For Poland, Euro Cup 2016 Hopes Sadly Pass

Facepaint and flag
A Poland supporter walks down Nassau Avenue with facepaint and a Polish flag before the Poland-Portugal match Thursday afternoon.

Although Poland suffered a heartbreaking loss to Portugal yesterday in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Euro Cup, Polish pride was on full display around Greenpoint. Several soccer-friendly neighborhood bars were packed to capacity with red-and-white clad Poland fans, many of whom could be heard shouting passionately in Polish at every missed scoring opportunity.

Walking down sidewalk
Three friends walk home down Nassau Avenue after watching Poland’s unfortunate loss to Portugal in the Euro Cup quarter-finals.

Poland took the lead early with a goal from Robert Lewandowski, but were unable to strike again for the rest of regulation. Portugal tied it up with a goal from the 18-year-old phenom Renato Sanches, and with a 1-1 tie at the end of 90 minutes, the game went into overtime. Still, no one scored, so the match was decided by a shoot-out, which Portugal won 5-3.  

Polish Friends
Poland fans Patryk Poluszanczyk and Mateusz Tekien show their pride during halftime of the Poland-Portugal Euro Cup match. Patryk and Mateusz were born in Greenpoint, moved to Białystok, Poland as kids, and now live in Ridgewood, Queens.

I decided to roam the neighborhood and shoot some of the Tyskie-tipping merriment, and explore a few of Greenpoint’s finer football-forward establishments. After all, even though Poland may sadly be eliminated from the tournament, there is still a lot of excitement to be had with this weekend’s quarterfinal matches, and then the semi-finals and finals next week. So, if you find yourself craving a cold beer and an afternoon spent in the intoxicating company of some true football fanatics, here are a few spots around Greenpoint to do the trick.

The scene at Keg & Lantern
Poland fans gather in numbers to watch the Poland vs. Portugal game thursday afternoon, and to enjoy Keg and Lantern’s tasty handcrafted beers.

Keg and Lantern (97 Nassau Avenue) – The place was so full for the Poland-Portugal game that people in red and white “Polska” jerseys were spilling out onto Nassau Avenue. I managed to make my way inside and was greeted by a sea of soccer fans, sipping on tall bottles of Tyskie Polish lager and the delicious handcrafted beers from Keg and Lantern. I tried the Galaxy hop-driven Gastronomical IPA and the Bitter Landlord English Pale Ale they had on cask. Both were delicious, and though I didn’t try it, the $5 Thursday mac and cheese special looked very good as well. They have good food specials every day of the week from 2-10pm, which means you can enjoy burgers, wings, chicken fingers and more for a good price during the remaining Euro Cup matches.

Watching at Shayz Lounge
Poland fans show their dismay after watching Portugal tie up the match 1-1 at Shayz Lounge. Portugal would go on to win in a shootout, 5-3.

Shayz Lounge (130 Franklin St.) – After enjoying the first half at Keg and Lantern, I headed over to the corner of Franklin and Milton to enjoy the more laid-back but still exciting atmosphere of Shayz Lounge. The place has a very comfortable pub feel, with a fireplace, pool table, and an old tattered Irish flag proudly adorning the back brick wall. They had a solid Eurocentric tap line-up akin to what you might see in a Dublin pub, including Guinness, Magners Irish Cider, and Radeberger Pilsner. They also had a Miller High Life and well whiskey special for $5, and $1 bags of chips to snack on.

Polish Pride
A group of neighborhood Polish teenagers gather to watch Poland vs. Portugal on Thursday, June 30, outside Keg and Lantern.

The Brew Inn (924 Manhattan Avenue) – At the end of regulation I made my way over to this little gem on the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Kent Street to watch the remainder of the game. They have a happy hour special (from 4-7pm) every day of the week where you get a free PBR draft with the purchase of a monstrous and delicious burger ($14) or Reuben ($12). Each choice also comes with a side, including sautéed kale, potato wedges, or tater tots. I went with the Reuben, tater tots and PBR, which was incredibly satisfying for $12. They also have 27 beers on tap, including local beers from KelSo and Sixpoint, and other standout American brews from Ballast Point, Allagash, Founders and Green Flash.

Polish Tattoos
Greenpoint natives Maciej Rembiszewski (white shirt) and Krzysztof (red) proudly display Polish pride tattoos outside Keg and Lantern.

So, if you find yourself yearning some European-tinged excitement to go with this most decidedly American weekend, head to out to one of these cheerful local haunts and watch some football. I mean, soccer.

Here’s a list of the remaining matches:
Wales vs. Belgium quarter-final today (Friday, July 1) @ 3:00pm
Germany vs. Italy quarter-final Saturday, July 2 @ 3:00pm
France vs. Iceland quarter-final Sunday, July 3 @ 3:00pm
Portugal vs. TBD semi-final Wednesday, July 6 @3:00pm
TBD vs. TBD semi-final Thursday, July 7 @ 3:00pm
TBD vs. TBD final Sunday, July 10 @ 3:00pm

About Erik Keithley

Originally from just north of Baltimore, Erik became enchanted with the country-tinged outlaw folk of Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and Guy Clark while studying journalism in North Carolina. As a direct result, he moved to Austin as soon as he could, where he saw a lot of music, recorded a little of his own, and honed a strong appreciation for brisket, New Orleans, and a generally slower and more inquisitive approach to life. Having just moved to Greenpoint from Austin, Erik aims to explore the mellow charms of his beloved new neighborhood with the same quietly searching eyes.

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