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Monica Halliday said she'd do it. Turn up at Proper Pub at 4.30 in the morning each time a serious Premier League soccer match happens. And that's a lot. But with the time difference with Europe, that's when live action fans actually want to haul out of bed and turn up.

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Monica with my curry fries

Proper Pub (795 J Street, East Village, in the park at Petco Park area, 619-255-7520, partnered with Wine Steals in the same building) turns on coffee and eats. But first hour's, uh, dry. "Sorry," says Monica, "no drinks till 6 a.m. That's the law."

'Course, by that time at least half (the ones supporting the losing side) will need one, badly.

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Pub looks out onto the park at the Park

"It was my idea," says Monica, an assistant manager. "My husband's English. A Shropshire lad. So I know there are a lot of fans who've just got to see these games live, in the company of other fans."

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The management said, "Fine, as long as she was willing to carry the program." Meaning, show up.

I showed up by accident a couple of afternoons back, jes' cutting through the park at the Park to a bus stop. I was kinda bowled over by the great ol' building they're in.

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Turns out it's going be 100 in two years. It was built for Simon Levi, San Diego's dry-goods king of the late 1800s.

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Grand entrance

Safeway used it for a long time, but now restoration architects have brought it back to life as its elegant self.

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Bricky interior

And for me, it couldn't have a better reincarnation than Proper, which really tries to be a "proper" kinda Victorian pub and not just a Hooters-style meat market living for game days. 'Course the deck they've put on top looks out over the park (what other pub does that?), with no cars anywhere, and you're so close to Petco you can smell the greasepaint and see most of the crowd and the giant screen.

I think I'd rather come on non-game days. That deck on top, sunset, park luminous green...or weekend brunches. I'd go for their Proper British Fry Up with two fried eggs, two bangers (sausages, right?), fried tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, fried bread...cholesterol city! But what a way to go. And ten bucks is not so bad.

But, yes, they're a gastro-pub, which means not that cheap unless you're choosy. I got away with curry and chips t'other day. Paid $5.50. And it's only $3 in happy hour (four till seven most days), along with other bargains.

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Curry was English style, meaning sweetish and not that hot.

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Curry chips, with glass of Adam's Ale

Which was fine. Went well with the fries, and what I liked was they didn't try to force grog down my gullet. Didn't even blink when I asked for Adam's Ale.

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