NFL and college football bars for every type of fan
By Fritz Hahn,
No sports bar is a perfect fit for every football fan. Some people want to belly up to a bar with tons of televisions. Others care more about being surrounded by people who love the same team. And then there are the folks who favor places stocked with pool, Skee-Ball or something else to do when their game’s not on.
With college football just getting underway and the NFL season kicking off next week, we thought we’d try to find the perfect place for a variety of people.
Where to go if . . .
You want to hang out with a group
Buffalo Billiards is best known as a place for an office happy hour or a destination for shooting pool with the gang on a Friday night. You probably don’t think of it as a sports bar. But consider this: There’s more than 14,000 square feet in that multi-room basement, with 60 high-definition TVs — including five 10-foot projection screens — and plenty of couches, tables and seating options for viewing them all. No more worrying about whether your whole group will be able to squeeze in front of the same TV at your local dive. And you can always take your mind off a tough loss with the dozens of pool tables, shuffleboard tables, table tennis, darts and Skee-Ball.
There are plenty of specials, too: $3 Miller Lite and $4 Heineken and Newcastle during Saturday’s college games, $3 Miller Lite and Coors Lite on Sundays, $3 Coors Light and $4 Blue Moon for Monday Night Football and $3.50 Sam Adams and seasonal beers for those Thursday night games.
Buffalo Billiards, 1330 19th St NW. 202-331-7665. dc.buffalobilliards.com.
You want to watch SEC football
Southeastern Conference football teams have won the last six national championships, and there are five schools in the top 10 of the preseason polls, led by Alabama and LSU. For fans of the country’s most powerful conference, there’s nowhere better on Saturday than the Mason Inn in Glover Park. The one-room roadhouse is the official home of local Georgia, Ole Miss and South Carolina alumni groups, and you’ll spot a fair number of ’Bama and Florida caps in the crowd watching games on 10 large-screen TVs and a 100-inch projection screen. (Another part of the draw: Bud Light pitchers cost $8.75 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and $9.75 after that, and there are $5 shots every week.) As the games wind up, the scene switches to Southern rock and ’80s cover bands.
On Sundays, the Ravens are the bar’s official team, and the pitchers are just as cheap.
Mason Inn, 2408 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-337-1313. www.masoninndc.com.
You want to do something
besides watch the game
If you head to a bar for the full slate of Sunday football viewing, you’re looking at more than six hours in front of a television. That’s a long time in one place, no matter how great the games are. That’s where the recently expanded Primetime Sports Bar and Grille comes in handy. There’s a large deck (with TVs) to enjoy the autumn weather. A new “pool hall” area has three tables and 15 TVs. Among the leather couches, dozens of TVs and four 100-inch jumbo screens in the main bar area are more video games, including Boxer Champion and Golden Tee. And throughout the season, look for a variety of related events, including Madden video game tournaments and live broadcasts by local sports shows.
Primetime is an official viewing spot for Texas A&M alumni this year, and the owners favor the New York Giants, but everyone can stop by for food and drink specials, which include 24-ounce beers for $6 during all games.
Primetime Sports Bar and Grille, 11250 James Swart Circle, Fairfax. 703-352-0260. primetimesportsandgrill.com .
You need to follow your fantasy team
There are two kinds of fantasy team owners. There are the somewhat casual fans who keep glancing nervously at their iPhones on Sundays, positioning themselves at the bar so they can watch games featuring both their quarterback and flex wide receiver. Then there are the diehards who bring laptops and iPads to the bar so they can follow multiple teams and leagues, need to be able to see every game and track injury reports constantly.
Whichever fantasy owner you are, Public Bar makes an outstanding destination. In the main bar, flatscreen TVs are stacked in banks of eight, making it easy to follow every second of action. A giant 120-inch projection screen hangs over the bar. The booths along the walls — available on a first-come basis or reserved with a $150 minimum tab — offer tables wide enough for laptops. They also offer convenient plugs for free charging. The clincher: Public offers free WiFi for fast connections on all three levels, along with $3 beers.
Public Bar, 1214-B 18th St. NW. 202-223-2200. www.publicbar.co/dupont.
You want to feel like you’re back
in college — and pay like it, too
“Natty Boh and Natty Lights $2.50 ALL THE TIME,” screams the list of specials at Looney’s Pub, a college sports bar that’s basically attached to the University of Maryland campus. (Students live in four-bedroom suites in the Varsity Apartments above, and the building is a stop on the university’s shuttle bus route.)
The happy hours are frequent and surprisingly cheap — $2 domestic beers and rail drinks from 7 p.m. to close Sunday and Monday, $3 beers all day Saturday, and $2 rail drinks Saturday nights — but that’s what you need when the average age of a patron looks to be in the 21-to-24 range. There are 70 TVs, 18 draft beers and a solid menu of bar food, ranging from crab nachos to 10 kinds of cheesesteaks. Bands perform in the cavernous space Friday and Saturday nights if you really want to pretend you’re back in school.
Looney’s Pub, 8150 Baltimore Ave., College Park. 240-542-4510. www.looneyspub md.com.