Got Olympic fever? Or perhaps just want an excuse to down a couple of pints with your mates? Well, as of 7:30pm EST, NBC has got you covered. It’s OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY DAY and there’s no better way to celebrate than cheering on Team USA as they parade around and compete at Olympic Stadium on a television nearest you.
But first, let’s agree on our drinking game rules, shall we? First one who passes out gets the hose.
For convenience this list will be separated into GASTROPUBS and NON-GASTROPUBS options. I mean, sometimes you don’t want to walk out of the bar smelling like you’ve just bathed in a vat of fish and chips….
GASTROPUBS aka NOT THE PLACE TO TRY OUT YOUR BRITISH ACCENT
- The Brixton (901 U St., NW) – Everyone’s newest favorite place to drink will naturally have the Games on and you can fell right at home if you sit in front of the trophy case all the way at the end of the bar on the second floor. I recommend the Pimm’s cup if you truly want to play Anglophile.
- The Queen Vic (1206 H St., NE) – H Street’s hub for all things Anglo, will be screening the opening ceremonies and offering five Olympic-themed meals for $15 a plate—one for each ring color (hint: the “red plate” is meatloaf, blue is fish pie, green is spinach linguine, yellow is baked Camembert, and black is Belhaven Scottish Stout and six oysters).
- The Codmother (1334 U St., NW) – While not a gastropub per se, The Codmother couldn’t be left off the “authentic” list. Serving as D.C.’s first “chippie” (that’s fish & chips shop for the non-Brits), Codmother just might be the best bar you’ve never been to… which is a damn shame since they recently celebrated Harrison Ford’s birthday with a slew of drink specials.
- Mayfair & Pine (2218 Wisconsin Ave., NW) – Opened just in time for the Olympics, Mayfair & Pine boasts Shepherd’s Pie and a slew of other British faves on their menu. There’s only a few tv’s so be aware, if you want to see every second this might not be the stop for you (but oh, oh that open-faced Turkey sandwich is divine!).
- Againn (1099 New York Ave., NW) – Be sure to get the sticky-toffee pudding, a delicious English treat done extremely well for this side of the pond. Definitely the go-to spot if you want your pub viewing experience to be a bit more upscale.
- Union Jacks’s (4915 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda; 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington) – Apparently these guys are billing themselves as “the official British Pub(s) for the London Olympics [in the DMV area]” Well, with $4 Newscastles and a host of discounted British eats on the menu, I’m not going to argue. Fill out a gold-medal raffle ticket and you can be entered into a drawing for a Heineken (that’s not British!) home draft system. Bonus: over 20 TV’s to watch the rise and eventual fall of Michael Phelps on.
- Public Ale House (6315 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church) – From my research, Public Ale House will be the only gastropub showing the opening ceremonies live on 10+ TV’s (that means 4pm for us East Coast folks). So run down, grab a pint (specials TBD) and skip the rest of your work day — you weren’t going to be productive anyway.
NON-GASTROPUBS aka PLACES WHERE YOU CAN ROOT FOR THE USA AMONGST FELLOW PATRIOTS
- 901 Restaurant and Bar (901 9th St., NW) - Kick off the games with an extended happy hour during Friday’s opening ceremonies, during which you can also order medal-themed cocktails with names like “Go for the Gold” and “Shoot for Silver”.
- Biergarten Haus will host an Olympic viewing party for the opening ceremonies, live from London. Happy hour runs until 7 pm and diners will receive 10 percent off their bill if you wear a USA national jersey (not valid on tables using the Groupon deal).
- Public Bar (1214 18th St., NW) - This multi-level Dupont sports bar boasts more than 41 TVs in all, so you’re sure find a spot to catch your sport of choice. To celebrate Team USA, Publi will be offering the all-American Sam Adams seasonal brew for $4.
- Blue Banana Sports & Rock Bar This Petworth spot is opening at 6 to get the party going well before NBC’s broadcast of the opening ceremonies makes its way across the pond. Get $4 beers (draft and bottle) until 8 PM, and go for the gold all night with $5 Cuervo Gold shots and $3 red, white, and blue shooters.
