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Huge Crowds World Cup Watching

by Prince Of Petworth June 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm 51 Comments


@ShamaiLama tweets us the photo above:

“Absurd line to get into (presumably) Buffalo Billiards for the match @PoPville”

@jjmessner notes:

“DC bars seem to be surprisingly unprepared for US-Ghana crowds: under staffed, laid out for lunch.”

For those who went to watch the game last night – where’d you watch and how was it?

  • kbloomingdale

    Penn Social closed their doors before kickoff. They had ONE bartender upstairs, and TWO downstairs. That’s it. Ran out of pint glasses and pitchers too.

    With that said, there was a great atmosphere at the bar. They could have done a better job preparing for the game though, as they were advertising it in the lead-up.

    • We went into Penn Social for lunch yesterday to watch the Germany v Portugal match. It was deserted. Someone asked the bartender what kind of crowd they expected and he said “No idea, it’s our first World Cup”. So, that might give you some insight into the planning. We left after 10 minutes since they weren’t serving food and went over to Redline which was significantly better all around.

      • chln

        The management at Penn Social is absolutely awful. I have had several bad experiences there, and it is a total shame considering the big space and convenience to several metro stations.

    • AnonUSA

      I was there for the entire match, showed up at 4:30 and there were only ab 15 people downstairs and not a lot of seating. I echo the same complaints from kbloomingdale but they eventually got their act together once the game was underway with more glasses etc and pulled out more seating/tables. The bar tenders that were blindsided kept the best attitude possible under those circumstances. No one should be complaining about lines, if you’re late you’re late, prepare yourself better. Penn Social provided an incredible atmosphere and I would definitely go back for another USA game.

  • Danny

    Went to Ironhorse. Got there just before 5 and it was completely empty. By 6, the bar was packed and people couldnt get in. Bar was completely understaffed, however. There were only 2 bartenders in the entire place. Made it impossible to get a drink.

  • Anonymous

    The folks at Meridian Pint did excellent work last night. Cheers to them!

  • nate

    Solly’s on U. Place filled up quickly then I think they closed it off. Good crowd though and specials, good service. Apparently the upstairs was rented out for a private function prior to the announcement of the schedule, so there was less space than usual.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know of a bar near Dupont that is NOT showing World Cup matches tonight? I need a place to gather about 10 people for conversation and networking and no soccer. I’m really worried that the place we picked will be crammed from 3:00 on, since it has TVs.

    • kbloomingdale


    • Anonymous

      USA isn’t playing again till this weekend, so the bars should be far less crowded tonight.

    • sproc

      May still be nutty for Mexico/Brazil.
      Maybe check out Bar Charley?

    • Anonymous

      Bar Dupont in the hotel. Perfect spot for that sort of thing.

  • Jack5

    AKA – People who don’t know that games are broadcast over the Internet for free, and that you can get a six pack at the beer store for the price of 2 in a DC bar.

    • Anonymous

      AKA people who were at work and didn’t have time to get home before kickoff.
      AKA people who enjoy watching a sporting event in the company of those with similar interests.
      AKA people who enjoy going out for a beer now and again.

    • kbloomingdale


    • Anon

      You must not know how fun it is to watch World Cup games in a bar with a crowd that’s into it.

      Drafting Table was full by six but the crowd was great and the bartenders did a good job.

      • Jack5

        I’m too old to cram into an overcrowded building with drunk shouting strangers… I’d rather throw a nice house party/cookout with a few close friends. Part of getting old I guess! *ouch, my hip!*

        • Emilie504

          Grandpa, might be time to move to an old folks home. May I suggest Bentely Village in Naples, FL. It’s beautiful, but might be a little to active for you. The 80+ bocci teams are pretty blood thirsty.

          • Anonymous

            I was going to recommend Del Boca Vista, Phase IV

          • Anonymous

            Del Boca Vista, NICE!!!!

