We ordered drinks, sampled snacks, and checked out hundreds of area establishments—all to find the hottest spots on the after-hours scene. Here's a guide to our favorite bars.
>> See our full Guide to Bars in Washington
Bailey’s Pub & Grille
Fifty-five televisions line the walls at this former JCPenney. The space is divided into three large rooms—one with booths, another with comfy couches, a third with video games, pool tables, dartboards, and shuffleboards. Specials run throughout the week, but the best deal is on Tuesday, when pints of premium, imported, and specialty draft beers are $2 all day.
Caddies on Cordell
The bar that calls itself “Bethesda’s 19th hole” isn’t just for golfers. Any sports fan can find his or her game on the high-definition screens mounted in every possible place. Happy hours during the week (4 to 7 and 10 to closing) and a menu of bar food served past 10:30 PM draw a casual crowd of beer drinkers. During warmer months, the large patio and second-floor covered terrace are popular.
Crystal City Sports Pub
Three floors and nearly 100 televisions are sure to excite any fan. Each floor has its own bar, but the third is the best for game viewing, as one entire wall is filled with televisions and sports memorabilia. The bottom two floors are family-friendly, but be warned—it gets smoky.
Summers’ standard bar atmosphere might not stun you, but the sheer number of televisions will. Sixty TVs mean that whatever team you’re rooting for, your game is probably on. The bar has a dedicated European-soccer following and opens at 8 AM on weekends for games. Happy hour, Monday through Friday 4 to 7, means half-price appetizers and drink specials including $2.50 Miller Lite and Budweiser drafts. The front room is nonsmoking, but you can light up in the back.
Velocity Five Sports Restaurant & Bar
Walking into Velocity Five is almost like walking into Best Buy—flat-screen televisions are lined along the walls, and on big sports nights, all are on the same channel. Part of the bar and restaurant has U-shaped booths with their own tables and television screens. There’s another bar in the back as well as a small sushi bar.
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