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Let the Games (and Drinking) Begin: Where to Watch the Olympics

Not an Olympic-caliber athlete? That's okay. You can have your own Olympics. An Olympics of beer.

The Olympic torch will finally reach Beijing on Wednesday, August 6, so where will you watch the highly anticipated games? Here’s a sampling of sports bars fully equipped with big-screen TVs so you can cheer on Team USA (or just fully appreciate Michael Phelps’s washboard abs). To top things off, these area hangouts have some pretty great specials, too.

The 12-hour time difference between Beijing and Washington can pose a problem for the most dedicated Olympic spectators, with so many events starting early in the morning. Luckily, Mezza Luna opens at 10 AM, so you won’t miss too much. While you watch one of the bar’s five flat-screen TVs or the 100-inch projection screen, enjoy the reverse happy-hour special, when the typical happy hour special ($1 off all rail drinks and draft and bottled beer, $2 off wine and sangría) is available at lunchtime along with a $12 lunch menu including salad and entrée.

Sleep through your favorite event? Catch it again at Topaz Bar during its Olympic-themed happy hour. The lounge will record the games during the day and replay them in the evening upon request. Additionally, it will offer Olympic-inspired drinks and dishes. Sample the Olympic Torches (crispy drumettes tossed in sweet chili sauce) for $4.50 or the “record-setting salmon salad” for $7.50. Dishes range from $4.50 to $8. Wash it all down with a gold-, silver-, or bronze-medal martini for $7 each. Can’t decided which to get? The Olympic Trials Flight ($11) includes a “trial-size” flight of all three cocktails. Plus, every time an American wins an event, Topaz patrons win, too. Each time “The Star-Spangled Banner” sounds, the bar will offer costumers a half-price discount on all items on the “go for the gold” menu. This special will be offered from opening to closing throughout the Summer Games.

Can't make it to Beijing for the games? Well, Charlie Chiang's Modern Asian Kitchen in Arlington might be the next best thing.  Join in their Ping for Rings celebration on August 8 and enjoy eight entrees for $8 for eight hours (from noon-8 p.m.). Meanwhile, sit back, relax and watch the Olympics on the lounge's TVs.

Head to Nellie’s Sports Bar when the doors open at 5 PM for the buckets-of-beer special featuring $12 buckets of Bud, Bud Lite, and Michelob. Meanwhile, happy hour offers $1 Miller Lite and vodka drinks until 6, when prices rise to $2. An hour later at 7, prices go up by another dollar. Specials end at 8.

Watch athletes go for the gold on one of Fast Eddie’s 34 screens while enjoying the bar’s large menu of specials, including half-price pizza on Sunday nights from 5 to closing or daily drink specials from 3 to 8. Locations also in Fairfax, Centreville, and Springfield.

With its more than 90 TVs, you’re sure to catch your favorite event at Crystal City Sports Pub. The bar boasts three floors, including one nonsmoking level with three projection screens and 28 42-inch TVs. If all the excitement of the games has you working up an appetite, then sample the half-price appetizers served daily from 4 to 7 PM and quench your thirst with a reduced-price bottle of beer.

Check out Pour House for $5 appetizers and $3 bottles of Bud, Bud Light, and Miller Lite while you watch the games each night from 4 to 7 on one of its 24 TVs. Other weekly specials include $5 burgers and cheeseburgers, $12 margarita pitchers on Wednesdays, and $5 wings on Mondays.

Where are you going to watch the Olympics? Got any tips on great bars with TVs that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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