Wharf gets ready for a bumper World Cup

By Rob Virtue on May 28, 2010 10:23 AM |

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Big screens, even bigger crowds, and an opera singer - the World Cup is coming.

Bar managers in and around Canary Wharf are getting ready for a bumper summer due to the action from South Africa with advanced bookings already reported to be strong.

James Brown, general manager of the Cat and Canary at Fishermans Walk, said: "The first three England games are pretty much all booked out. But really I look at the European Championship when England weren't in and we were still busy.

"Even Saturday night for the Champions League final when there was no English team playing we were packed.

"Everyone is just really excited about the tournaments and we're expecting a really good atmosphere."

James said extra supplies would be brought in and there would be a bar by the outside screen.

Disturbances in 2006 mean there will be no football on the big screen at Canada Square Park but there are plenty of other places to watch the action.

Over the bridge, the Marriott West India Quay is bringing in additional screens to its Manhattan Bar.

The Marriott's food and beverage service manager Lukas Campestrini said: "We're still a cocktail bar but we have big screens in for the World Cup. The new screens with a brilliant digital surround sound system. I'm really looking forward to it."

Bars along the West India Quay strip are also showing matches and there will be street entertainment including an interactive football game by the dock.

On the Isle of Dogs venues such as The George Pub and Pepper St Ontiod will be showing the action.

Upstairs at Pepper St Ontiod there will be a projector screen, where up to 200 fans can enjoy the match with a barbecue.

Manager Mark Tovell said: "I hope to fill the pub with punters and expect a good turnout of fans. We are going to create a carnival atmosphere celebrating the international theme - it won't just be about the England games.

"We will have live music from the different countries and will make it really fun.

"We even have a singer coming in to perform the national anthem before one of the England games. It will be a whole lot more than beer and football."

More up market settings are being promoted in the shape of Reebok's Bar and Restaurant which is offering £50 seats which includes refreshments, and Plateau, which is offering punters the chance to book out private dining rooms.

Over at the Excel there is a host of big events on during the World Cup, including the Business Travel Market and the Talent Expo.

It is expected to mean a bumper summer for bars in the area.

Fox has three venues around the Excel Centre including main bar just outside the Excel, which has five plasma screens as well as a projector screen.

Sam Daniell, general manager for Fox, has already brought in extra supplies. He said: "It does depend on what matches are on when the big shows are on at Excel but we are hopeful of a busy tournament.

"We've had some bookings already and we are expecting people to come on over from the exhibition centre as the game's kick off."

A big draw at The O2 will be the recently refurbished American Sports Bar and Grill.
The venue has 60 plasma TVs, together with two projector screens.

An offer for £35 per head will buy a finger food buffet , unlimited Stella and Becks beer, wine and soft drinks.

Bigger parties can head upstairs to The Loft, exclusive for private hire for 400 standing or 250 seated.

Pick up this week's Wharf to find the top places to watch the action