One bar in Regina is giving soccer fans a chance to enjoy a beer while they cheer on their favourite nation during this year’s FIFA World Cup.
With the tournament taking place in Russia this year, some of the games begin as early as 6 a.m. in Saskatchewan.
While the Lobby Kitchen and Bar isn’t open at quiet that time, the doors will be unlocked at 8 a.m. to give fans a place to watch the games.
“For the fans here, every four years you can get together and support your national team or where your parents are from or where your grandparents are from and see all your favourite players represent their country,” said Kasmir Bahia, owner of The Lobby.
Bahia said it was actually simpler than he thought it would be to get permission from Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming (SLGA) to open early and serve liquor. He said he placed a few phone calls to SLGA and referenced when it allowed bars to open early for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics hockey games.
“It was kind of a seamless process, surprisingly.”
Bahia said it’s been busier than he expected, especially during the early games on the weekend, with the Germany and Mexico game Sunday morning.
“I just figured Sunday 9 a.m., Father’s Day might not be the best time but it was a full house so it was nice to see,” Bahia said.
He said there’s bee a good mix of supporters coming out to each game.
“There’s quite a few casual fans that might not have a particular team they support, they just like to come out and watch the game and the bigger teams tend to have more fans naturally but its been evenly spread out.”
He said the soccer community in Regina isn’t too large, which gives them the opportunity to present something unique to fans within the Queen City by prioritizing soccer over other sports.
He’s also anticipating soccer will continue to grow in Canada and the province with a World Cup on the way.
“The 2026 (tournament) will have a huge impact on the game.”