June 16, 2010
SF Spaniards Gather on Belden Place for World Cup
Head east down Bush Street from San Francisco's Union Square and you will come across an alley called Belden Place, with maybe 10 restaurants on one block, most of them Mediterranean or seafood. Two of them are also a home base for World Cup soccer.
The French gather at Cafe Bastille while Spaniards congregate a few doors down, at B44. Spain is one of the favorites to win this year's tournament and they had their first match this morning, against Switzerland. There were about 35 people watching the big screen, some of whom were rooting for the Swiss, which won the match in the biggest upset of the first week.
Food was tasty and everyone was cheerful and alert for 7 a.m., even with the loss and also considering the Spanish reputation for late-night living. A quick check of the schedule doesn't reveal a single day in which more than one or two countries are represented by the restaurants on the block, so there is no opportunity to have an all-day all-you-can-watch soccer buffet. Maybe we'll be lucky in 2014.
The Mission will be hopping tomorrow, with Mexico playing Group A favorite France at 11.30. If you can't wait, or can't sleep, the Mercury Lounge will show their beloved Argentina against South Korea at 4:30 a.m.
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