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U.S. eateries kick up marketing during World Cup

Sign at Kells pub welcomes in World Cup fan

LaLoLa Tapas Bar lures in Spanish soccer fans with a Fifa sign and Spanish flag.

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The World Cup Quarterfinals start in just a few hours in South Africa. Brazil plays the Netherlands. And soccer fans in the U.S. continue to find places to tune in. To capitalize, pubs and eateries are kicking up their marketing. Reporter Rachel Dornhelm has more.


Gonzalo del Castillo: This is a very traditional Spanish dish, it's called tortilla de patata, or tortilla Espanola which means Spanish omlette . . .

Rachel Dornhelm: LaLoLa Tapas Bar Chef Gonzalo del Castillo says he's not usually over the stove midday. But he and his partners decided to open for lunchtime World Cup games. Like this one, where Spain is playing Portugal.

In the dining room of the small restaurant, about 15 soccer fans clutch sangria and beer, including Olivia Martin and Javier Hermida, who wear red and yellow Spanish soccer jerseys.

Olivia Martin: We saw a Spanish flag outside and we knew Spain was playing today so that's how we got here.

Chef/owner Gonzalo del Castillo says he doesn't expect he'll end up covering the overhead from his extended hours for the World Cup. But he thinks customer loyalty is being built up during these games.

del Castillo: You know it was a good marketing tool, and we're on the map for some people that didn't know us before.

Del Castillo's efforts have paid off with soccer fan Mike Salerno.

del Castillo: He's been in here he's been mingling around the crowd and making sure everyone is having a good time. Oh I will definitely definitely be back. Not a problem.

The situation is similar about five blocks away at the Irish pub Kells. They've been opening at 7 a.m. for the first game of the day. During this lunchtime game, there are few open seats. At one table, Swiss fan Luc Meier says bars showing the whole World Cup mean a lot to enthusiasts.

Luc Meier: The big point of watching soccer during the world cup is the social experience and then you tend to go to bars where it's lively and share with other people.

When I track down Kell's owner, he says the boost in food and drink sales may not be enough to cover the extra labor and some new flat screen TV's he got for the World Cup. Still, he says the marquis games are yet to come. And if everything goes the way it did four years ago, it could be a very good month for the bar.

I'm Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

LaLoLa Tapas Bar lures in Spanish soccer fans with a Fifa sign and Spanish flag.

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