Where to Watch Your Favorite College Football Team in DC – 2013

Photo by Author
Photo by Author

It’s the most wonderful time of year for me (and many other folks)–college football season begins Thursday. DC isn’t exactly a hotbed of this sport, but there are plenty of transplants from around the country that enjoy cheering for their alma maters or  home state teams.  Bringing together my love of college football and DC bars, I’ve compiled a list of area bars (MD & VA bars are in [brackets]) that host game watches for each of the teams in the pre-season Associated Press Top 25 poll, along with a few others of interest to Barred in DC readers, though there are plenty of other bars to catch games.  For watching games not at a bar, I highly recommend you bookmark this great website for TV listings that is updated all year: http://www.mattsarzsports.com/Season/Contents?sportYear=football2013

  1. Alabama – Old Dominion Brewhouse (Mt. Vernon Square)
  2. Ohio State – Rhino’s Bar & Pumphouse (Georgetown) [Union Jack’s (Bethesda) & Mister Days (Clarendon)]
  3. Oregon – Irish Channel (Chinatown) [The Greene Turtle (Ballston)]
  4. Stanford – Mackey’s (Dupont/Midtown)
  5. Georgia – Mason Inn (Glover Park), Public Bar (Dupont) [Crystal City Sports Pub]
  6. South Carolina – [The Greene Turtle (Ballston)], unofficial satellite at Mason Inn (Glover Park)
  7. Texas A&M – Penn Quarter Sports Tavern (Penn Quarter)
  8. Clemson – Southern Hospitality (Adams Morgan) [O’Sullivan’s in Clarendon]
  9. Louisville – [Crystal City Sports Pub]
  10. Florida – Pour House (Capitol Hill) [Mad Rose Tavern (Clarendon) & BlackFinn (Bethesda)], unofficial satellite at Mason Inn (Glover Park)
  11. Florida State – Union Pub (Capitol Hill)
  12. LSU – Molly Malone’s (Eastern Market/Barracks Row) [Bailey’s (Crystal City)]
  13. Oklahoma State – Penn Quarter Sports Tavern (Penn Quarter)
  14. Notre Dame  – The Exchange (Downtown)
  15. Texas – [Rhodeside Grill (Courthouse)]
  16. Oklahoma – [Buffalo Wild Wings (Crystal City)]
  17. Michigan – Buffalo Billiards (Dupont), unofficial satellite at Kangaroo Boxing Club (ColHi), [Bailey’s (Ballston) & Tommy Joe’s (Bethesda)]
  18. Nebraska – Union Pub (Capitol Hill)
  19. Boise State – TBD
  20. TCU – Rocket Bar (Chinatown/Penn Quarter)
  21. UCLA – Laughing Man Tavern (Downtown)
  22. Northwestern – BlackFinn (Downtown)
  23. Wisconsin – Hamilton’s (Capitol Hill), Lou’s City Bar (ColHi)
  24. USC – The Gryphon (Dupont)
  25. Oregon State – N/A?

Other Teams of Interest

Photo by Author
Photo by Author

DC Bar News – Week in Review – August 16th-25th

Hope everyone enjoyed last week; I took an uncharacteristically long vacation through PA, upstate NY and Ontario (Niagara area and Toronto). I still kept tabs on bar goings-and-ons:

