The U.S.-England viewing party two weeks ago at Claddagh Irish Pub in the Brewery District was a smashing success, but it also might have smashed the bar's future as a destination for soccer supporters groups.

The U.S.-England viewing party two weeks ago at Claddagh Irish Pub in the Brewery District was a smashing success, but it also might have smashed the bar's future as a destination for soccer supporters groups.

Manager Craig McConville expected about 700 fans for the June 12 World Cup event. More than 2,000 showed up, resulting in beer lines that stretched more than a block down the street.

Claddagh spokesman Ciaran Dillon said the company was pleased with the large turnout. But according to an eyewitness account, after the party a corporate representative berated McConville for poor preparation in front of managers from other Claddagh locations. McConville quit on the spot; five other employees walked out with him.

The upheaval has Claddagh's hardcore soccer clientele planning a mass exodus to nearby Jimmy V's, according to John Clem, president of Crew Union and a Columbus representative of U.S. Soccer fan group Sam's Army.

Since taking over Claddagh's Front Street location two years ago, McConville built the pub into a soccer destination, attracting the Crew zealots and English Premier League fans that had previously populated Tommy Keegan's. Claddagh was decked out in soccer paraphernalia and regularly opened early to screen overseas competition.

Now most of the scarves and flags have been reclaimed. Out of loyalty to McConville and his staff, Clem and his cohorts were considering where to relocate when Jimmy V's came knocking.

"They reached out to us," Clem said. "We had a meeting earlier this week, and we had a pretty good consensus this is a pretty good fit."

Clem likes Jimmy V's for its local ownership, free street parking and proximity to the Claddagh and Keegan's sites. The local Sam's Army contingent watched the subsequent two U.S. World Cup matches at Jimmy V's, and Clem expects Crew Union to convene there for the next away game July 10.

"I'm fairly certain that we'll be here for the rest of the season," Clem said.

Claddagh drew about 300 people for Friday morning's U.S.-Slovenia match, and Dillon said they will continue to pursue a soccer audience. The bar is under contract to host the Crew's official away-game viewing parties for the rest of the season.

McConville declined to comment on the incident, but said he plans to move his family back to his native Pittsburgh.