Friday Question of the Day – Watching Football at Bars? (reader request)

Photo by PoPville flickr user Faucetini

“Dear PoPville,

I figured you had a great venue for discussing sports bars in the area and specific bars for various teams. It seems that with Blue Banana, Lou’s Etc opening in the area there might be some opportunity to make a bar a destination for fans.”

Back in Oct. ’09 a Seahawks fan wrote in to find out where all the Seahawks fans watch games in DC. Washingtonian has a good list of where various NFL fans watch games. So I guess with new bars opening and football season around the corner – the last fun Friday Question of the Day for August will be a two parter.

With new bars opening up – who do you think they will be affiliated with? Who do you think they should be affiliated with? Or does that just happen in an organic way?

And more generally, where do you watch your teams play – both college and NFL football?

As a newly converted Redskins fan (long story that I’ll address in a separate post) – Where is the best bar to watch Washington play?

109 Comment

  • Anyone know where I can watch SEC games? Preferably in the rosslyn/court house/clarendon/va_square/ballston corridor, but I’m open to DC or elsewhere in VA.

    • In the past I’ve seen tons of SEC fans at Bailey’s at the Ballston mall.

      I rarely go out to watch football, but I know this year USC (the real one in Los Angeles) is having their game watches at BlackFinn in DC and Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill between Courthouse and Clarendon.

    • Crystal City Sports Pub hosts a few SEC alumni groups.

    • Buffalo Billards in DuPont has a number of SEC-alum football watching events during the season. I know the LSU alums (who used to meet at Mr. Days) now meet at Arlington Rooftop B&G on gamedays. UGA watches at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, I think.

  • Lou’s City Bar has just taken on the UW’s – Washington and Wisconsin – as an official bar.

  • saf

    It’s still baseball season!

    • Thank God not for much longer though!

      • saf

        Then we enter into the dark, evil part of the year. Once baseball ends, all is darkness until spring training begins anew, reviving the world.

        • See, that’s pretty much how I think of the world once football and hockey seasons are over!

          (I like baseball well enough, go to a lot of games etc, but it’s just a placeholder for my preferred sports and baseball on tv is as good as ambien – or golf on tv.)

  • i’ve never watched the skins in a bar in dc for whatever reason. it’s always someone’s couch in dc/md. i have no idea which bars would be good. i’ll look forward to better, more helpful responses. orange ball billiards on 355 in rockville was the place for me visiting home back in the day, but they got their liquor license pulled and were shut down back in ’08, i think.

    out of town football in bars in dc is (for me) a sad fact of life. PoP, glad you were won over.

    last note: even non-skins fans have to respect sean taylor and the fan outpouring after he was murdered (skip past the first 30 seconds would be my advice):

  • the Meridian Pint shows all the pro & college games in the downstairs bar

  • Eagles? Garbage. I was planning on making Blue Banana my main spot, but I can’t tolerate a bar full of Eagles fans. Unfortunately, the only Giants bar in town, that I know of, is in Foggy Bottom. There are a HUGE number of Giants fans who would love a Giants-centric viewing spot in this part of the city. Alas ….

  • Ravens bar that isn’t in Foggy Bottom?

    “That’s football.” -Ray Lewis

  • Steelers Bars are the Pour House and Mighty Pint

  • I get sunday ticket now but Hawk and Dove was always a Packers bar (always nice to go and hear all the old timers with the thick Wisconsin accents. Feels like home).

    Also you know you can get Sunday Ticket on your PS3 with out DirecTV now. The price is a little more without DTV but not much.

    • Duffy’s is also a great spot for Packers fans. The back room there is reserved for Packers games with audio, but in the front bar they usually have all the games going.

    • This is good to know. I’m looking for places to watch the Packers game, and just a little tempted to buy the Sunday Ticket cause I’m lazy. 🙂

      • I like Sunday ticket because is works out to like $20 a week. I would spend WAY more than $20 if I went out to a bar every weekend.

  • I’m a huge skins fan and native Washingtonian. Congrats that PoP’s a skins fan now!!!

    Remember, haters gonna hate, and we all hate Snyder

  • Bills at Grand Central. $3 Labatt’s and the heartache is always free.

    • Really? I thought Grand Central only did Sabres games?

      The “official” Bills Backer’s bar is Laughing Man Tavern near Metro Centre. That’s where the Bills club meets.

