I was running late on my way to the bar on a recent Saturday morning. The soccer game had been playing for half an hour already, and it was only 7 a.m. I finally turned off Broadway onto Stout Street, made my way under the unmistakable British flag awning into The British Bulldog, and seemingly walked into a time warp.

It felt more like 7 p.m. than 7 a.m. inside the dark pub. The multiple bartenders shuffled back and forth behind the packed bar, slinging Hoegaarden and kabob-filled breakfast burritos. Most of the 30 or so patrons were already at least half a beer deep and had both eyes fixated on one of the bar’s several flat-screen TVs. The United States was up 2-1 on Australia in its final World Cup tuneup game.

There are this many people here this early to watch U.S. soccer?

After finding the only open stool at the bar, I quickly decided to avoid any embarrassment and ordered a Guinness instead of the Bloody Mary I had thought about on the drive there.

As the first 45 minutes of the match wound down, the duo next to me expertly detailed every great maneuver and botched opportunity of the first half. We went on to debate the finer points of the Yanks lineup, something I never get to do with with my American-football- and baseball-loving roommates.

The bar erupted each time the United States had a chance to score—like the Sports Column after Kyle Orton misses an open receiver in the end zone. With seconds remaining in the game, the U.S. made its third goal, and I realized then that I’d be coming here to watch every game of this year’s World Cup.

The British Bulldog’s soccer happy hour runs every Saturday and Sunday from 7-11 a.m. It features half-off wells, wines, and drafts. The same happy hour deal is offered every day from 3-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight. The Bulldog is also offering $4 Jameson and $5 Carlsberg during the World Cup.

2052 Stout St. 303-295-7974