This bar is working overtime to give soccer fans a full Cup!
Bartenders at a Prospect-Lefferts Gardens watering hole are waking up at the crack of dawn to serve liquid breakfasts to local football fans looking for a spot to watch the World Cup — even if it means kissing sleep goodbye for the next month, according to a Zombie House staffer.
“On Friday the bar closed at 4 am, and it reopened on Saturday at 6 am,” said barkeep Demetrious O’Neil.
O’Neil and other employees at the Flatbush Avenue saloon between Parkside and Woodruff avenues are burning the midnight oil to accommodate the roughly seven-hour time difference between Russia, which is hosting the International Federation of Association Football’s 21st men’s tournament, and Kings County, so they can serve drinks during every game until the final match on July 15.
That means staff — who normally open the bar at 4 pm on Monday through Thursday, 2 pm on Friday, and 12 pm on weekends — will be pouring pints in time for any day’s first game, whether kickoff is at 11 am or 6 am, according to a co-owner.
“We’re open for every game,” said Josh Caplan.
On Friday, about a dozen people shuffled in and out of the watering hole to watch the tournament’s three matches, according to O’Neil, who said the World Cup–friendly hours are less about turning a profit than putting a smile on sports fans’ faces — even if it means bartenders start to resemble Zombie House’s undead namesake.
“I’m not a super-early morning person, but I like making other people happy,” O’Neil said.
And the effort has not gone unnoticed by local soccer aficionados, who said having a place in the neighborhood to watch the games is especially crucial when the first whistle often blows just after sunrise.
“It means an extra half hour of sleep, because I don’t have to get on the subway to get to the city,” said Prospect-Lefferts Garden resident Dale Campbell, who said he’s seen every World Cup match since the quadrennial tournament took place in South Africa in 2010.
As part of the festivities, Zombie House’s happy “hour” — which runs from its opening hour to 7 pm — will start even earlier due to the time difference, offering patrons $5 beer-and-shot combos, $15 Modelo beer buckets, and a suite of discounted cocktails for most of the day, O’Neil said.
“Happy hour rules are its from open until 7 pm,” said O’Neil. “So if we open at 7 am, I’m going to serve happy hour until 7 pm.”
And Zombie House doesn’t have a kitchen, but Caplan said he may set up a bagel spread during some games for early bird football fans, who are also welcome to bring their own snacks to the bar.
The Prospect-Lefferts Gardens watering hole isn’t Kings County’s only to implement special World Cup hours — Banter on Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, Woodwork on Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, Michelle’s Cocktail Lounge on Bedford Avenue in Flatbush, and Black Forest Brooklyn’s outposts in Carroll Gardens and Fort Greene are all also showing games for thirsty patrons.
Watch the World Cup at Zombie House [734 Flatbush Ave. between Parkside and Woodruff avenues in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens]. Bar opens daily at kickoff of first game through July 15.