Best 7 bars to watch the Rugby World Cup in Hong Kong
For the next six weeks get ready for some of the finest international sporting action on the planet at the seventh Rugby World Cup.
Hosted by New Zealand, home of the pant-wettingly fearsome All Blacks team, this year's World Cup will feature a total of 12 stadiums, 20 nations and 48 matches.
With so many sports bars in Hong Kong jostling to service the needs of our burgeoning rugby community, we’ve selected seven of the best to check out for your 15-man fix.
1. The Canny Man
Hong Kong’s only bar that bills itself as authentically Scottish, The Canny Man is also the only bar in Wanchai (and probably Hong Kong) that never shows English Premier League football. That’s not because they’re against sport, it’s just that The Canny Man has time for just one game: rugby.
The owner is Director of Rugby for Kowloon Rugby Football Club and captains a team in the local leagues. Canny Man has hosted rugby legends Tana Umaga, David Campese and Sean Fitzpatrick, and it’s the regular haunt for anyone who’s anyone in Hong Kong’s Rugby Football Union.
They’ll be showing each and every game of the World Cup, and they’ll be recording them too, so you don’t have to worry about missing a single moment with that hangover.
And if that doesn’t tempt you, the 180 single malts, 28 artisan beers and regularly rotating selection of ales certainly should.
Why you should go: The place absolutely lives and breathes rugby.
B/1 Wharney Guang Dong Hotel, 57-73 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, +852 2861 1935
2. Delaney’s Wanchai
Where better to watch the Rugby World Cup 2011 than the city’s first Irish Pub?
Routinely packing in boisterous crowds for all the big tri- and six-nations matches, Delaney’s will be open for every single game, including the less high profile ones that involve the likes of Georgia or Namibia at some ridiculously early hour on a Sunday.
So the real rugby junkies can still get their fix of oval ball action along with a pint or two of the city’s first Draught Guinness.
Why you should go: For the match-day atmosphere.
G/F and 1/F, One Capital Place, 18 Luard Road, Wanchai, +852 2804 2880
3. Coast Bar & Bistro
Everything about Australian restaurant and bar Coast screams SoHo chic. From the clean lines and open spaces of their interior design to the health-conscious food -- sweet corn cakes with avocado for breakfast -- to the list of New and Old World wines.
If any Old China Hands are getting the shakes from the above, then the HK$250 all-you-can-drink Heineken, Prosecco and Bloody Marys served every Sunday with any breakfast purchased during the Rugby World Cup will help.
Coast will install a new projector especially for the games so you can watch the Wallabies in full life-size splendour.
Why you should go: For watching games in style.
1/F Kinwick Center, 32-36 Hollywood Road, Soho, Central, +852 2544 5888
A friendly, modern Irish pub in the heart of Central, Kila will be making a big deal about the Rugby World Cup, even installing a TV outside to go along with their three big screens, anticipating that a large number of punters will spill out onto the street.
It's HK$40 for bottled beers and HK$45 for all house spirits and pints of Asahi during happy hour at Kila -- which is from opening time (2:30 p.m. weekdays, 12:30 p.m. weekends) till 9 p.m. That’s a lot of drinking and a lot of rugby to handle in one day.
It’s also frequented by members of Hong Kong Football Club’s Rugby Team, if you need that authentic rugby stamp of approval.
Why you should go: Happy hour + rugby = a contented sports fan.
Upper Basement, 79 Wyndham St., Central, +852 2522 8118
5. Grand Central
While you wouldn’t immediately associate an American-themed bar with rugby, Team USA supporters will be heading to Grand Central to fly the flag for their boys playing in New Zealand.
And like sister pub McSorley’s listed below, Grand Central will be rewarding any supporters that come wearing the playing team’s shirt with a buy-one-get-one-free-beer on the first round.
Grand Central has four size 42-inch TV screens and two projectors, each displaying rugby goodness. So there’s less chance you’ll have that annoyingly large man blocking your view.
Why you should go: So you don’t miss one second of the action.
3/F and roof of Civic Square, Elements, Kowloon, +852 2736 4888
6. McSorley’s Ale House
This multi-screened venue is one of the best sports bars in Lantau. As well as the standard Brit/Irish-Pub decor and solid pub atmosphere, the locale is ideal for half-time munchies. It’s sandwiched by both an Indian restaurant (The Curry House) and a Chippy (McSorley’s Fish and Chips).
McSorley's is also rewarding anyone wearing a jersey from the playing team with an extra beer. Keep an eye out for matches on "Black Wednesday" when the stout goes at happy hour prices all day.
Why you should go: To enjoy some of the best rugby action that Lantau has to offer.
G/F, Block B, DB Plaza, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island, +852 2987 8280
One of the best bets in the New Territories for Rugby World Cup action, Steamers will be serving anyone in Sai Kung with a feast of live broadcast rugby. That’s to go along with their usual winning combo of Full English Breakfast, freshly made curries and pies and thin crust oven-fresh pizzas served until 10 p.m. each day.
Three flat-screens plus a brand new 60-inch LED recently installed for the tournament means a crystal clear view of the action, in addition to giveaways planned during the quarter-finals, semis and final.
And if you're with people who don’t love rugby as much as you, they can escape the mania with a pleasant beer in the garden outside.
Why you should go: For the perfect match and meal pairing. And because the New Territories loves rugby too.
G/F, 66 Yi Chun St., Sai Kung, New Territories, +852 2792 6991