Where to Watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Washington

Local bars and restaurants offering drink specials, games-themed meals, and more.
London Olympic Stadium hosts the opening ceremonies Friday night. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.
London Olympic Stadium hosts the opening ceremonies Friday night. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

There’s been a lot of buzz about what exactly we’re going to see during the three-hour-long
Olympic opening ceremonies in London this Friday (horses? sheep?
David Beckham?!) Whatever artistic director
Danny Boyle (of
Slumdog Millionaire fame) has up his sleeve, it’s sure to be worth a watch. And what better way to do
so than with a drink and some friends? Whether you want to catch the show at a sports
bar or a British pub, read on for a list of the best places to be Friday night at 7:30.

Union Jack’s

This spot is billing itself as the official British pub for the London Olympics, and
is offering a roster of specials to back up that claim. Get in the London spirit with
$4 Newscastle pints and a companion menu of British favorites such as fish and chips
and bangers and mash. Fill out a gold-medal raffle ticket and you can be entered into
a drawing for a Heineken home draft system. (Specials apply to both the Ballston and
Bethesda locations.)

Public House No. 7

For more food and drink specials, check out Public House No. 7 in Falls Church, where
the opening ceremonies will be playing on ten flat-screen HDTVs. In addition to half-price
rail drinks from 4 to 8, this British pub will be serving up an Olympic platter with
traditional bar food from around the world—think bangers and mash from the UK, samosas
from India, and good old American Buffalo wings.

The Queen Vic

Who knew Washington had so many British pubs? The Queen Vic, 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).

Ventnor Sports Cafe

If you’re looking for a vibe that’s less Anglophile, more stars and stripes, check
out the watch party at Ventnor Sports Cafe in Adams Morgan. Owner
Scott Auslander plans on decorating the bar and offering up “good American beers” for $3. All the
bar’s TVs will have sound on, so patrons can be sure to hear the baaing and neighing
of any livestock present at the ceremony.

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.


If you want to spend your Friday watching the ceremonies and scoring a date, sign
up for an Olympic-themed speed dating session at McFadden’s. Professionals in the
City has booked a private room for the event, which starts at 7—don’t worry, there
will be TVs on. Just try not to get distracted while you’re chatting up that cute
guy or girl. (Tickets are $30, available in advance or at the door.)

Other places to watch the ceremonies:

Cleveland Park Bar & Grill
(27 TVs, happy hour 4 to 7)

Buffalo Billiards
(Five 10-foot screens, 62 flat-screens. $3 Newcastle and Heineken drafts)

(20 TVs—the ones in the pub area will have sound on)

Touchdown (Three floors, 20-plus TVs)

The Codmother (Yet another British pub!
$6 pints of Old Speckled Hen English ale, $8 pints of Wexford Irish cream ale and
shots of Irish whiskey until 8 PM, and two TVs)

Union Pub (27 flat-screen
TVs, $5 Goose Island drafts, $3 rails, and $3 Bud Lights after 8 PM)

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