Cory Gardner first got turned on to football — or soccer, as it’s known mainly in just the U.S. — nearly a decade ago. His friend, longtime Orono resident and London native Chez Cherry, got him into supporting the English Premier League team Liverpool.
As the years went by, Gardner and Cherry began to create more Orono football fans, amassing a core group of about 20 people who would watch matches from the Premier League, Major League Soccer and other international leagues at bars and restaurants around Orono.
“There’s just something really infectious and really welcoming about pub culture, and the kind of camaraderie around football,” Gardner said. “You get one person into it, and then they get someone into it.”
Last year, Gardner, who has worked as a bartender on and off for decades, decided to take the leap not only into small business ownership, but also into putting his Orono football supporters club to the test. He purchased the former Bear Brew Pub in the spring and, just in time for the 2018 World Cup, opened the Common Loon Public House in the same spot — a local bar and restaurant with a special emphasis on football/soccer and other international sports.
One of the pub’s biggest days thus far is set for Sunday, when the U.S. Women’s soccer team competes against the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup final. The finalists will face off at 5 p.m. in Paris — 11 a.m. in Maine, an hour that’s not even that early for the Guinness to start flowing at the Common Loon.
Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.
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