Where to watch Super Bowl XLVII photo
(Courtesy of Mason Inn)

Where to watch Super Bowl XLVII

Fritz Hahn  |  Updated 02/01/2013

The Washington Redskins might have come up short in their quest for the Super Bowl, but life and football go on. Even if you're still pondering, "What if?" you know you'll land in front of a television on Sunday watching the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in the biggest game of the year. More than 165 million people tuned in last year, and even if you don't have an emotional stake in the game, what else are you going to talk about on Monday?

The only question: Where to watch?

Because many Washington residents come from outside of Redskins territory, there are many bars that pledge allegiance to other teams on game days. In Adams Morgan, Town Tavern - a New York City chain - flies red-and-gold flags on 18th Street in honor of the 49ers. And up in Glover Park, Mason Inn rocks to the sound of "Seven Nation Army" and other Ravens cheers. Both bars hope to have their moment in the sun come Sunday.

And if you're not cheering for one particular team, there are plenty of nightspots with big screens and specials to lure the football crowds.

Finally, for Ravens fans, bars in Baltimore will have the best atmosphere during the Super Bowl. Former Going Out Guide staffer Brandon Weigel runs down the best places to watch the game in Charm City.

 

Mason Inn

Washington, DC

THE RAVENS BAR: Glover Park's Mason Inn, a bar known for attracting preppy crowds who love SEC football, might not seem like a natural place for Ravens fans. And yet, as its T-shirts boast, Mason Inn becomes "Baltimore South" on game days. Bartenders serve $9.75 pitchers of Bud Light, pints of Abita Purple Haze and shots of a sweet, purple drank-esque concoction they call Raven's Blood to crowds sporting Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis jerseys.

When Mason Inn opened in 2011, says owner Fritz Brogan, it didn't have a "home" team to feature on the bar's televisions. So Brogan let regulars and employees decide which team's games would be shown. More Ravens fans showed up than any other team, and they kept coming back every week to cheer for Baltimore. Now the Ravens rule the roost at Mason Inn, down to a DJ spinning Baltimore-themed songs before and after games and cuing up "Seven Nation Army," the Ravens' crowd-rallying anthem, whenever the action on the field warrants it.

Brogan says some of the bar's die-hard fans are heading to New Orleans for the Super Bowl: "They were on their iPhones trying to buy plane tickets at the end of the (AFC Championship) game." But he's expecting a good atmosphere at the bar nonetheless, with drink specials and the game on 12 flat-screen televisions and a 100-inch projection screen.

 

Town Tavern

Washington, DC

THE NINERS BAR: 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 onSunday, when specials include domestic beers for $3 a pint and $8 a pitcher and $5 baskets of wings.

 

Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse

Arlington, VA

Plenty of bars have big screens, but Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse is showing the Super Bowl on a movie screen with its usual table and bar service. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., admission is free and no seats are reserved, so get there on the early side.

 

Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill

Arlington, VA

With 55 televisions, Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill provides great views of the game. The bar opens for brunch at 10 a.m. Sunday and has $3 mimosas all day. Brunch ends at 3 p.m., when the football-related food and drink specials kick off. Tables and booths for groups as large as 15 can be reserved for a minimum tab of $25 to $35 a person.

 

Bayou Bakery

Arlington, VA

Bayou Bakery decided competition on the field wasn't enough on Super Bowl Sunday. The restaurant's "Hot Sauce Super Challenge" will see diners try to finish a plate of crawfish tamales prepared with two different kinds of hot sauce -- one of which features the super-spicy ghost chili peppers. Anyone who succeeds receives a $25 gift card and a pitcher of Abita beer. (Those who don't want to eat obscenely hot crawfish can snack on the regular menu and sip the special Gator-Aid, a bourbon cocktail that sounds like a cross between a Mint Julep and an Arnold Palmer.)

 

Capitol City Brewing Company

Arlington, VA

Happy hour at this Shirlington brewpub runs from 4 p.m. until the final whistle and includes $3.50 pints of house beer and $5 appetizers. If you wear a football jersey and order an entree that costs $12 or more, you'll get six free wings.

