Wander into Sláinte Irish Pub & Restaurant on a Saturday morning during the height of the Premier League season and you’re stepping into a different universe. Yes, technically, you’re still in Fells Point. That’s Thames Street, not the actual Thames, outside the window. But given the gangs of blokes wearing Liverpool FC’s red or Chelsea FC’s blue, it’s as if you had crossed the Atlantic in your sleep.
“Where Soccer is Religion!” the proprietors proudly proclaim. And starting at 7 a.m. every day, they’ll fill your belly with corned beef and your glass with Jameson as you watch matches on one of the pub’s 18 screens.
Such a ritual would have been unimaginable to previous generations. But with the American audience for European club soccer growing by the year, the scene at Baltimore’s favorite fútbol bar is often raucous during important matches. The crowd was body to body during the most recent World Cup in 2014.
Soccer is on television year-round at Sláinte, but for the purest experience, wait for the start of the next Premier League season Aug. 12.