We are just a few days out from the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and while there’s no shortage of viewing opportunities, we’d be remiss not to highlight *the* Hoboken soccer bar — Mulligan’s. Mulligan’s, located at 159 1st Street, is an Irish pub that opened back in 2000 and has remained under the same owners, Paul + Cyndi Dawson, ever since. Paul, a Dublin native, played soccer all his early life, and brought his love for the game with him when he moved to the US. At the time of the bar’s opening, it was difficult to get the European feeds to stream soccer games, but Paul was committed to sharing the sport with the Hoboken community. Now, Mulligan’s has earned its reputation as Hoboken’s premiere soccer bar, boasting a space populated by numerous televisions, sports memorabilia, and dedicated sports fans brimming with energy. With a reputation as such, navigating World Cup month at Mulligan’s can be difficult, but luckily, we have the inside scoop. Read on for more about Mulligan’s Pub in Hoboken and how to prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup viewings.
Mulligan’s opened its doors on July 4th, 2000, under the ownership of Paul and Cyndi Dawson. Paul grew up in Dublin and spent most of his young life playing soccer in Dublin and London. He ventured across the pond to the US in 1990, and despite the geographic change, his love for soccer remained consistent.
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Paul’s goal for Mulligan’s was to, as he says, “show as much soccer as possible,” especially at a time when doing so was no easy feat. Despite difficulties in retrieving European television feeds, Paul found a way — and now, the bar possesses a total of 20 TVs throughout its three-room space (yes, we counted).
But beyond the impressive number of televisions, Mulligan’s has been able to forge a community of sports lovers. The interior is almost entirely covered with sports memorabilia donated by customers — from scarves lining the ceiling to framed jerseys filling the walls. Nearly every team in the world can be accounted for somewhere within Mulligan’s, and for the few that aren’t, fans are encouraged to stop by and contribute a souvenir.
What to Expect
Located at 159 First Street, Mulligan’s is deceptively larger than its yellow exterior might suggest. There are three separate rooms, two of which have full bars, and though the back room does not have a bar, it does usually have a pool table, which is pretty fair compensation.
There are plenty of tables and chairs for groups to gather around, including the outdoor patio on the side of the building. In the past few years, space heaters have been utilized to enjoy the patio in the colder months, though it’s unclear if those are a permanent addition.
In traditional Irish pub fashion, guests at Mulligan’s can expect a range of menu and beverage offerings including mozzarella sticks, nachos, burgers, and the likes. The most popular food item is, unsurprisingly, the Irish Breakfast, which is a loaded breakfast platter featuring fried eggs, Irish bacon + sausage, black + white pudding, baked beans, and toast. Of course, there’s no better way to wash down this hearty breakfast than with a good ole fashion Guinness, fresh out of the stand-alone tap on display at the main bar.
The vibe at Mulligan’s is largely informed by the crowd, which is subsequently informed by the sports schedule. On a low-key day, Mulligan’s is a cozy, dog- and kid-friendly hangout. At game time, however, Mulligan’s definitely picks up on the energy of its customers, and the atmosphere is lively with fanfare before, during, and after games.
Paul cites the customers as one of the reasons his bar is so special, noting how “all the characters that drink [at Mulligan’s] are unique in their own way.” The staff members are equally invested in the culture as their patrons, and together, they’ve created a community centered around a love of sports.
World Cup Details
Mulligan’s will begin live streaming World Cup games on Sunday, November 20th at 11AM — the Qatar vs. Ecuador match — and will continue playing them until November 27th. While right now, there are no special deals or drinks, Paul says that the “special atmosphere” within the bar is a deal in itself. You can find the full game schedule on Mulligan’s website.
Reservations will not be accepted, and Mulligan’s will operate on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re looking to snag a table with friends, make sure to arrive early and with your full group — if a member from your group arrives when the bar is at maximum capacity, the bar can’t guarantee entry, even if the rest of the group is inside. According to staff, it’s optimal to arrive at least a half hour before the game. That said, Paul believes there’s no better way to watch the games than”with friends who are knowledgeable, passionate, and love the game — and of course with a proper pint in Mulligans.”
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In addition to usual bar happenings, Mulligan’s has recruited local artist Danny Azaceta to paint a mural on the left side of the bar’s exterior. First started in June of this year, the mural depicts iconic, international soccer stars, including Lionel Messi, Christian Pulisic, Paul McGrath, and more. The mural was official unveiled on Friday, November 18th — the perfect kickoff (pun intended) to the World Cup games.