- Nellie’s Sports Bar Perennial favorite Nellie’s won’t be missing out on the opening-ceremony action: Starting at 4 PM, the U Street establishment will be serving $4 Miller Light and house vodka drinks, as well as $15 buckets of beer.
- Capitol City Brewing Company Both the downtown and Shirlington locations will be screening the ceremonies, but head to Virginia for 12 large-screen TVs and specialty martinis like the Olympic Dream, an alcoholic take on the classic Orange Julius, with Galliano, orange juice, Triple Sec, and whipped cream.
- Good Stuff Eatery (303 Pennsylvanie Ave., SE) – Spike Mendelsohn’s beloved burger joint will be showing the games from opening to closing ceremony, between which patrons can enjoy a “Brit Burger” (dressed with English cheddar cheese, horseradish and caramelized onions) as well as a Sticky Toffee Milkshake with homemade custard. Enter to win a party for six during the closing ceremonies by entering a receipt code at MyLoyalFamily.com/Spike
- Bar Rouge (1315 16th St., NW) – Bar Rouge’s mixologist and bar manager Rico Wisner will be stirring up in celebration of the 2012 Olympic Games. The “Rouge, White & Blue” cocktail (a patriotic mix that features Bluecoat Gin, seasonal white peach puree, house-made hibiscus grenadine, and a dash of iced tea and lemon juice for $9) will be available for the duration of the games from July 27 – August 12.
- Art and Soul (415 New Jersey Ave. NW) - Here’s another reason to root for Team USA: Score a half-priced “All American” cocktail (regularly $13) at Art Smith’s Capitol Hill eatery for the fifteen minutes following a U.S. gold medal win. The drink ingredients, appropriately, are all nationally sourced, including Prichard’s Lincoln County Lightning (TN), Hum liquor (IL), roseemary honey syrup (DC), White Hall Viognier (VA) and a slice of orange (FL). Yum.
- Ping Pong Dim Sum (900 7th St., NW) - Watch the opening ceremony (or any of the sports) with a torch of your own; Ping Pong’s official Olympic drink this year is the Flaming Passion Fruit Martini, which combines aged Flor De Cana rum with fresh passion fruit, garnished with a floating blaze of Wray & Newphew rum for $11.
- Lincoln (1110 Vermont Ave., NW) - LINCOLN Restaurant will be featuring three hand crafted Olympic-themed cocktails throughout the course of the games. Inspired by the metal ceremony held after each event is concluded, LINCOLN’s featured cocktails, Gold, Silver and Bronze, will be offered every day starting at 4pm.
- Pizzeria Paradiso (All Locations) – Pizzeria Paradiso is hosting the Ale-lympics, a pseudo-international beer competition. The restaurants don’t have televisions, but they will offer flights featuring four international beers in similar styles. Georgetown, for example, kicks off with four pale ales: Dale’s Pale Ale (United States), Thornbridge Jaipur IPA (United Kingdom), Evil Twin Mad Dog (Denmark) and Omnipollo Mazarin (Sweden). Each flight contains five-ounce pours of each beer and costs $10. Expect to see the styles and flights rotate every three to four days during the games.
- Cleveland Park Bar & Grill 27 TVs and happy hour 4 to 7pm should be just what the doctor ordered if you wanna watch Team USA
- Buffalo Billiards You know the drill. Five 10-foot screens, 62 flat-screens. With $3 Newcastle and Heineken drafts, you’ll be able to get good and pissed before having a proper row outside with that guy rooting for Spain to win soccer. Again.
- BlackFinn Boasting 20 TVs around the joint, you’ll be able to watch (and listen!) from anywhere.
- Touchdown Another sports bar, with three floors and 20+ TVs all tuned in to see the fate of the American athletic prowess
- Union Pub You would think with a name like Union Pub, this place would be Brit central, but think state of the union not union jack. They’ve got 27 flat-screen TVs for your viewing pleasure plus $5 Goose Island drafts, $3 rails, and $3 Bud Lights after 8 PM
- And I’m not even going to list McFadden’s. No one should ever go there post-college. Ever.
…or you could just watch from the comfort of you/your friend’s couch after an epic baking session. Your choice. LET’S GO USA!!!! + Leave any other recommendations in the comments!