  • Bar News
    • After I reported that Cause would be closing some time this month, both DCist and Young & Hungry did real journalism and got in touch with the owner, who said the philanthropub would be closing, but only temporarily as the owners make repairs and go on vacation. The plot slightly thickens, though, as the owner did not pinpoint a re-opening date.
    • As first reported earlier by Barred in DC, the Post’s Fritz Hahn provides additional details about the Adams Morgan underage haven Shenanigans troubles (two separate liquor license suspensions this summer and fall)
    • The Reef, closed after a bouncer stabbed a patron, re-opened on Wednesday the 22nd after it submitted a security plan (Fritz Hahn/WaPo)
    • Two new outdoor spaces open up in DC relatively under the radar:
      • Midtown Partyplex (Dupont) opened up a rooftop lounge on Friday that will be open year-round. Guest of a Guest first broke this news and shares additional details. Urbandaddy also had a quick take on this.
      • Tonic at Quigley’s (Foggy Bottom) opened up a new beer garden with green space and picnic tables.  Will definitely be popular with the GW students; the underrated spot apparently even plans to keep it open to the public during closed hours. (PoPville, Twitter)
    • Excited about this bit of news: Baby Wale set to open this week in Shaw. From the Corduroy (a nearby fine dining spot) folks, this bar will have moderately-priced food options (lobster rolls, pupusas) and great drinks in Shaw at 9th & M NW (Eater)
    • Big news on the Capitol Hill restaurant/bar scene: Xavier Cervera has been brought back to consult/operate the several establishments he recently sold. These places include Hawk & Dove, Boxcar Tavern, Molly Malone’s, Park Tavern, Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill, and a couple of other restaurants. (Tim Carman/WaPo)
    • Cervera also plans to open up a gastropub in Shaw, The American, in a space that is currently home to a boxing gym and a parking lot. Ambitiously, he hopes to open in 7 months (March 2014); my bet is that it opens in June. Will be very interesting how it pans out, it’s basically a bar in an alley. (Carman/WaPo)
    • Tabaq Bistro, the U street bar with a unique retractable rooftop, has closed. New owners have bought the bar and aim to open the Borka Kitchen & Bar in its place soon. (PoPville)
    • U Street/14th Street bargoers will have a new spot to get grub after last call: Amsterdam Falafelshop will be opening in early 2014 at 14th and T. Unlike the current, popular AdMo location, this spot will serve beers. (first reported by Washington Business JournalWaPo)
    • Uptown Tap House, which took over the former 4P’s space in Cleveland Park a year ago, will be closed until after Labor Day, and apparently will go more upscale. (PoPville)
    • Great burger happy hours in DC: The Black Squirrel, Scion, Chef Geoff’s, The Red Derby, 1905 (Fritz Hahn/WaPo)
    • Bistro Bohem debuts Fri/Sat late night happy hour from 10p-2a. Lots of $5 drinks, along with other food options in this Slavic spot in Shaw. (PoPville)
    • Bar located in former firehouse on North Capitol near R Street in Bloomingdale applies for liquor license; will have a cigar bar and be run by the folks who operate Shaw’s Tavern. It will apparently be called Washington Firehouse and hopes to be open very late 2013 or early 2014. (PoPville)
    • Going Out Gurus publishes a nice list of bars to get your English Premier League (that’s soccer in case you didn’t know) on (Fritz Hahn/WaPo)
  • Barred in DC Activity: 
    • Rasika West End (bar area isn’t crowded, even on a Friday at 7p)
    • M Street Bar and Grill (Dupont) ($5 happy hour all night)
    • Glen’s Garden Market (Dupont) (local & craft beers always $4)
    • Jack Rose (Adams Morgan)
    • Board Room (Dupont)
    • Toronto, Canada – cool city, grittier than I expected, but lots of friendly folks, great eats and drinks
      • Union (Ossington Strip)
        • Cool hipster spot with good food, a chill back patio, and a well mixed Aperol Spritz-which was on the menu of every spot we went to basically)
      • Reposado Bar and Lounge (Ossington Strip)
        • Awesome tequila bar with a DJ or live music every night and a cozy patio in back; bartenders at other bars raved about this place
      • The County General (West Queen West)
        • Amazing chicken thigh sandwich and great comfort-type cocktails, closes on early side
      • Mill Street Brewery (Distillery District/Old Town)
        • Beers are ubiquitous around town, get the 4 beer sampler
        • Distillery District has a really cool setting
      • Hemingway’s (Yorkville)
        • Chill bar in upscale part of town; huge rooftop areas, lots of vegetation
      • Souz Dal (Little Italy)
        • great cocktails, cheap feature cocktail each night (great $6 Mojito the night we were there); awesome bartenders and hilarious local regulars.
        • The bartender’s take on the Caesar, which is a Canadian Bloody Mary, was a revelation (tequila, Clam + tomato juice, Worcestershire Sauce, Siracha, Beet juice, and red wine float)

DC Bar News – Week in Review – August 8th-15th

Hope you enjoyed some of the events of DC Beer Week, which continues until Sunday. I’ll be out of town most of next week; I’ll be Barred in Toronto on part of this road trip, so there will be few tweets and no posts next week.

  • Bar News
    • As first reported by Barred in DC, Cause: The PhilanthroPub will be (8/16 update: temporarily, according to DCist and Young & Hungry) closing this month (read the post for more details). Young & Hungry went into its money woes in this week’s Washington City Paper.
    • A new brew pub will be coming to Glover Park in the first quarter of 2014. Mad Fox Taproom, which has a popular Falls Church brew pub and produces beer for sale in DC, will be opening up in the former Mayfair and Pine restaurant on Wisconsin Ave. No beer will be made in DC though. (Fritz Hahn/Post, DCist, Young & Hungry, WBJ, PoPville)
    • More details are released about Ivy and Coney, the new bar slated to open at 7th & P NW in Shaw from the owners of Kangaroo Boxing Club. The bar will be a neighborhood spot with a Detroit & Chicago theme (think hot dogs), and folks will be able to rent out liquor lockers for cheap drinks.  Owners have an Indiegogo page to raise money for extras. Mixed reaction from my Chicago friends who hail from Michigan. I’m excited, though I’m dubious about their plan to open this fall. (PoPville, Young & Hungry, DCist, Washingtonian)
    • A stipulated liquor license (temporary liquor license pending final approval) for the new 17th Street spot Duke’s Grocery was approved by the local ANC. The local ANC also voted to support a regular liquor license for the restaurant/bar; unclear whether a settlement/voluntary agreement will be entered into.
    • A new wine bar/lounge, ENO, will be coming to Georgetown next to The Four Seasons Hotel, in September, according to GoG/Post. This mini chain gets rave reviews apparently in the other cities in which it is located: San Fran., Chicago, & San Diego)
    • The building that houses the U Street spot Tabaq Bistro sold to the Cham Restaurant Group, who may or may not be transforming it into something called the Borka Kitchen & Bar. (WBJ)
    • As exclusively reported by Barred in DC, Shenanigan’s, the Adams Morgan bar that has had many iterations since Angry Inch closed back in 2008, will have its liquor license suspended for 8 days (Sept 8-15) for serving 2 underage girls with bad fake IDs back in February 2012. (ABRA)
    • The Reef (AdMo) had its liquor license indefinitely suspended after a stabbing occurred stemming from an altercation in the bar. (Fritz Hahn/Post)
    • The Post/GoG releases some details about the new bar within a restaurant, 2 Birds, 1 Stone, a sister bar adjacent to the new Asian restaurant Doi Moi at 14th and S NW. The restaurant will open Tuesday, August 27th, while the bar will open “a few days” later. Lots of tasty-sounding food and frozen drinks.
    • The quirky U Street watering hole known for its beers, no TVs and no standing policy (somehow have still not made it here), The Saloon, will be closed from August 4-29th. The owners will be in Liberia & Guinea (Africa) for their annual school building projects. (PoPville)
    • Buried in this solid story about August-October fall drinking celebrations by Hahn is news that Biergarten Haus will be opening yet another bar area within the sprawling complex: a two-story drinking & eating space.
  • Barred in DC Activity: 

