World Cup

German World Cup fans soak up the beer and brats at Fritz & Franz

 
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More than a thousand Germany fans erupted into cheers Sunday evening at Fritz & Franz Bierhaus, sending a message to the rest of Coral Gables — and to local Argentinian favorite Graziano’s around the corner.

When the final World Cup championship match was decided, the crowd chanted “Deutschland! Deutschland!” and sang We Are the Champions. Their team had won soccer’s most important game 1-0 against Argentina.

Fans began lining up by 10 a.m. at the popular German restaurant at 60 Merrick Way, and by 2 p.m, an hour before the game started, those still waiting were told they might not get in. The party spilled far out of the bierhaus and onto Merrick Way, which police closed to traffic.

At 2:57 p.m., a cloud of confetti blasted into the crowd, which was waiting (and drinking) anxiously for the start of the game.

Germany fan Diana Sarda said she enjoys the atmosphere at Fritz & Franz, especially the German pride.

“I think the whole city of Coral Gables will know how I feel when Germany wins,” she said. “The first [nearly] two hours of the game when they didn’t score . . I thought, ‘Finally.’ 

Fans brought their lawn chairs, flags and enthusiasm to the bierhaus, and soaked in the brats, the beers and the fervor of their fellow fans, many of whom sported German’s colors of red, yellow and black.

Some wore flags around their shorts, others painted Germany’s flag on their faces and some wore red, yellow and black flower crowns on their heads.

German fans blasted vuvuzelas; one fan even brought a drum.

There was no shortage of food and beer. Tents selling pretzels, wings and grilled sausage sandwiches surrounded the restaurant, as well as Warsteiner trucks selling beer. There were shots, gallons of beer and stacks of warm, salted pretzels. There were even a few Argentina fans.

“We don’t care where you’re from. We just care that you’re beautiful people with a beautiful attitude,” said Gloria Sanchez, who admitted she was “secretly rooting for Argentina” at the German bierhaus.

Daniela Garcia, who works for the German airline Lufthansa — and was rooting for Germany — said the atmosphere Sunday at Fritz & Franz was considerably more intense than it had been for the games leading up to Sunday’s championship match.

“I don’t think it’s been this crazy,” she said. “The beer, the food, seeing everyone in their getup. [That’s why] we come here.”

Many fans went all out with their costumes. Ralf Kamp, visiting from Dusseldorf, Germany, wore a German-flag hat with small, dangling soccer balls. Kamp was with friends, also dressed up with flags wrapped around their heads and German soccer jerseys. The group posed for photos with local Germany fans.

“All of the things we have in Germany, we have here,” Kamp said. “All of the party people are here.”

Kamp’s friend Holger Delbovessine said they came to Fritz & Franz because of the party and to see a German victory. The last time Germany won the World Cup final was in 1990. Its opponent then: Argentina. (Argentina’s last World Cup victory came in 1986. Its opponent: Germany.)

“After so many years, it would be great to win again,” Delbovessine said.

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