  • I think the J-E-T-S are at 51st State in Foggy Bottom.

  • Buffalo Billiards usually hosts the University of Michigan crowd. While the camaraderie is great, the service is absolutely terrible. If Michigan fans want to start up somewhere else, we should.

    • +1 . . . Any suggestions as to where?

      • Yes please. Anywhere but Buffalo Billiards.

      • Not that I will ever really support ‘Blue’ but Tonic in Mt. Pleasant, the bar pictured for this post, is a Michigan bar.

        Given the upheaval at The Ohio State University the banner has come down, for the first time in years, and now a Michigan flag is up over the bar.

        Like I said, I would never cheer for ‘Blue’ but I figure I would be a good neighbor and let you know about it.

    • the quality of football is also terrible

    • TOLEDO LOUNGE. Do it.

      Actually, what happened to Top of the Hill at Pour House on Capital Hill? I thought that used to be the go-to U of M bar in the District.

      No matter where, Saturday afternoons tend to see bad service at any bar.

      • Pour House used to be Michigan, but they’re now Florida.

        As far as Hill bars, Cap Lounge hasn’t been mentioned, but they’re MSU on Saturdays and Patriots and Lions on Sundays.

  • Eagles at the Blue Banana? Word.


  • The Bottom Line near Farragut shows Bengals games every Sunday for all those Cinci loyalists out there. It’s a great time, and they serve Cinci-style chili and give out free shots when the Bengals score.

    • As a Bengals fan, I’m relieved not to be going into this season with any sense of hopes, whatsoever. I love the Bottom Line, though, and will be there regardless.

      Are there any other Cincinnati folks out there who want to get together for UC games on Saturdays? At least they aren’t a foregone conclusion, so it’ll be fun to watch.

    • Free shots when the Bungles score? I guess the Bottom Line picked the right team to offer the shots. On the surface it sounds like it is a nice gesture but in reality, will they be giving away that many shots this year? Hey-oh!

  • browns have moved to RFD in chinatown.

    no one cares about the bills neal

    • DC Browns Backers are pretty good, trivia contest at half time, lots of people, t-shirts for sale. It was fun at Lucky Bar, hopefully also at RFD.

  • Union Pub will be the Indiana Univ. bar – bball and football – (for the third year running) and will most likely host a lot of Colts games too.

  • are there any bars that don’t show sports?

  • Here’s two team-specific bars based on my Sunday travels last year:

    Dolphins fans go to BlackFinn on I Street downtown.

    Bears fans to Union Pub on Capitol Hill.

    As far as good general-watching spots, the Argonaut is okay (especially upstairs). Star and Shamrock hosts Giants fans (tho their TVs aren’t ideally placed if you’re trying to keep tabs on a bunch of games). I like the sheer volume of nicely situated TVs at the Ugly Mug.

  • Anyone know where to watch UGA games? How about SEC games IN DC?

    • Clueless on UGA games, but LSU games are at the 18th Amendment near Eastern Market. I think there is a Nebraska bar and a couple others on Penn Ave SE too.

    • Georgia fans go to Penn Quarter and Crystal City Sports Pub

      • I know from my time near the convention center that Old Dominion is THE place to be for Alabama. I think they are also a Florida State bar when it doesn’t conflict with the Tide.

  • The September issue of On Tap Magazine always has a pretty comprehensive football bar guide in it.

  • Old Dominion Brewhouse in DC shows U of Alabama games(maybe more SEC teams)…RTR!

  • Public is the Iowa bar, so that is where I go.

  • Rhodeside (halfway between Rosslyn and Courthouse) is a great spot for Texas games.

    For SEC fans, I’ve watched them at Crystal City Sports Pub & Ventor’s Sports Cafe.

  • Three Brothers in Greenbelt for Redskins games.

  • Carolina Panther bars anywhere?

  • Union Pub on the Hill also for Nebraska games. Big crowds, usually.

  • Anyone know about an LSU bar in the District?

  • I just went to the Washingtonian link… the only recommendation for a Ravens bar they have is in Frederick, MD… google maps tells me that is over an hour away driving. Even if I had a car I wouldn’t drive that far for a sports bar when the actual city of BALTIMORE is closer.

    Haha, but seriously where can I watch the Ravens??

    Also, I just ordered local cable (only local networks, no ESPN). Do you think they will play any Ravens games since they’re semi-local?

