By Joan O'Neill
In Saint Petersburg, Florida (not Russia), the city is buzzing over the World Cup tournament. Whether it’s the city's large European population, aesthetic, or influence from the professional Tampa Bay Rowdies team, it’s FIFA fever every day. And yet somehow it was still a pleasant surprise when World Cup on Central, a pop-up bar located one block from Tropicana Field, appeared at 1113 Central Avenue.
The location is occupied by event space host OpenHouse St. Pete and Prost Wurstgrill & Bierhouse. Mike Sponaugle, owner of Buya Ramen, created the pop-up in St. Pete to be modeled after the similar concept he developed in Miami during the 2014 World Cup.
Poised as more than just a food and drink location, World Cup on Central facilitates a social environment for soccer fans to interact together. The space features live daily World Cup coverage in addition to playing recorded games each day for those who might’ve missed them. The pop-up also will offer a game room equipped with FIFA video game on the upstairs veranda for guests. You might even catch a Rowdies player there to put your skills to the real test.
Menu wise, World Cup on Central will offer beer from local breweries in addition to World Cup inspired imports from the likes of Spain and Germany, and a cocktail list including a Russia inspired gluten-free Stoli Moscow Mule on tap. Prost will cook up inventive wursts daily like the Duck chorizo wurst with roasted bell peppers and violet mustard, and fresh Bavarian Pretzels are always an authentic favorite.
During the last two games, the weekend semi-final and final, World Cup on Central will partner with Green Bench Brewing Company for a closing block party celebration.
Hurry over to Central Avenue because the pop-up will only be around until the last World Cup game on Sunday, July 15th. Hours are subject to change but the location typically opens at 9:30 a.m. on game days, and 11 a.m. otherwise. Check out their Facebook page for consistent updates.