New Delhi, June 8 - You need not fly down to Brazil to absorb the excitement of the FIFA World Cup - giant screens at Delhi pubs and restaurants will capture it for you with awesome food and drinks to go with the thrills and spills of the game.
Teams from 32 countries will compete for the one of most coveted crowns in world sport, football's showpiece event, from June 12-July 13.
Many popular pubs and restaurants in the city would be screening the matches live, offering some irresistible deals to tempt the football buffs.
We will be showing the 9.30 p.m. matches live on our television sets and with some authentic Italian food. We have an offer for beer guzzlers - buy three and get two free, Virender Singh Vohra, manager at Baci restaurant in Sunder Nagar market told IANS.
Both the fans and the restaurateurs are disappointed that they cannot have more fun as the scheduling of the matches is in a time zone that doesn't help public viewing here beyond midnight.
The World Cup has five time slots in India - 9.30 p.m. (IST), 12.30 a.m., 1.30 a.m., 3.30 a.m. and 6.30 a.m.
Most pubs and restaurants in Delhi shut by midnight, latest by 1 a.m., so that leaves the restaurateurs with just one time slot where they can show matches live.
Last time in South Africa the timings were perfect. We put up a projector screen and showed all the top matches live but this year unfortunately most matches are taking place in the wee hours of the day, Trilok Singh, manager at Gulmohar Sports Club, told IANS.
We won't be using the projector screen this year, but we have the bar on the second floor so we will show the 9.30 p.m. matches there, he added.
American burger chain Johnny Rockets in Saket's Select Citywalk mall, promises to bring the flavours of Brazil by offering a combo meal for football lovers.
The meal comprises of Coco Caramel Shake, Rocket Wings or Veggie Fingers, Chimichurri Burger (Chicken, Tenderloin or grilled Paneer) and American Fries.
There will be 'Beer Madness' at Oro-The Bar during the World Cup match hours.
Situated at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Paschim Vihar, Oro-The Bar is offering five pints of beer for Rs. 1,000 and imported brands at Rs. 2,000.
Fat Lulu's, a pizza joint in Gurgaon, has come up with an innovative idea to keep the football fans interested.
They have deals tied to the top teams and these will be offered on the days the teams play.
So the 'Italy' food deal - One Chicken Wings, any two 14-inch pizzas and a veg Pasta for Rs.1499 - will be offered on the days Italy play.
Other combos include 'England' - eight beers and Fish n Chips and Argentina - Pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea and Minute Steaks - both for Rs.1,499.
Other restaurants like Soy in Khan Market have a deal where a guest predicting the match result and will get a set of five vodkas/five any Indidan liquor (standard servings).
Also all registered users will get a free round of drinks whenever a goal is scored.
Plans are also underway to screen live matches at the Cyber Hub amphitheatre in Gurgaon.
Game of Legends in Rajouri Garden and Underdogs Sports Bar and Grill in Vasant Kunj Ambience mall will set up projector screens for the 9.30 p.m. matches.
So, Delhiites will have innumerable places to go and join the fun and frolic of the World Cup.
But a warning for all the troublemakers from the restaurateurs: No unruly behaviour would be allowed under any circumstances.
(Santosh Rao can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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