The Washington Post
Big screens for big basketball games photo
(Crystal City Sports Pub by Matt McClain)

Big screens for big basketball games

Fritz Hahn  |  Updated 03/21/2013

Big games call for big screens - and sporting events don't get much more exciting than March Madness. Games this weekend and next week lead up to the announcement of the 68-team NCAA tournament field on March 17, and if your team makes the cut, there's nothing better than seeing it bigger than life.

Why squint at a 42-inch flatscreen hanging over the bar when you can watch the game projected on an 11-foot screen in high definition? The bars below offer some of the best views in the area.


Penn Social

Washington, DC

Watching football at Penn Social is a dizzying experience. The cavernous basement bar boasts a 22-foot high-definition projection screen and seven 15-foot projection screens, in addition to comparatively puny flatscreen televisions. A different game on every big screen can lead to sensory overload. It should be much easier to focus during March Madness, when only four games are televised simultaneously. When you get tired of staring at the game, there are Skee-Ball machines, pool tables, shuffleboard tables and even pop-a-shot basketball, if you're inspired to play some hoops yourself. The bar will open early for the first tip-offs, and there will be food and drink specials during every game, including $3 Bud Light drafts and $12 pitchers.


Mister Days Sports Rock Cafe

Arlington, VA

Mister Days is the biggest sports bar on Wilson Boulevard, and its 60 TVs include 160-inch and 140-inch high-definition screens. The bar will open to show every game, and offer food and drink specials during the conference tournaments and March Madness.


Brickside Food and Drink

Bethesda, MD

This new Prohibition-themed Bethesda restaurant and lounge isn't a sports palace by most standards -- only four flatscreen TVs hang over the bar. But like Prohibition joints of yore, Brickside has a secret: A 12-foot high-definition projection screen unspools to cover the "Vote Against Prohibition" sign on the exposed brick wall. Brickside plans to add beer, wings and pizza deals during the NCAA tournament in addition to the usual happy hour, which runs from 4 to 8 p.m. daily and includes $4 drafts and house wine, $10 buckets of light beer and half-price appetizers. There is also a special every night of the week after 8 p.m., so you could have $5 Prohibition-era punch on Wednesday or a pitcher of Miller Lite and four shots for $12 on Thursday.


Lou's City Bar

Washington, DC

Lou's is a sports bar for people who like to drink cheap - think half-priced drafts all day Wednesday and $2 PBR cans from 4 to 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. to close on Friday. But it also has two dozen TVs around the bar and on the tented-and-heated patio. The largest is a 140-inch high-definition projection screen, which provides great views from almost anywhere in the room. In addition to the usual deals, there will be specials throughout the NCAA tournament, including five 16-ounce Coors cans for $18 during every game, $5 Irish beers and ciders March 11-17 and $18 Sam Adams pitchers during the second week of the tournament, which is when Verizon Center plays host to the East Region games.



Washington, DC

Redline will be opening as early as 10 a.m. for March Madness, depending on the time of the day's first game. There are 44 large flatscreen televisions at the Penn Quarter bar, plus an 11-foot HD projection screen.


Buffalo Billiards

Washington, DC

Probably D.C.'s best under-the-radar sports bar, Buffalo Billiards has 72 TVs – including five 10-foot projection screens – in addition to pool tables, shuffleboard, skee-ball, foosball and ping-pong. The bar will open early for all games, and offer a slew of specials, including $3.50 bottles or drafts of Miller Lite and Coors Light, $4.50 pints of Samuel Adams Beers and $4 Redd's Apple Ale. (For an extra $1, you can get a Loaded Apple, with a shot of Fireball cinnamon whiskey dropped into a pint of Redd's.)


Crystal City Sports Pub

Arlington, VA

With more than 100 TVs on three floors - each with multiple seating areas and bars - Crystal City Sports Pub is the rare sports bar that can offer full sound for every game, even when four are being played at the same time. The most impressive spot in the house is on the third level, where a 10-foot projection screen is flanked by two 8-foot projection screens. (There are three dozen other TVs in that room, including a new 70-inch flatscreen.)


The Rhino Bar and Pumphouse

Washington, DC

A natural hangout for Georgetown fans, the M Street sports bar has a trio of 110-inch projection screens and more than two dozen other televisions. During Big East and NCAA tournament games, Rhino will offer a number of student-friendly specials, including 25-cent wings and $8 pitchers of Coors Light or Miller Lite.


Union Pub

Washington, DC

A convenient place for Hill staffers to sneak out for lunch, the Union Pub will be showing games on its two 100-inch projection screens – and 25 other flatscreens – while offering food and drink specials, including $10 Bud Light pitchers, $3 rail drinks and $4 Rogue drafts. After 8 p.m., flatbreads cost $6. A bonus: There are TVs on the covered patio for outdoor viewing on nice days.


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