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U Street Scores a Sleek New Sports Bar, Just in Time for the World Series

Sports & Social’s inaugural D.C. location opens Friday, October 27

A man holding a football and a chicken sandwich.
Sports & Social brings fiery chicken sandwiches and game-day entertainment to D.C.
Sports & Social
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

The bar-heavy U Street NW corridor will soon welcome an energetic new spot to pound orange crushes while soaking up sports showcased on multiple screens. Sports & Social swings into D.C. on Friday, October 27 at 4 p.m., hours before the Game 1 pitch of MLB’s World Series championship.

Sports & Social currently has two Maryland locations at Live! Casino and Hotel in Arundel Mills, which is home to the state’s first sportsbook, and the Pike and Rose complex in North Bethesda. For its D.C. debut, Sports & Social slides into the 7,300-square-foot space that formerly housed the Smith, the modern American brasserie from NY that closed in 2021 after a 3-year run (1314 U Street NW).

Crushes play a starring role at the bar.
Sports & Social
Sports & Social’s catch-all menu includes sushi.
Leslie Parrott

James Beard-nominated chef John Suley joined the company this year after manning food and beverage programs at sea for the Ritz-Carlton’s luxury cruise line. At Sports & Social, his cheffed-up bar menu calls for spicy tuna bites, a miso salmon bowl, truffle mushroom flatbread, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, and beef barbacoa tacos. Cocktails include a cinnamon-smoked Old Fashioned, the “District” Manhattan, and a variety of potent crushes (orange, tequila, and Paloma). Doors open at 4 p.m. on weekdays and starting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

All sorts of sports can be aired at once across its 25-foot LED media wall and 13 HD TVs. Sports & Social also features a TBA happy hour, a private event space with its own bar, and dog-friendly sidewalk seating along U Street.

Sports & Social’s opening date intentionally coincides with a huge weekend for D.C. sports fans. The NBA Washington Wizards’ 2023-24 season home opener at Capital One Arena is Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. On Sunday afternoon, NFL’s Washington Commanders return to FedEx Field to answer to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Its weekend-long opening celebration includes live coverage of other NFL, college football, and NHL games. Sports & Social will also air one of the biggest boxing fights of the year — the Saudi Arabia matchup between Tyson Fury and (Mike Tyson protege) Francis Ngannou — on pay-per-view Saturday.

The Smith’s leftover look provided the new sports bar tenant a polished canvas full of white subway tiling and patterned mosaic flooring.
Sports & Social/rendering
Walls are adorned with homages to the Stanley Cup-winning Washington Capitals.
Sports & Social/rendering

The nationwide sports bar chain also sits at the doorstep of high-profile arenas (Truist Park in Atlanta and Busch Stadium in St. Louis) and other Live! properties in Texas and Nashville.

Sports & Social comes from Live! Hospitality & Entertainment, a division of Baltimore-based developer the Cordish Companies. The entertainment conglomerate operates over 100 sports-loving venues and aligns with celebrity names like Guy Fieri and Troy Aikman.