          • Jack5

            Bah! You can’t put me in a nursing home!!! I’ve got rights!! :P

        • Timmy

          Jack5 – I’d counter with the fact that a 6PM game is during my daughter’s dinner/bath/bedtime, and I sure as heck don’t want to be distracted during a sporting event that’s so important to me. That’s my part of getting old!

      • Greg

        Very good crowd, good bartenders — but just no AC in that small space made it roughly 120 degrees. That was disappointing.

  • Anonymous

    So I take it a lot of people don’t have cable in their homes.

    • Anonymous

      See my response to Jack5. Not everyone wants to rush home to watch the game alone. People are social creatures if you haven’t noticed.

    • Anonymous

      It’s on Univision regular over the air cable. As well as ESPN3 if you have internet access at home.

    • anonymous

      Actually, a lot of people don’t have cable in their homes. I am not sure whether Hulu or other streaming services carry sportscenter.

  • Anonymous

    To the people knocking those who go to the bars to watch the games instead of staying at home: it’s really hard to create the energy at home with a couple people that you get watching with a crowd of people who are rooting for the same team. Cost of beer aside, it’s more fun to watch and cheer and boo with a group that shares your excitement!

  • domrep

    Wonder how long the lines would have been in the heat we’re suppose to get the next two days.

  • Went to Maddy’s on 13th and L. They only had 2 bartenders and the place was packed. Getting a beer was way too difficult so I left halfway through to watch it at home where the beer is easy to access.

  • dcreal

    Nomad (Hookah joint) on 12th and H has about 4 TV’s showing the games. Was there on Sunday was good place to chill and watch the games and enjoy happy hour specials.

  • foodieindc

    I had a great time cheering on USA with a huge crowd of people at High Velocity Sports Bar in the brand new Marriott Marquis. They have a gazillion TVs and TV walls. It will be my new favorite place to watch sports. The place was packed. After each USA goal, everyone, and I mean everyone was hugging and doing high-fives, and chanting USA! USA USA! The bar could have used a few more bartenders, but all in all, everyone was in a jovial mood, and patrons quickly realized that it was easiest to just order pitchers or yards of beer- 48 beers on tap! The only disappointment was the Nachos… Ick! Lukewarm Velveeta poured over nacho chips, topped with canned jalapenos and tasteless salsa and guacamole. I’ve had a burger there before which was great. That’s what I’ll be eating the next time I’m there.

  • Anonymous

    Fado was standing room only at 5, so headed over to RFD, which filled up around 5:30. It was crowded, and I think they were caught a bit unaware, but the staff was great and beers and food came out relatively quickly.

    • Anonymous

      We got in Fado and it was fucking awesome. Plenty of bartenders, fast at getting drinks, and still friendly. The staff was really into it which was a nice change from other bars it sounds like. Their cute female staff were all wearing USA shirts and facepaint. We sat near the service bar and watched the redhead make a ton of service drinks and serve customers at the same time. She had to answer dumb questions about the line, why they don’t serve pitchers, and the specials over and over. She was patient but had a sense of humor. “Well, I’m inside with you so I can’t really leave the bar to let your friend in, otherwise, how will people get drinks?” Very cute.

  • Go USA

    Sounds like a lot of bars were short on bartenders. Hopefully they can do a little better for the next couple games. Meridian Pint was a great place to watch, but getting a beer downstairs was a long wait and they eventually stopped letting people in.

  • marybindc

    Queen Vic on H St NE. Got there early, they had a huge crowd, and they were well prepared for it. Great energy there.

  • Anonymous

    Laughing Man (which is a USMNT supporters bar) was shockingly unprepared, line was around the corner and they didn’t let people in even though there was still plenty of room inside!

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I was very surprised at how poorly Laughing Man did with the game. They stopped letting people in a little after 5:15 and there was a line about 2 blocks long. They ran out of cans of beer around 5:30, and ran out of pitchers shortly after that. By the end, they were serving buckets with the beer poured into plastic cups.

