Bars, restaurants in Singapore gear up for Euro 2024 crowds


Local watering holes and restaurants are confident of pulling in the crowds. -ST FILE

SINGAPORE: Football fever is set to hit Singapore this weekend as Euro 2024 kicks off in Germany, with food and beverage (F&B) outlets gearing up for the crowds during the month-long tournament from June 14 to July 14.

Europe’s football showpiece featuring 24 teams including England, holders Italy, Portugal – led by evergreen superstar Cristiano Ronaldo – and France, begins on June 15, 3am (Singapore time), with the hosts taking on Scotland.

While the European Championship does not match up to the prestige of the World Cup, F&B outlets and chains are still confident of pulling in the crowds, and a number of them are expecting similar numbers to the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

This is despite matches being played at 9pm, midnight and 3am, with some of the big clashes in the group stage taking place in the latter two slots.

Iconic Irish pub Muddy Murphy’s, located in Claymore Connect, will stay open till 6am to screen all games.

Bjorn Seegers, 39, managing director of Muddy Murphy Holdings which owns and operates Muddy Murphy’s, The Penny Black and Scruffy Murphy’s, said he is expecting a full house of 200 fans for the big games involving France and Germany, and about 50 to 80 fans for “smaller matches”.

Seegers, who predicts a 20 per cent increase in revenue, said: “We had good turnouts for the World Cup, but we are expecting more for Euro 2024 as fewer people would be overseas in June and July (as opposed to November or December).”

Scruffy Murphy’s and The Penny Black will be showing only selected 9pm and midnight matches due to licensing restrictions.

Fans looking to get their fix will also be able to watch all matches at Cafe Football’s Woodleigh outlet.

Its owner Simon Tan has extended the opening hours to 5am and expects 300 fans daily, as well as a 30 per cent increase in revenue.

He said: “There’s a strong following for the Premier League, and since most players are based in Europe, there’s a natural following from fans.

“We look forward to the major tournaments every two years, because we know people will gather and come to watch the matches.”

Bar Soccer at Kallang Wave Mall will be screening all 9pm matches to the public with private, ticketed viewings for selected midnight and 3am games.

Owner Andy Wang, 42, is projecting a 60 per cent rise in revenue with full occupancy of 80 people for the 9pm matches.

Popular establishment Harry’s, which has more than 20 outlets islandwide, will show selected matches across seven locations.

Fast-food chain McDonald’s said on Instagram that it will show matches at 19 outlets in locations such as Ang Mo Kio, Jurong Bowl, Fajar, Kallang, Sengkang Sports Complex and Safra Yishun.

Residents in the heartland can watch selected matches at Our Tampines Hub, Heartbeat@Bedok and One Punggol with a People’s Association spokesperson adding that these “will allow more residents to watch the Euro with their family and friends and bring together like-minded individuals interested in football”.

Singaporean fans too are gearing up for the month-long fiesta.

Bank manager and Croatia fan Lester Thio is planning to catch the games at Harry’s outlets.

The 30-year-old said: “The Croatians are lovely people, they’re mentally strong and have that underdog ‘us against the world’ mentality.

“I want to watch the matches at a bar as the atmosphere with fellow football fans, food and drinks, and vibes will be great.”

Teacher Stanley Tan, 45, is supporting England and the Netherlands as they feature his beloved Reds players and will catch the action at a Safra club near his home.

He said: “I find the Euro more exciting than the World Cup sometimes, especially in the early rounds as there are less mismatched teams.

“Of course now that I’m older, I have to pick which ones I can afford to watch and recover from the next day.” - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , football , Euro 2024 , bars

   

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