Watch Super Bowl 47 at a D.C. 49ers bar

January 30, 2013

Yesterday, we kicked off Super Bowl 47 coverage with a look at the Mason Inn, D.C.'s home-away-from-home for Baltimore Ravens fans. Today, we're featuring Town Tavern, the Adams Morgan bar that flies the red-and-gold flag for hundreds of San Francisco 49ers fans. (And don't forget: If you're looking for neutral options, we have those, too.)


San Francisco 49ers fans celebrating a win in the 2013 NFC Championship at Town Tavern. Not shown: MC Hammer. (Courtesy of Catie Bailard)

During the NFC Championship game, the line of 49ers fans waiting to get into Town Tavern spilled out the door and down 18th Street. And San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and rapper MC Hammer were in the crowd cheering on their team. It was a far cry from the previous three seasons, when 50 to 60 people at most would show up at the bar.

The Washington 49ers fan group was founded in 2009 at a Dupont Circle bar called Porter's, which quickly became a hangout for San Francisco Giants fans, too.

"I had just moved here," recalls San Francisco native Catie Bailard. "I walked [into a 49ers game watch gathering] wearing my Joe Montana jersey, and I was like, 'Oh, my god, I'm home.'"

But when Porter's closed a year later, the groups split. Giants fans began watching games at Town Tavern (thanks to a former Porter's bartender), and 49ers fans moved to Sign of the Whale (following another Porter's bartender). In 2010, the groups reunited at Town Tavern.

"When the Giants were in the playoffs, we'd watch Niners games at Town Tavern, and stick around and watch Giants games," says Andrew Grinberg, another San Francisco native who lived in Washington for four years before returning to the Bay area. "There are a lot of people from the Bay area in D.C., and it spread by word of mouth."

The growing interest in watching Colin Kaepernick and Co. is a small worry for Bailard, who organizes the weekly events. "We're very passionate," she says, "and the interest exceeds the capacity of Town Tavern." So get there early on Sunday, when specials include domestic beers for $3 a pint and $8 a pitcher and $5 baskets of wings.

Fritz Hahn has written about bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. A product of Prince George's County public schools, Fritz majored in journalism at the University of Maryland and lives in the District.
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