Maria Moreira sat at the bar of Lenny’s Clam Bar in Howard Beach and watched in silence as Spain continued to score — and score — on Italy to take the 2012 Euro Cup.
A soccer fan, she said that many Americans don’t enjoy the game as much.
During big tournaments, however, restaurant owners and Queens residents say everyone starts to become a fan.
Joe De Candia, who owns Lenny’s, said there had been consistent crowds around the bar area during Euro Cup games.
After Spain scored its second goal Sunday, July 1, the mood died down “like a balloon deflated,” he said.
Across the street, Saffron restaurant had two Spanish flags flying in front and a sign inviting customers to come watch the game. Inside, only one person sat at the bar.
Herbert Duarte, Saffron’s manager, said that there too there had been crowds.
The cultural celebration that is soccer spans throughout Queens.
As Italy defeated Germany on June 28, German fans at Zum Stammtisch in Glendale donned black or white jerseys with names like “Klose,” “Ballack,” or “Schweinsteiger” on the back.
Werner Lehrner, who co-owns the restaurant with his brother Hans, said fans had been coming regularly for games — especially when Germany was playing.
“We’ve been getting 80 to 100 people,” he said.
Zum Stammtisch’s back room was converted into a viewing area during games with a 10-foot projector screen. As Germany slowly began to fall apart in the semi-finals, that back room was filled with sighs and frustration.
Despite their win over Germany, Azzuri fans were let down by the 4-0 loss to Spain — which claimed its third consecutive major title.