By Mariana Sales, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For those looking for a place to follow the NBA Finals on tonight, Friday (May 9th), when the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are going head to head in Game 4, Rio de Janeiro has great options of bars and restaurants with large TV screens, great food and drinks.
A popular spot for watching all international sports in Rio is the Blue Agave in Ipanema. Managed by American expatriate Alex Barwinski, the Mexican restaurant and bar is well located on Rua Vinicius de Morais and is frequented by both foreigners and Cariocas.
With three flat screen TVs, it has traditionally shown the NBA Finals since it opened its doors in 2009. “It has always been a great turn out with a lot of energy, especially last year when expats and Brazilian fans were together cheering and enjoying the excitement. I hope they come with the same energy this year,” shares Barwinski.
The bar is offering special promotions to make sure the party is festive. Barwinski explains, “This year we will be having our happy hour 2×1 specials going on from game time all night including beer promotions, 2×1 caipis, shots, margaritas, nachos, tacos, quesadillas, etc… come down to find out the rest.”
Also in Ipanema a few meters away from General Osório metro station there is Shenanigan’s Irish Pub, where a large projector screen will show the biggest games on any given day. Lord Jim’s Pub is often considered the oldest British pub in Rio and has seven large HD plasma screens that show plenty of NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB games, as they are transmitted in Brazil by the local sports networks.
Known for its live music, cold cervejas (beers) and friendly international atmosphere, The Lucky Screw American Irish Pub in Copacabana is also expected to fill up. “We always show the major sporting events. They are fun for everyone, regardless of which team they are cheering for – even if they don’t have a team,” states Canadian expatriate and partner Chuck Cassie.
Cassie adds, “Foreign sports events bring the expat community together in a way that local sporting events don’t seem to. With events like the NBA Finals people don’t just come to cheer for their team but also to experience a bit of the rivalry between themselves and the people cheering for the other team. This rivalry seems to be more friendly when everybody is a stranger in a strange land.”
The fourth game of the NBA finals (best of seven series) is tonight and with Golden State up by three already, the Cavaliers have a long way to go to get back into it. They have LeBron James though, and will be playing at home tonight, so anything is possible.