will show every World Cup game. The $5 beer selection is admirable and local, from the Commons Urban Farmhouse to hopped cider from Cider Riot. And there is liquor, although the line to the bottleneck of a bar is long and the caipirinhas ($6) undistinguished. So unless the organizers hire some servers (hint!), be kind to the people behind you and order either a plastic-cupped pint or a drink whose name is the ingredient list, whether gin and tonic or coffee spiked with bourbon. Even in the rain, the crowd at the Brazil-Croatia opener June 12 was thick, and the cheer for that unexpected Croatian goal—OK, Brazilian own goal—was deafening even with the many Brasilia shirts. As for food, go for Fried Egg I’m in Love rather than the overwhelmed Bus Stop Cafe, whose soggy fries and fried fish balls take something like a 45-minute wait during crowded lunchtime—unless, that is, you want to watch the game in the sky box. The second floor of the double-decker bus housing the cafe is lushly appointed, with its own screen. But from the parking lot, we will know what we always know: The plebs have more fun.

 
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