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Changes at Pub Divide Soccer Fans

NevSmith 1Grace Maalouf Manchester United fans Leigh Mazzagetti and Marc McDermott watch a game at Nevada Smiths. The fallout from the departures of three longtime staffers caused several major soccer-team supporters’ clubs to leave the pub, which is something of an institution for local soccer fans.
Mercat 2Grace Maalouf FC Barcelona fans watch their team play at Village restaurant Mercat. The Barcelona fan club moved their headquarters to the Catalan dinner spot after several staffers left Nevada Smiths.

For a bar whose motto is “Where football is religion,” Nevada Smiths could be said to have suffered something of a Great Schism last year. As some sports fans (and East Village residents) may already be aware, two longtime staff members were fired in the spring and a third left in September.

In addition, Thomas McCarthy, a co-owner of the bar, sold his shares to his partner and uncle and left the business. Although none of the people who parted as a result of the disputes would offer details, the fallout was serious enough to cause several major soccer-team supporters’ clubs to leave Nevada’s.

Patrick McCarthy, now the sole proprietor of the bar, said the flight of some fans hurt but added that business now is good — and he’s looking to make changes at the Third Avenue mainstay.

A colorful renovation may be in store for the trademark black awning, more rugby will be included in the viewing schedules and new food and drink offerings are in the works. Mr. McCarthy said he plans to innovate by adding coffee and shepherd’s pie to the beer-heavy menu.

As for evergreen rumors about the bar changing locations, Mr. McCarthy said he knows “for a fact” that won’t happen.

“There will always be a Nevada Smiths as long as I’m in New York City,” he said, adding that he’s even hoping to open one on the West Side. After experiencing controversy over the recent firings (it was, he said, like being “kicked in the head”) Mr. McCarthy said he is finished with drama.

“I’ve moved on,” he said.
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