March 17, 2019: Earlier in March, we wrote about a lie screening of Arsenal vs. Manchester United that you could watch at Smaaash if you happened to be a football fan in Mumbai. Football doesn’t always get its due in India but this was a reminder in some ways – or an acknowledgement, rather – than in the major urban centres there are large populations of people with plenty of passion for the sport, not just locally but internationally as well. And now, with the Champions League entering its final stages, that interest in international football is going to peak about as much as it ever does in a year without a World Cup.
As of this writing, the Champions League is essentially gearing up for its final rounds. The quarter-finals are next and with the Round of 16 having only just concluded football fans around the world are sorting out the remaining teams and taking stock of the draw. Sports betting platforms based in parts of Europe and increasingly in the U.S. will be adjusting odds based on the matchups and how teams looked in the Round of 16, and soon we’ll have expectations of what the best remaining matches will be and which clubs are best positioned for glory.
For all of that though, football fans will simply have to keep an eye on the sport’s punditry and the aforementioned betting sites. The analysis will be constant from this point forward and will enhance the action to come, which is always nice for those of us – as in India – watching the international competition from a distance.
That doesn’t solve the issue of actually watching the matches though, and for that, we have some suggestions. It’s a little too early still to tell if there might be some special viewing options such as the streaming at Smaaash, but in a more conventional sense, we wanted to highlight some of the better establishments in Mumbai at which to watch the upcoming Champions League action.
The Bar Stock Exchange: This is one of the coolest football bars in town. Located on Colaba, it’s actually known for the crowds it welcomes for international football, and Premier League play in particular. It’s a sleek, inviting place with plenty of room for lots of fans as well as prominent televisions, and one particularly big screen, for viewing. The Bar Stock Exchange is bound to be a blast during Champions League action.
Havana Café & Bar: This “Fidel-themed hot spot” has actually been written up as a nightlife option for those travelling to Mumbai and with good reason. Past a certain hour, the DJ starts spinning and a lounge-like, Cuban-inspired bar becomes a fairly energetic club. During matches, however, there’s a focus on football, and the idea of a bar of this style also is a good place to watch sports just isn’t something you’ll find anywhere else.
Open House Café & Bar: Open House in Dadar isn’t quite as television-oriented as some other places but it does have a nice bar with some big screens, so if you get there in time to secure a good spot, you’ll have a nice view of any match that might be on. It doubles as an excellent Indian-Chinese hybrid restaurant as well, meaning you can fit in a nice meal before or after the match you’re there to watch.
TAP Sports Bar: Located in Andheri, TAP Sports Bar is more of a traditional option, with several big screens, happy hour deals, and an all-around friendly atmosphere. It doesn’t quite have the unique or unusual atmosphere some of the above options carry with them, but it’s a fine casual place to hang out in public during major Champions League matches.
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