  • Anonymous

    I was at Vinoteca for my usual Monday bocce league and it wasn’t too crowded there. That said, they only had one TV outside and only one inside. The outdoor bartender was a bit overwhelmed.


    Public Bar rooftop – g/f got there at 5:15 – no line. I arrived 5:45, line 30ppl deep. Had to show doorman a text message (multiple, really) from g/f confirming that there was a seat open for me. Doorman really wanted a specific table number. G/f came down 4 flights of stairs, and he let me in immediately. Got up there and was a TON of standing room and seating room open for maybe 12. They opened up the floodgates midway into 1st half, and it was shoulder-to-shoulder until we left at intermission…

    …to go to James Hobans where we were seated right away because the open table had no view of game. Not important–they had the audio on full blast, and we were there mainly to take in the crowds anyway.

    Only complaint: Hobans canceled happy hour draft beer specials. They did not appear short on bussers and backwait, but waitress couldn’t be bothered to ask if we wanted a 2nd round of beers.

  • Shake Shack was virtually empty (by Shake Shack standards) for last night’s game, and they were broadcasting it on the TV in the back. Plenty of room to watch there.

    If you find the lines are too long to watch the games, and you don’t have cable, Univision is broadcasting all of the games live in HD.

  • Anonymous

    Nellies at 9th and U Streets, NW. Packed to the gills, but severely understaffed. I was surprised they were not better prepared for the crowd. It was if they were staffed for a normal, slow Monday evening there. It was definitely a fun place to watch the game though. I’m not a huge soccer fan, but I’ve really gotten into the World Cup, and it was fun to watch it in a packed bar.

  • Anonymous

    This standing in line to get into a bar phenomenon doesn’t make much sense, when there are so many bars in this town.

  • maxy1969

    DC Reynolds on Georgia Ave, great staff packed to the gills but a great crowd.

  • JL

    Dacha was a lot of fun.

  • Anonymous

    DC Reynolds was great for the game last night. Everyone got their 2-for-1 drinks when they wanted them, and the crowd was awesome. Sunday’s USA-Portugal game at DC Reynolds will be awesome!

    • Eponymous

      Best soccer bar in D.C., IMO. Kickass bar in general, really.

  • Quincy St Neighbor

    Full turnout with viewing and seating available to all at The Coupe bar. Bartender competently handled the food and drink orders (usual weekday happy hour specials until 8pm). We got there about 20 minutes after the game started. Found two seats with good view of the game and by half time found seats directly in front of the TV at the bar.

  • anon

    I went to Buffalo Billiards (I believe the line in the picture was for Buff Bills). They did an alright job, reached capacity early (5:25-5:30PM) and then bouncers only let people in if there were people leaving. This is okay, except for the many people in line who had company arrive earlier to grab tables, bouncers were pretty accommodating in these cases. Sped up the line closer to kickoff, I waited 30 minutes but got in just in time. Buff Bills handled it all okay, what was pathetic was the crowd. All “USA” fans; but, I had multiple tables yell at me for “getting to close” – I mean come on, that bar has like 200 t.v.s and you are going to ask me to move? I even had one girl threaten to punch me in the balls for yelling at the Ghana goal. Again, we were all “USA” fans but there was a large part of the crowd that was only there to drink/socialize/look at their smart phones. I will try somewhere else for the US vs. Portugal game (i.e. not surrounded by socialite jerks in Dupont).

  • Anonymous

    Dascha was great! Full house, fun crowd, and great service!

  • XO

    After getting a quick early dinner at a nearby restaurant where we watched the first half on mute, we popped over to Haydee’s at halftime. It was exactly like the Univision Deportes commercial, going from the awkward, quiet gringo bar to the raucous fun of the Latino joint. Haydee’s was bustling, but not too crowded, and service was good. The crowd had great energy. I’ll definitely be going back for future matches!


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