EL PASO, Texas - On gamedays, it's tough to miss Church Bar in downtown El Paso. Just look for the El Paso Locomotive FC flag draped outside.
And on the eve of Locomotive FC’s season opener, it means it’s time again to hoist the colors.
“We hoisted it this weekend," says bar manager Manuel Barquin. "We’ll have it hoisted tomorrow, for every single game. Go Locomotive, man!”
Downtown bars and restaurants are excited for the return of gameday, but also for the foot traffic of fans flocking to take it in.
“When things are happening downtown, obviously that’s to our benefit," says Danielle Gonzalez, manager of B-17 Oyster downtown.
B-17 Oyster Bar in downtown El Paso will see their biggest crowd in over a year Saturday, when they host the pregame party for the club’s support group the 8th Notch.
“Once the numbers get going, we do a lot of our chants inside the bar like we do at the game," says 8th Notch Vice President Topher Robles. "Then we gather up and get ready to march (to the stadium). It’s a lot of fun the pre-parties, and it’ll be good to be back to it."
And just like Locomotive are game planning on the field, the bars have game planned themselves.
“Ordering more, staffing more," adds Gonzalez.
"We’re also doing a shot called the 8th Notch that’s blue. It’s for all fans of the locomotive, so yeah of course we’ve got specials going on."
Kickoff for Saturday's season-opening match is set for 7:30 p.m. vs. New Mexico United at Southwest University Park.