World Cup 2014: Where to watch the United States vs. Belgium

The United States faces Belgium in the World Cup's Round of 16 on Tuesday at 4 p.m. If we had to bet, we think bars will be even busier than they were for last week's match against Germany – it's just so much easier to get out of work late in the afternoon than it is to take off for a noon kickoff. So where to watch?


The line to get into Biergarten Haus before the U.S.-Germany match stretched down H Street to the Atlas Performing Arts Center. (Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

While the organizers of Soccer in the Circle weren't able to raise enough funds to screen another match in Dupont Circle, there are two new outdoor options for this game. First, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced that the D.C. government will host a viewing party in Freedom Plaza. Since the temperature will be in the 90s on Tuesday, DC Water will hand out free water. Bring your own snacks; blankets and lawn chairs are permitted.

If you're going to the Nationals game, stop by the Fairgrounds. Owner Bo Blair tells me the outdoor party spot is bringing in a 180-square-foot screen for the game, along with eight food trucks. Bands will perform before and after the match: The big advantage for Fairgrounds? Unlike Soccer in the Circle or Freedom Plaza, it has beer.

Other outdoor viewing options, including big screens at National Harbor and the Mosaic District, are covered in our guide to watching the World Cup outside. (To watch the match on a huge screen without dealing with humidity, try Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, where all U.S. matches play on a high-definition movie screen.)

The Embassy of Belgium is even getting in on the act, organizing a family-friendly viewing party in the Kogod Courtyard, at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum. It's air conditioned, and a cafe in the courtyard serves beer, wine and snacks. The museum's open all day, so you can arrive as early as you want.

Bars and other venues are jumping on the World Cup bandwagon: ChurchKey is opening at 3 p.m. instead of the usual 4. The Sixth and I Historic Synagogue opens at 3:30 p.m., and will serve free food during the match. ("Non-Belgian" beer and wine will be for sale, and the first 50 people through the door get a free drink.)

Bethesda's Food, Wine & Co. will pour $1 Sam Adams drafts during the game, and sell its fried chicken for $5. Roofers Union, which had been hosting viewing parties on its rooftop deck, is laying out a spread of hotdogs and crepes in its first floor dining room during the first half of the match. In Old Town, the Columbia Firehouse offers an "all-American" menu of double cheeseburgers and half-smokes, and American craft beers.

On 14th Street, the barbecue-centric Pig and Belgian bar B Too have a friendly bet on the match. If Belgium wins, someone watching at B Too wins dinner at the Pig. A U.S. victory means someone at the Pig receives dinner at B Too. Either way, both restaurants have special food and drink menus for the day.

With all that said, our advice from the last match stands: Wherever you go, get there as early as possible and have a backup plan in case you're greeted with a long line in front of your favorite bar.

Laughing Man Tavern is the loudest, most raucous U.S. bar in town, thanks to the American Outlaws, but it hit capacity more than 90 minutes before the first two U.S. kickoffs and had a line down the block before doors opened last week. There's no harm in trying to get in tomorrow, especially if you can get there in the afternoon and camp out. If there's a line down the block – and there will be – head elsewhere. If you find a line outside your soccer bar of choice, here are a few ideas for nearby venues to try instead:

• Laughing Man Tavern: Elephant and Castle is the closest good soccer option; Penn Social is larger but could also fill up, as it did last week.

• Lucky Bar/Public Bar/Cafe Citron: Buffalo Billiards, Madhatter.

Biergarten Haus/The Pug/Queen Vic: Little Miss Whiskey's, H Street Country Club, Star and Shamrock.

Ireland's Four Courts/Summers: Velocity Five, Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill.

• Penn Social: Iron Horse Tap Room (opening at 2 p.m.), Redline.

• Capitol Lounge: Union Pub, Barrel.

And now, your updated U.S.A.-related viewing/happy hour guide:

If you've watched a U.S. national team match, you've seen the bandana-wearing American Outlaws, the loud-and-proud supporters group. The local chapter of the Outlaws takes over the basement of the Laughing Man Tavern for every game, including the World Cup. During matches, the bar will offer $3 PBR and $4 Heinekens.

Annapolis has its own branch of the American Outlaws, founded earlier this year. The group gathers at Union Jack's of Annapolis, where World Cup drink specials include $3 16-ounce Budweiser bottles and $4 Stella Artois.

At Capitol Hill's Capitol Lounge, you'll get $12 pitchers of beer during every game, plus a free Jack Daniels shot every time the United States scores. (The crowds drank the bar dry last time.)

The Pug on H Street NE will offer $1 hot dogs and $3 Budweiser tallboy cans during every U.S. game.

Public Bar and Penn Social both have $3 Bud Lights and huge screens.

Duffy's Irish Pub pairs $5 plates of wings with $3 Coors Light and PBR tallboys or $16 pitchers of Yuengling.

Bluejacket will have the game -- and the sound -- on the TVs for the lunch crowd.

Boundary Stone sells cans of the DC United/DC Brau collaboration The Tradition for $3 during matches.

DC Reynolds offers buy-one, get-one drinks and has installed two new 70-inch TVs on its patio.

The Brixton shows matches both indoors and on its rooftop deck. Game-time deals include $5 draft beers, rail drinks and Smirnoff and Absolut drinks, $6 glasses of wine and $5 appetizers.

Ireland's Four Courts has been mobbed for every U.S. game, and not just because of the $4 Heinekens and $5 Guinness.

Iron Horse Tap Room opens at 2 p.m. instead of the usual 4 p.m., with $2 off all beers and $5 rail drinks and wine during the match.

Dacha Beer Garden has $5 half-liter mugs of German beer and $10 glass boots.

The Black Squirrel will open at 3 p.m. for its weekly all-you-can-eat mussel night: Pay $16.49 get endless bowls of mussels in your choice of sauces, including chorizo with white wine and curry cream with bacon and garlic.

Wear a U.S. or Belgium jersey to El Rey and you'll get $18 buckets of Tecate during the match.

Union Jack's Bethesda has $3 Heineken drafts and 16-ounce Budweiser and Bud Light aluminum bottles.

Town Tavern offers $3 domestic bottles, $4 rail drinks and $6 burger combos.

Drafting Table's deals include $4 craft beer, food specials and (cross your fingers) a one-cent beer for everyone in the place if the U.S. wins.

In Columbia Heights, Lou's City Bar and the neighboring Acre 121 will show the game on their patios. Specials at Lou's include $5 Heineken drafts and $18 buckets of Mexican beers.

You'll fine even more happy hour deals here.

More on the World Cup: Where to find fans of your favorite team | The area's best soccer bars | World Cup happy hours | Where to watch matches outdoors | Tips for first-time fans | World Cup TV Schedule | All Washington Post World Cup coverage

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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