    • yeah, you can usually get the ravens on the dc affiliates, so long as it doesn’t conflict with the skins. of all the teams in the league, the ravens would probably have the weakest bar scene in dc b/c proximity (why not just up to bmore).

    • I have yet to find a decent place to reliably watch a Ravens game down here. A lot of places might have the game on, but there are no “Ravens bars” that I’m aware of. I usually end up watching the games at home in my super old, hole-y Jonathan Ogden jersey and Ravens flannel pj pants. Which, I’m actually totally okay with.

    • No good place to watch the Ravens in DC unfortunately. For away games I am going to check out this MeetUp group, which started this season.

    • There is usually a good Ravens crowd at Buffalo Billiards. Not that the bar is anything special, but it shows the game and has decent specials.

  • The Skins fans I know prefer to do their forehead slapping and profanity screaming in the privacy of their own homes. Which is kind of too bad for the rest of us.

    Trusty’s is an Arkansas bar, banner out front and all – apparently because a bunch of Razorback fans simply asked if they could watch there every week. I think that’s the way these things are arranged unless the management has an rooting interest.

    Thanks for the Browns’ tip — RFD sounds awesome.

  • Any other Falcons fans out there? Should I even ask if there is a specific bar?

    Either way, Dirty Birds are Super Bowl bound this year.

    Greatest show on turf part II?

  • Chiefs bar? anybody? It’s our year.

    • says Mackey’s in Arlington is an option closer in, but claims the biggest Chiefs bar is Grevey’s in Falls Church. Doesn’t list anything in the District or Maryland.

      • watching the Chiefs from distant far away suburbs is very kansas city. alas, i supposed i left for a reason. i propose making a chiefs bar in the district proper. i’ve had good results at chief ikes but it’s pretty damn gross in there on a sunday afternoon.

  • I go to Star & Shamrock to watch NCSU and other ACC games. They don’t seem to have any college groups watching there, so they’re always cool about putting on whatever you ask for.

  • It’s kind of amazing that one of the worst places to watch Redskins games is within the DC city limits. The only people who care about the games live in the suburbs – and those numbers are dwindling. I can’t even stomach full games myself nowadays – just keep it on RedZone.

    My favorite DC transplant bar experience is Lucky Bar with the Browns Backers.

    • most people in dc watch it at home w/ friends.

    • Not too sure about your claim there Kev, ppl in the city still love the Skins…they just prefer to do so at home. But I hear Grand Slam at the grand hyatt downtown is awesome for Skins fans

  • The brunch bartender at the Pug is a UT Vols fan and will be playing all of there games. Enough people show up regularly, and can probably get their games guaranteed at other times as well.

    • Pug will be showing Bills games this fall too. $5 Genny Cream together with a shot of Beam to make the pain manageable.

  • God I miss Adams Mill Bar & Grill and their $0.10 wings while they lasted. For the first few weeks, they actually had a complimentary hot dog bar too. So long, old friend.

    • On the subject of wings… my office is having a football season kickoff party and want to get some. They’re talking about Costco but are there any good places within the District? Capitol Hill area in particular?

      • Plenty of places with decent wings, but not necessarily to take out. My favorite takeout wings aren’t on the Hill (and believe me, I’ve looked – I’d rather stick in the neighborhood if I can!) but I really like Wing Supreme up in Takoma. Totally worth the drive from the Hill (and they do catering etc).

  • Hard Times in Clarendon is a Dolphins Bar.

  • Meridian Pint. They have 10 TV’s, up and down, and play every game. They have the NFL package and usually put a list up that tells people what games are on what TV. They are definitely a ‘Skins bar. When the Redskins play, the put it on at least one TV on each floor. They also have the audio on downstairs.

  • Oh no I’m afraid PoP may have married into a redskins clan! The things you do for love i suppose.


  • As a fan of America’s team, I usually just watch all the games from home. We’re only not on local DC tv 3 or 4 games each season. For those games i either go to buffalo billiards or mr days, or i’m back home in dallas watching.

  • Let’s go Eagles. Funny thing is, as a fan most of the time I stay in because I thought only Rino bar was an Eagles bar. I don’t like to get thrown up on, so I usually don’t go there.

  • Meridian Pint is good – definitely big Skins AND Steelers bar. No college affiliations yet, but the owner is a Seminole.

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