Where to Watch the Game

Photo courtesy of
‘2010 BCS Championship 2010 BCS Championship Logo’
courtesy of ‘RMTip21’

Unless you live in a cave, or genuinely care about nothing sports related, you’re probably aware that the BCS Championship Game is this evening.  And, if you have even an inkling of football fanaticism, you’re probably planning on watching it. Year to year, the BCS Title is a clash of the titans, and one of the highlights of the football season.  This year pits the Texas Long Horns against the Alabama Crimson Tide.  I’ll leave analysis and predictions to others and focus on the most practical of matters: where to watch the game.  I’m going to assume that you’re already aware of the “my house” and the “my friend’s house” options, so here are a few suggestions in case you want to leave the living room.  If you’re not a real sports bar type, big game nights are excellent for branching out.  In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the places below:

The Vienna Inn, Vienna:
It’s hard to find a more quintessential, local watering whole than the Vienna Inn, and it’s about as good a dive as there is in the area.  There are, of course, a few flat screens hung on the walls, but the real story is the price.  I’ve come out of this place with a full belly and decent buzz only $20 lighter.  They’ve got a decent little selection of beers, and their chili dogs are delish.  Gourmet this place is not, but it evokes a classic, sports bar aesthetic, the kind of place you’d expect to see local football coaches gathering after practice.

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Aaron Webb’

The Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, Arlington:
Fresh beer and plenty of TVs are great on game nights, especially when you’re tired of the average, sports bar drink options. The Rock Bottom brews their own ales and attracts a healthy crowd of sports enthusiasts.  It’s sure to draw a crowd, tonight.

Mo Mo’s, U St.:
Mo Mo’s is a standard sports bar in a row home on U St. I like it because they actually turn the sound on during the games (as opposed to many bars, which mute their TVs).  It tends to attract a more serious crowd and the food is above average. It’s my go-to when I want to watching a game somewhere other than my living room.

Cleavland Park Bar and Grill, Cleavland Park:
This neighborhood bar brings in locals for the big games.  Says WLDC author Rebecca: “Burgers and wood-fired pizzas are tasty, TV screens are plentiful and they’ve got a solid on tap beer selection.” I’ve never been, but it sounds like a sports bar that’s stepped things up a notch.

Old Dominion Brew House, Mt. Vernon Sq.:
A reader tipped us off that Bama fans and alumni will be gathering at the Old Dominion Brew House to cheer on their team.  Supposedly the SEC Championship Game drew over 350 fans.  If you’re a member of the Tide, this is place to be.

Rhodeside Grill, Arlington:
Texas alumni will be gathering at the Rhodeside Grill to watch tonight’s game, so if you’re a longhorns fan, it’s definitely the place to be. Rhodeside has decent food, cheap beer and a plethora of TV’s.  Provided you wearing burnt orange, this is a great spot to watch from.

Photo courtesy of
‘security camera shot’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99’

Nellie’s Sports Bar, U St.:
A gay sports bar? It’s a mix you don’t find often, but one that is well executed  at Nellie’s. To be honest, I’ve never been but I hear great things. It’s certainly a step outside of the ordinary and is supposed to be a great place to catch the game. And don’t think that you have to be gay to go here.  It’s welcoming to everyone.

The Pourhouse, Capitol Hill:
The Pourhouse is a Hill Intern staple, as it’s right down PA ave from the Congressional office buildings.  This doesn’t make it lame, as it is, in reality, a wholly decent sports bar.  It’s moderately divey, with a fine bar and tap list.  It’s definitely more of an SEC type, establishment, though, so Texas fans may want to steer clear.

So, there’s a very basic primer based on my limited knowledge of sports bars in the DC area.  Marylanders, I’m afraid that aside from chains, I’m not aware of any great sports bars up your way.  And I’m certain that I have left out the best, most awesome (your favorite) sports bar in DC, so please, inform us of any glaring errors. Enjoy the game, and Roll Tide!

Kirk is a Maine-born, military brat who moved no fewer than 12 times during his childhood. He came to the DC area in 2004 for his undergrad and decided that it was the place for him. Since graduating, he’s nabbed a job with the Fed and spends most of his free time hunting for cheap thrills in the city. Find out why he loves DC.

3 thoughts on “Where to Watch the Game

  1. If you’re looking for a sports bar in Arlington, I would never recommend Rock Bottom. If you want to be able to watch the game, I’d say Bailey’s (Ballston Mall) or Hard Times Cafe (Clarendon). Bailey’s has a ton of TVs, but gets busy, so get there early. Hard Times upstairs is a great place to catch football, but again, it can get busy during big games. First Down, over across from the Ballston Metro, is more of a dive-type sports bar, but is actually much larger than it looks from the outside and does have a lot of big-screen TVs.

  2. I recommend Gordon Biersch in Penn Quarter. Lots of huge tvs, really good, affordable beer, and great food prices too. Best of all, one block from metro.