UPDATED: Breaking News: Cause – The PhilanthroPub Closing (Temporarily)

Cause – The PhilanthroPub, the spot that opened in October 2012 to much fanfare as the owners pledged to donate all profits to charity, will be closing temporarily, likely sometime this month,  according to a reliable source. (8/16 Update: According to DCist and Young & Hungry, and Cause’s Twitter feed, this closing will only be temporarily, starting Monday, 8/19, for electrical & A/C repairs, along with an owner vacation, and will re-open in September.) Too bad, I enjoyed my sole visit a few months back on Saturday’s Old School Hip Hop Gin & Juice night; the place seemed reasonably full.

Jessica Sidman, the Young & Hungry columnist, wrote a well-reported story in this week’s Washington City Paper outlining the bar’s money woes (Cause lost nearly $9,000 in its first quarter; which to this blogger seemed fairly manageable for a small, independent restaurant/bar). The article contains a quote from the owners pledging to go on for a long haul, but apparently that and even a 2 star review from The Post’s Tom Sietsma was not enough. More details will be added to this story as they are known.

This post has been updated since it was published.


Vendetta, website, Facebook, Twitter, 1212 H St. NE, opens at 5p everyday, HH 5-8p daily, est. 2013 [Yelp, WaPo, Washington City Paper, Washingtonian, NPR]

Upstairs bocce court
Upstairs bocce court

Bocce is the group sport du jour in Washington, especially for  forever-young adults graduating from kickball or those too unathletic to play softball. While other bars have dabbled in the Italian lawn bowling game (e.g., Vinoteca, Blackjack, and Penn Social),it was inevitable that a bar fully devoted to bocce would open in DC.

First Floor Bar
First Floor Bar

That place is Vendetta, the new Italian restaurant/bocce bar from bar impresario Joe Englert on H Street. Located in the old Red Palace space (which itself was a combination of two very different bars, The Red and the Black and Palace of Wonders, neither of which I visited), Vendetta is a nicely decorated spot, with red walls accompanying Vespas hanging or embedded in the wall. A nice 25 foot bocce court highlights each of the two floors; it’s free to play and easy to learn if you haven’t played before. There is small, bare bones deck (with chair umbrellas) off the 2nd floor.

Second Floor Bar
Second Floor Bar

Pasta and gnocchi make up the food menu, while the beer list is nothing special, moderately-priced (for DC) cocktails ($8-10) and prosecco on tap are the draws. For the straight guys out there, take note: the clientele was about 75% women on my visit, and friends have confirmed the favorable mix at other times. A nice addition to the H Street landscape.

Barred in DC Rating: 3.5/5

Vespa in the wall
Vespa on the wall
Upstairs 2nd Floor Patio/Deck
Upstairs 2nd Floor Patio/Deck
Another view of the upstairs bocce court
Another view of the upstairs bocce court

DC Beer Week 2013 – Where to Go Each Day

Although I’ve been on record noting my relatively muted reaction to yet another beer week in DC, DC Beer Week does have a ton of awesome events that highlight what a great beer city DC has become. I’ll defer mostly to the great previews highlighted by Fritz Hahn/Going Out Gurus/WaPo, DCist, Young & Hungry/Washington City Paper (be sure to pick up a copy of this week’s Beer Issue too), but below I’ll list my top choice each day that is either free or close to free.

  • Sunday August 11th
  • Monday August 12th
    • DMV Does Beer
      • Kramerbooks & Afterwards Cafe
      • 6-10p
      • $10 three 7 oz. flights from DC Brau, Lost Rhino, and Evolution
  • Tuesday August 13th
  • Wednesday August 14th
  • Thursday August 15th
  • Friday August 16th
  • Saturday August 17th
  • Sunday August 18th
    • Not much on the schedule, but I’d stop by any of DC’s great beer bars not listed above such as The Big Hunt, Bier Baron, Smoke & Barrel, Granville Moore’s, Smith Commons, Penn Social, Iron Horse