"M?s Que brings food, drinks and the beautiful game"
Buffalo bar provides authentic pub experience for soccer fans
The closest professional soccer team to Buffalo isn’t even American.
It’s Toronto FC and it’s around two hours away.
As a soccer fan, I felt a bit out of place in this hockey and football spirited town and my thirst for soccer led me to Més Que, the only soccer bar I could find in Buffalo.
I was worried my own desperation for a soccer experience, outside of watching it alone in my dorm, would lead me to some sketchy bar. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I arrived at Més Que, located at 1420 Hertel Avenue, just before the Liverpool/West Ham game started last Saturday. The two teams play in the Barclay’s Premier League, the top English soccer league. The bar flew the flags of West Ham United and Chelsea, two London-based soccer teams, outside its doors.
Chelsea made sense to me, as they’re a popular team worldwide. But, with all due respect to West Ham, they’re not a popular team in the United States.
This was encouraging. They don’t only cater to the big teams, but they pay attention to all Premier League teams. Inside, sure enough, there were three West Ham fans sitting at the bar.
I went inside to the sound of cheers from around 15 people. No, they weren’t cheering for me, Manchester United had just scored.
Més Que has three large wall-mounted televisions on one wall, one smaller TV in the corner and another small one mounted on the opposite wall. Each television showed an English soccer game and a different group of fans intently watched each screen.
As I worked my way into the Liverpool group, I smelled an amazing scent coming from the front of the room. The bar at Més Que doubles as its kitchen. Dishes are prepared behind the bar and the lovely scents of soup, pizza and pasta fills the air.
The pizzas seemed to be the crowd favorite. I ordered a barbeque chicken, spinach, red onion and cheddar jack pizza and it was probably the best pizza I’ve had in Buffalo.
If you’re thirsty, then you can wait until your team scores. Usually one fan will buy everyone a drink in celebration.
Everyone in the room is enthralled with the game. Fans are singing chants and cheering on their favorite players for the full 90 minutes of the match.
When Daniel Sturridge, a Liverpool star who was injured for five months, was substituted on to the field, the pub erupted into applause. And when he scored a few minutes later, the pub exploded with joy.
Més Que is going for this type of pub atmosphere. Tables are moved out of the way for games, allowing more and more fans to find standing room inside. Team scarves and banners line the walls.
The bar caters to niche groups, too. I was surprised when I saw a worker taking the flag of Borussia Dortmund, a German soccer team, out of a closet to be displayed.
The German league, known as the Bundesliga, is only showed on beIN sports, an obscure sports channel which many people don’t have access to.
But at Més Que, they show at least one Bundesliga game every Saturday and Sunday. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona games are shown as well. Even the Scottish Cup attracts a good crowd. There is something for every international soccer fan, which is good for someone like me. I can’t get enough soccer.
When there isn’t a game going on, the pub becomes a quaint, relaxed European-style restaurant. The food is good enough to go without the game atmosphere and the friendly staff makes it an enjoyable experience.
Més Que is a soccer fan’s paradise.
The name comes from the Catalan dialect of Barcelona, Spain and means “more than.” Indeed, this is “more than” a sports bar for soccer fans like myself. This is a place where I can experience my favorite sport to the fullest.
For those 90 minutes, the people around me are “more than” fellow soccer fans.
We are the crowd, cheering and singing our team to victory.