The White Horse Pub recorded its best-ever crowd of 200 the first night it was open for business last July.
But the owner of the popular British-themed pub that used to be called The Coach and Horses at 6240 N. Lockwood Ridge Road thinks that figure could be in jeopardy Friday with the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic games on the telly.
"I really haven't got a clue how many we will get," owner Fay Lawrence said Sunday. "But I think a lot of people will want to feel they are back in London so they will spend the evening with us. We have ordered a lot of food."
As London gets set to host what many call the world's greatest sporting event, back across the pond in Bradenton and Sarasota, British-themed venues are expecting an
increase in business.
Champions Pub, an es-tablishment for Englishsoccer fanatics as well as dart throwers at 3676 Webber Street, Sarasota, could also have a spike in attendance, especially with soccer now part of the Olympic Games, said owner Tony Middlemiss.
"Oh yes, when Great Britain played a friendly with Brazil we had a lot of interest here in the pub, and we had to stream that match on our computers," Middlemiss said.
"We don't really know the broadcast schedule of the matches, but I think many Great Britain fans will come in those times."
Champions Pub is packed when English soccer is on TV as well as for nights when dart leagues are in action.
On Sunday, Colin Montford and his brother, Neil, both from Great Britain, were celebrating the recent purchase of a home in Sarasota with some cold ones at The White Horse Pub.
They talked about the British stars of the 1980Olympic Games in Moscow, including middle distance runner Steve Ovett, 1500 runner Sebastian Coe and decathlete Daley Thompson, all of whom won gold in those games.
"I have a load of family over there and I know they are all excited," ColinMontford said. "My niece, Lorraine Simpson, is a member of London's Metropolitan Police. They are all gearing up."
Lawrence remodeled The White Horse Pub from top to bottom with a goal in mind to make it a real English pub, the kind she remembers as a child growing up in South Devon, 200 miles south of London.
"We brought it back to bare wood and got strawberries, goat's cheese, smoked meats and even traditional British Sunday roast on the menu," Lawrence said.
And, of course, her fish and chips are made fresh with beer in the batter.
"When people stop inthey can eat exactly whatthey are eating there inLondon at the opening Fri-day," Lawrence said, re-ferring to Danny Boyle's "Isles of Wonder" Olympic Opening Ceremony, which will be broadcast to an audience estimated to be about 1 billion.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to be broadcast in Bradenton and Sarasota at 7:30 p.m. Friday on NBC-TV.