Hockey and basketball seasons are over, and the Cubs and White Sox have less than spectacular records. If you're feeling short on good sports-watching options, you're in luck since the World Cup, one of the biggest athletic events on the planet, is going on now. Bars throughout the suburbs are screening the games, decking themselves out in flags and offering drink specials and giveaways to get into the soccer spirit.
Rack House Kitchen and Tavern, 222 E. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights, (847) 640-7225; rackhousetavern.com: Catch all the games in the dining room, bar or on the five sets on the restaurant's patio. Get into the spirit with a $5 USA shot made with Svedka raspberry, grenadine and blue curacao or a $13 bucket of classic American beers Bud Light, Budweiser, Miller Lite or Coors Light. You can also try five American craft beers for $15, with options including Two Brothers Cane & Ebel, Founders All Day IPA and Lagunitas Lil' Sumpin Sumpin. Come dressed in soccer team apparel and get $1 off your first Leinenkugel Summer Shandy draft.
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Pinstripes, 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-9300 or 7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, (630) 575-8700; pinstripes.com: As if seeing your team score isn't sweet enough, Pinstripes is giving away a free scoop of gelato to everyone in the venue whenever the U.S.A. or Italian teams score a goal. They'll also be offering half-price flatbreads while the two countries are playing.
Old Town Pour House, 8 Oak Brook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 601-1440; oldtownpourhouse.com: The beer-focused bar screens all the games and offers a $14 World Cup flight featuring brews from Germany's Krombacher Privatbrauerei, Belgium's Brasserie Lefebvre, the United Kingdom's Wells & Young Brewery and Chicago's own Revolution Brewing Company.
Claddagh Irish Pub, 1702 Commons Drive, Geneva, (630) 208-0337; claddaghirishpubs.com: The bar is decked out in Team USA and Budweiser World Cup banners and offering $5 Heineken and $3 Bud and Bud Light for every match. Staff will raffle off prizes including a neon Bud Light World Cup sign toward the end of the tournament.
Ballydoyle Irish Pub & Restaurant, 5157 Main St., Downers Grove, (630) 969-0600; ballydoylepub.com: Enjoy $4 aluminum pints of Budweiser and Bud Light and $4 McCaffrey's Irish Cream Ale from Chicago's Argus Brewery while watching all the games.
Wool Street Grill & Sports Bar, 128 Wool St., Barrington, (847) 304-0375; woolstreetgrill.com: Buy an entree or appetizer and a pint of beer during any USA game, the semifinals or final match and you'll be entered to win a soccer jersey. The bar also offers $3.50 Heineken and Newcastle drafts throughout the tournament.
Barbakoa, 1341 Butterfield Road, Downers Grove, (630) 852-2333; barbakoa.com: You'll find a different cocktail, wine or beer available for $6 at this Latin restaurant and bar whenever the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico or Spain compete. Each drink represents the country playing, with options including margaritas, sangria and Argentine white wine.
Fox & Hound, 1416 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg, (847) 884-6821; foxandhound.com: Catch all the games on 37 TVs spread across three rooms decked out with the flags of the competing countries. All attendees during prime time games will receive a raffle ticket for a team jersey. If you've got a big group that wants to listen to the game in Spanish, the bar can make that happen.