 

Cause, the PhilanthroPub

Washington, DC

This new bar and restaurant wants patrons to show support for their team by ordering Baltimore- and San Francisco-inspired dishes (think "Mission Nachos") and a selection of those cities' beers. Happy hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Arrive before kickoff to "bet" on the team you think will win, and if you're correct, you'll get 25 percent off your check.

 

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Washington, DC

For the second year, Jack Rose is hosting a pre-Super Bowl tailgate on its large roof deck. Beginning at 6 p.m., the bar will be laying out a free spread of buffalo wings, sausage and pepper sandwiches, and chili and corn bread. Wash all that down with $5 beers from San Francisco's Speakeasy brewery and Salisbury's Evolution Brewing Co. or $5 glasses of punch and whiskey. Specials run until 10 p.m.

 

Meridian Pint

Washington, DC

Meridian Pint beer director Sam Fitz is a serious Ravens fan, and he's stocking the bar with Baltimore beers for the big game. Six Baltimore beers will be on draft for $4 during the game, including selections from Union Craft Brewing and Oliver Ales. From kickoff to the last snap, all appetizers will be 25 percent off.

 

Public Bar

Washington, DC

Public Bar is keeping things simple with all-day deals, including $3 Miller Lite, $3 Coors Light and $5 Red Bull and vodka cocktails. Public Bar tends to get crowded on game days, so consider reserving a table to make sure your group sits together. There's no reservation fee, but there are spending minimums: Tables of eight require a $200 tab, and booths in the lounge, which seat six to eight, require a $100 tab. (Note that the booths come with their own mini TV as well as a view of the big screens in the bar.)

 

Vinoteca

Washington, DC

Vinoteca's "All Night Super Bowl Happy Hour" is an extension of the wine bar's excellent daily deal: You'll find 15 wines for $5 per glass, and a selection of small plates for $5 to $6. (They'll also have the game on all the TVs at the bar.)

 

Ozio Restaurant & Lounge

Washington, DC

The Usual Suspectz's Super Bowl party features food and drink specials, TVs on multiple levels, including the rooftop deck, and DJs after the game. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. RSVP to superbowl2013@usualsuspectz.com to get on the guest list for free admission.

 

Bayou

Washington, DC

The Super Bowl's being held in New Orleans, and the Cajun-themed Bayou is ready to join the celebration. Wash down appetizer specials with $5 Hurricanes and $18 buckets of Abita beer. (Table reservations are recommended for groups.)

 

The Bottom Line

Washington, DC

"Sunday Funday" at the Bottom Line is an invitation for a night of cheap drinks and football. Bottles of Coors Light and Miller Lite cost $2.50; a pitcher of the latter costs $10; a Blue Moon pitcher is $12. Appetizers will be marked down to $3. Make sure you're present for the halftime raffle, where an iPad Mini is one of the prizes.

 

Duffy's Irish Restaurant and Pub

Washington, DC

Duffy's opens at noon for Super Bowl Sunday brunch, with bottomless Bloody Marys for $10 until 3 p.m. The TVs will be on for pre-game viewing with sound throughout the bar. All-day food specials include $4 brats and hot dogs (veggie and regular). Drink-wise, there are $6 boilermakers with a can of Tecate and a shot of whiskey, $12 pitchers of Miller Lite and $20 pitchers of microbrews, including New Belgium Ranger IPA and Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA.

 

Marvin

Washington, DC

A hipper-than-the-usual-sports-bar option: Marvin will be showing the Super Bowl on its two projection screens and serving up $12 food specials like short-rib sliders, oyster po'boys and hot wings. The $5 beer special: San Francisco's Anchor Steam and Baltimore's Brewer's Art Resurrection.

 

The Ugly Mug

Washington, DC

The Ugly Mug offers half-price wings and plenty of beer discounts for the Super Bowl. Miller Lite costs $12 per pitcher or $25 per 128-ounce; Yuengling is $15 per pitcher or $30 per town; Blue Moon is $16 per pitcher and $35 per tower.

 

Bier Baron

Washington, DC

Bier Baron is naturally keeping the focus on beers during the Super Bowl -- beers from San Francisco and Baltimore. Get $2 cans of 21st Amendment ale (San Francisco) and Natty Boh (formerly Baltimore), and $3 bottles of Anchor Steam and Heavy Seas. Wing platters cost $7.

 

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