Linz pub rebrands for Liverpool game

Kenny Dalglish celebrated by Irish owner of top hostelry

The main football hangout in Linz celebrates a the Liverpool legend as fans gather in Austria

The top football pub in Linz, Upper Austria, has completely transformed itself for the visit of Liverpool and their fans, in town for this week’s game in the Europa League.

With European football back this week, many pubs across the Continent in Milan, Rotterdam, Munich, Warsaw and Frankfurt are expecting a bumper trade around match night – but none have actually gone the whole nine yards and changed names completely.

Kieran Bates, long-term landlord of the bar on Domgasse, has decided to remove its regular sign of Chelsea and rename itself King Kenny’s Pub after the Liverpool legend – for the next 48 hours at least. Opening hours have been extended and Kieran’s team will begin serving pints from 10am on match day, Thursday September 21.

The genial Irish bar owner had similarly ambitious plans for the visit of Manchester United in the spring of 2020, only for the game with LASK to be played behind closed doors due to pandemic restrictions.

Landlord Kieran Bates outside the rebranded King Kenny's Pub

The resurgent Linz side, now based at the newly built Raiffeisen Arena, have also met Tottenham and St Johnstone in recent seasons. In business since the early 2000s, overseen by Kieran for a decade or more, the Chelsea Pub is the main football hangout in town, with big screens in the bar areas at either end of the hostelry, and one over the bar counter.

An outside terrace caters to smokers, while beers include Hofstetten Granit, from a local brewery dating back to 1229. On non-Liverpool weeks, the Chelsea also puts on English-language stand-up nights – look out for Phoenix comedienne Samantha Lackner on October 18.

The Chelsea, aka King Kenny’s Pub, is just off the main square in the heart of town. For more bar tips nearby, see our freshly updated guide to Linz!