Finn McCool’s is both the epitome of a neighborhood bar and a haven for fans of foreign sports. At all hours of the day, you’ll find not only international broadcasts of soccer, rugby, and cricket, but also ardent fans decked out in their team colors, exchanging dueling songs with their opponents. It ofen starts early and continues throughout the day, as the crowds of fans enter and leave, almost in shifts like factory work, but oh so much better. From the British Premier League to the Bundesliga, from Liga MX to MLS, from British to Aussie Rugby, they show it all.

Bartenders serve a perfectly poured Guinness at Finn McCool’s

But Finn’s (as locals often call it) is so much more than a sports bar. It is a community bar, one that hosts programming that encourages neighbors to meet one another. Sure there’s trivia, but there’s also an occasional Field Day, with three-legged and wheelbarrow races, just like you played in middle school. The kickball league in New Orleans, now twenty teams strong, started at Finn’s. If you bring them your turkey the week of Thanksgiving, they will fry it for you. They even host potlucks for Saints games: Finn’s provides the meat, patrons bring the sides, and the resulting meal is free to anyone in the bar.

This belief that a bar is more than just a place to drink comes straight from its founders, Pauline and Stephen Patterson, who came to New Orleans from Ireland and tried to recreate the sensibility of an Irish pub. They succeeded. In 2015, the Irish Times named it one of the ten best Irish pubs outside of Ireland. We didn’t necessarily need that confirmation from the motherland, but it’s nice to have it all the same.


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