With just a few days left before the initial kick in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Championship in South Africa, the fervor in Brazil has taken on a heightened level. The streets are streaming with the national colors adorning buildings, clothes, beer cans and soft drinks cans. The nightclubs and sports bars surely will take on an air of chaos as Brazil meets Republic of North Korea in its first contest on June 15, pursuing their record sixth championship during Cup history.
In Florianopolis, two of its most recognized sports bars offer the futebol (soccer) fans a great opportunity to see all the contests in real time. The time difference between the continents of South America and South Africa will not matter as the five-hour difference plays well for the surfer-themed, soccer-crazy Brazilians in this town.
A British styled pub, called The Black Swan, offers the swankiest environment. Surrounded by rich, dark Brazilian wood and appointed with finely crafted brass works, most of the hundreds of patrons will be fixed to the five HD big-screen television as they hoop and howler. Many will enjoy the food fare as it includes American-style burgers, wings, drumettes, fried shrimp and an assortment of full course entries – all at reasonable prices. The owner – who happens to be an ex-pat Brit himself – prides himself on the huge selection of local and international beers he offers the cheering swarms.
The Swan is located in a small enclave in the middle of this Island in a small city called Lagoa da Conceição. Florianopolis is located on the Atlantic coast in the southern part of Brazil. With a population that hovers close to 350,000, the summer season – December through March – swells to a bikini-loving 1.2 million visitors. This operation opens everyday at 12 noon and closes at 2 a.m.
Within walking distance to pub, another sports bar offers the hardcore soccer fan another opportunity to soak in the games and soak up the suds. Querubim’s complete glass front covers some 50 meters so that all can see the seven screens highlight the players competing on a daily basis. One of the interesting points generally about Brazil is that you can load up your plate at a buffet style line and get charged by the kilogram. For example Querubim sets a specific rate; you go down the buffet and put what you want. You will only get charged on how full your plate weights. It’s kind of cool. At no time are you going to spend more that $10.
This joint is a more basic sports bar. Querubim offers the traditional Brazilian food fare, including Feijão (beans) Mandioca (yulka) and they have that Brazilian style hot dog (not the same) with crispies, mashed potato, corn and peas. In addition, American-style hamburgers, fries and pizza can cut the effects of too much imbibing. Querubim opens at 11 a.m. daily and will go late into the night, usually until four in the morning.
The distinction between the two sports bars has been compared to that of a stadium crowd by a four-year resident of the Island, Dr. Hurley E. Braden.
“If The Black Swan is the pre-eminent English pub in Lagoa, then Querubim is the pre-eminent late night food dive with booze. However, it draws its share of rowdy football fans! Not too many fights, but lots of yelling,” the Greek transplant said. “Fireworks, cheers and boos. It’s like the equivalent of the cheap seats. It’s definitely, fun in its own way. The Black Swan has less yelling but not by much, no fireworks, and Guinness! It’s like having box seats.”
Wherever you park your hide for your favor team or match anywhere, check out your local sports bar, arrive early and wear earplugs. It’s going to be wild.