Hundreds of Argentinian fans started lining up outside Manolo’s in North Beach in the pre-dawn hours to watch Sunday’s World Cup final between Germany and Argentina.
Plates with sweet croissants, empanadas and rolls of ham and cheese were scattered on packed tables, with fans downing cold Coronas and Bud Lights.
By the time the game started, plates were all over the floor as fans jumped on the tables at the popular Argentinian restaurant in Miami Beach, in the neighborhood known as Little Buenos Aires, between Collins Avenue and 65th and 74th Streets.
Guillermo San Martin, 44, got to Manolo’s at 8 a.m. He and his two twin daughters, Penelope and Donatela, both 9, hadn't eaten since 11 a.m.
"We've only been able to get water," San Martin said.
The family got up at 6 a.m. to get to the restaurant by 8.
“I’m tired, but it’s OK,’’ said Donatela. “I want to see us win.’’
It wasn’t any better for the adults. With at least 400 people crowding the bar, it was nearly impossible for the blue-and-white clad servers to get through—with either food or drinks.
"I've been waiting an hour for another drink," said Marta Cuzquen, 59, lifting her Corona to one of the bartenders.
Meanwhile, jostling fans squeezed into a small space led to some tight situations. In her excitement, a lady spilled her Corona all over the floor, angering those whose feet got soaked with beer.
Chants of championship songs rumbled through the crowd, including the popular Brasil, decime como se siente, dating back to the last Argentinean World Cup victory in 1986. Argentinia’s opponent back then?