While Finn McCool's has a solid Saints game day ambience, the pub is best known for the other kind of football, soccer. Co-owner Stephen Patterson promotes McCool's as the top soccer-watching destination in New Orleans and subscribes to networks many New Orleanians may never have heard of (Setanta Sports, anyone?) so fans can get all the best international soccer matches.
But watching soccer is only half the story. McCool's is also home to not one, but two winning southeast Louisiana adult soccer teams, and their trophies are displayed throughout the bar. The teams served as the inspiration for Stephen Rea's book Finn McCool's Fooball Club: The Birth, Death and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead (Pelican Publishing), which chronicles the bar's reopening after Hurricane Katrina.
Local soccer fans gather at McCool's to watch games on the drop-down projection screen used for important matches. The bar fills up at midday and even earlier for matches broadcast from Europe and around the globe. With the World Cup in South Africa just seven months away, McCool's is sure to be busy. Anyone planning on watching big matches might want to think about saving a seat now. — Alejandro de los Rios