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FRANKFURT, Germany — It’s a half-hour before the German and Romanian national soccer teams take the pitch for a friendly match and Sam’s Sportsbar is airing an Indian-White Sox ballgame on a couple of its TVs.

Located in Sachsenhausen, a section of Frankfurt, Sam’s has become a popular hangout for sports enthusiasts since it opened in March 2006. With European soccer and American football seasons starting, manager Stephen Moschny expects Sam’s winning streak to continue.

“People are coming,” he says. “They are interested. They like the atmosphere.”

On this night, adding to the atmosphere are Kathrin Pongratz and Silvia Hecimovic, a pair of young blondes. Heads turn as they claim a table near the back of the bar. Pongratz looks puzzled when she notices baseball on TV, but the screen soon skips to soccer and the pregame show.

“It’s better than watching it at home,” Hecimovic says of the upcoming game.

But Sam’s is homey in its own way.

Unlike some sports bars in the States, this place has a worn-in feel. There is glass and brass and wood to be sure, but Sam’s doesn’t gleam or scream “newness” the way a lot of cookie-cutter establishments do back home.

Adorning the walls are sports paraphernalia and photos, including many Americans, such as Dan Marino, Magic Johnson and Lance Armstrong.

“A friend told me this is a good sports bar,” Günter Mosler says as he settles into a spot not far from Pongratz and Hecimovic.

Mosler may be 74, but he hasn’t lost his fondness for pretty women. He orders a large beer, shoots the blondes a glance and leans forward to whisper.

“The older you are, the younger the girls are that you look at,” he says, grinning.

Before Sam’s was Sam’s it was a Chinese restaurant. And prior to that, it was, believe it or not, a McDonald’s restaurant.

The burgers at Sam’s are tasty, especially with a cold beer, but they are not the reason why people walk through the door. Patrons come for sports, spirits and camaraderie, and on this night there is plenty as the soccer match gets under way.

Every Sunday this fall, Moschny plans to show American football. In Germany, he says, interest in the game is higher than most Americans might think.

“We want to be here a long time,” Moschny says. “We want to help build up Sachsenhausen again.”

See previous After Hours reviews here.

Sam’s Sportsbar

Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Prices: Moderate.

Specialties: Sports, TV, burgers and beers

English menu: Basic menu includes English translations.

Dress: Casual

Location: Sachsenhausen section of Frankfurt on Kleine Rittergasse 28-30, which intersects with Paradiesgasse.



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