Fat Ronaldo‘s latest incarnation, within King’s Cross superclub Egg London, is a labyrinth of possibilities for every type of football fan. The kind who, for example, likes watching the game out on a sunny terrace with an icy beverage in hand; the type who favours a cool, dark room for minimal screen glare; the tribal sort whose only content with a bevy of mates and their own dedicated area; the snacker, who can’t enjoy a match without knowing there’s a hot pizza just an arm’s length away; or the bar propper-upper who won’t let a well-stocked bar go to waste.
Set over three floors, Fat Ronaldo’s World Cup Pop-up is a sports bar cranked up to 11 and the best place to watch this year’s action. Club-standard surround sound ensures a goose bump-raising immersive experience and a vast choice of seated and standing areas means you can decide just how lazy you want to be. There are seven screens – six indoor and one outdoor – and thought has gone into the positioning of each: whether you’re queuing at the bar or walking through the terrace, there’s a screen close by to keep your viewing uninterrupted.
Owner and founder James York-Pryce is friendly, unerringly energetic and clearly driven. A guru of social events, bars and branding, he comes to his current project from an impressive ladder of brand ambassador and management roles. We also meet director Connor, who is welcoming and very much enjoying England’s performance against Panama on the day of our visit. Dring 2014’s World Cup (when Fat Ronaldo’s was located at Old Street), not one person got kicked out, James tells us. There was no drunkenness, no bad behaviour, just a great atmosphere and a safe environment. This year, if England make the semis, he’s going to open the fourth and fifth floors of the club, increasing the capacity from 650 to 1200 people.
Downstairs, the pizza chef is whipping up homemade Napoli pizzas (“the best kind”, James explains). We go for a vegetarian pizza with courgette, artichoke and mushroom and it arrives piping hot in takeaway boxes while we watch the England-Panama match on the airy terrace. The dough is fresh and springy, the cheese topping generous. The bar offers Pimm’s, spirits, craft beers and session-ready, 4% draught beers. After each match, the club night kicks off, so punters can continue their celebrating (or commiserating) until 8am with Egg’s top DJs.
Fat Ronaldo’s was a pioneering phenomenon in 2014 during the Brazil World Cup. Now there are eight other football-themed pop-ups in London. James isn’t the type to rest on his laurels, though. “I want Fat Ronaldo’s to exist all over the world. We’ve already got leads in Brazil”. Back in 2014, it was the Brazilian Londoners who really made the place their home. “We have to see what country Fat Ronaldo’s becomes this year,” James muses, “we could theoretically have up to four countries watching the match here”. He’s definitely got the space.
So how much will a visit cost you? £10 will buy you entry plus a pint or a Pimm’s. £20 gets you your own area, a pint or Pimm’s and a homemade pizza. Can’t say fairer than that.
Considering the World Cup rolls round only once every four years, it’s only right to want to mark the occasion in style. Fat Ronaldo’s is the place to do just that. It’s where you want to be while you’re ogling the Harry Kane goal replays, bemoaning the VAR-checking hold-ups, admiring Gareth Southgate’s sartorial elegance and practising your victory dance.
Fat Ronaldo’s (at Egg London)
200 York Way
EatCookExplore was a guest of Fat Ronaldo’s.