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The Game, Plus a Distraction: Sports Bars For Those Who Don't Know the Lions from the Bears

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Redline
| Photo: Official

Football season is upon us, with the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks kicking it off tonight. That means post-work happy hours are going to become post-work football hangouts and shouting-at-TV sessions. But for those that don't know anything (or care) about people in padded gear throwing around a pigskin, football season may bring that seasonal feeling of dread because sports bars are all the same.

But that's not the case. Feel like being a bartender? What about having a traditional British meal of bangers & mash or alligator served three different ways? Or how about going to a sports bar where the action isn't on the screen? Well, here are more than a dozen sports bars where friends can watch whatever game is on the telly, and non-football fans can still have a good time.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Board Room

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1737 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 518-7666
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Watch the Game or Play a GameThis is a bar where the inner child is allowed to roam free (as long as he's 21 or older) and reconnect with board games from yesteryear. So while the teams are scoring points on the screen, drinkers may be yelling "jenga" and spilling a bit of beer in the process.

2. Buffalo Billiards

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1330 19th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 331-7665
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Distract Yourself with PoolGrab a cue and play a few rounds of pool (or billiards) while the fall football matchup happens on the small screen.

3. Bracket Room Sports Lounge & Eatery

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1210 N Garfield St
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 276-7337
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Cure a Hangover Nursing a hangover while your friends are getting hammered watching the game? Drink Chris' Hangover Cure. Named for the former Bachelor (and Bachelorette) Chris Bukowski, the cocktail uses cold-pressed juice from nearby South Block with a bit of alcohol thrown in. Soon the Bracket Room's Hangover Cure will be at National and Dulles airports.

4. Drafting Table

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1529-C 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 621-7475
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People-watchThe beers are very affordable here, but the draw is what's on the outside, not inside. Located smack in the middle of the 14th Street scene, while friends are enjoying football on the TV, everyone else can people watch on the patio.

5. Duke's Grocery

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1513 17th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 733-5623
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At least the burger's good Don't be fooled by the name. Duke's Grocery is less grocery and more local watering hole with a British bent. The upstairs bar has a television mounted on the wall, but everyone's attention should be directed at the proper burger.

6. Ivy and Coney

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1523 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 670-9489
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At Least the Hot Dogs Are GoodThis is for those hailing from Motor City or Windy City. (That means lovers of the Lions and the Bears, respectively.) And because these guys behind the Kangaroo Boxing Club stay true to their roots, football fans and non-football fans alike need to order a Chicago-style or Detroit Coney-style dog.

7. Meridian Pint

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3400 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
(202) 588-1075
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Be a bartender, not a football fanMeridian Pint is a staple for Columbia Heights' bar scene. With plenty of space and plenty of televisions, it's not too difficult to score a great space. For those not interested in the football game, saddle up in a booth and be your own bartender with taps at your booth.

8. Nellie's Sports Bar

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900 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 332-6355
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Meet someone newThis is one of the largest gay sports bars in the country, but it welcomes gays and straights and everyone in-between. While a few may actually be watching the game, everyone else is watching everyone else.

9. Penn Social

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801 E St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 697-4900
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Develop some shuffleboard skillsShuffleboard doesn't have to be just for the geriatric set. Penn Social has plenty of games to keep bar goers occupied while the rest are slamming beers and yelling at the TV.

10. The Queen Vic

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1206 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 396-2001
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Eat something British There's football and then there's football. At the Queen Vic, the British pub can appreciate both. And everyone should order the bangers & mash. Real Brits swear by it.

11. R.F.D. Washington

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810 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 289-2030
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Concentrate on the craft beerThis Chinatown drinker's paradise is always showing some game, but for those who care more about what's in the pint glass and not what's on the small screen, this is the place to go.

12. Redline

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707 G St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 347-1248
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Check alligator off the bucket listThis is a sports bar with elevated food. Who has ever been to a sports bar that served lamp lollipops, alligator three ways or savory beignets with lobster and shrimp? Didn't think so.

13. Stoney's Restaurant

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1433 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 234-1818
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Devour the city's best grilled cheeseStoney's calls itself the "boss of the sauce". And if the "sauce" is actually grilled cheese, it's not hard to see why. The grilled cheese is a house specialty, and one of the more affordable meals in the Logan Circle neighborhood. For $2 more, spring for the super grilled cheese, which has bacon as well. It helps soak up the beers.

1. The Board Room

1737 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Watch the Game or Play a GameThis is a bar where the inner child is allowed to roam free (as long as he's 21 or older) and reconnect with board games from yesteryear. So while the teams are scoring points on the screen, drinkers may be yelling "jenga" and spilling a bit of beer in the process.

1737 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

2. Buffalo Billiards

1330 19th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Distract Yourself with PoolGrab a cue and play a few rounds of pool (or billiards) while the fall football matchup happens on the small screen.

1330 19th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

3. Bracket Room Sports Lounge & Eatery

1210 N Garfield St, Arlington, VA 22201

Cure a Hangover Nursing a hangover while your friends are getting hammered watching the game? Drink Chris' Hangover Cure. Named for the former Bachelor (and Bachelorette) Chris Bukowski, the cocktail uses cold-pressed juice from nearby South Block with a bit of alcohol thrown in. Soon the Bracket Room's Hangover Cure will be at National and Dulles airports.

1210 N Garfield St
Arlington, VA 22201

4. Drafting Table

1529-C 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

People-watchThe beers are very affordable here, but the draw is what's on the outside, not inside. Located smack in the middle of the 14th Street scene, while friends are enjoying football on the TV, everyone else can people watch on the patio.

1529-C 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

5. Duke's Grocery

1513 17th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

At least the burger's good Don't be fooled by the name. Duke's Grocery is less grocery and more local watering hole with a British bent. The upstairs bar has a television mounted on the wall, but everyone's attention should be directed at the proper burger.

1513 17th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

6. Ivy and Coney

1523 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

At Least the Hot Dogs Are GoodThis is for those hailing from Motor City or Windy City. (That means lovers of the Lions and the Bears, respectively.) And because these guys behind the Kangaroo Boxing Club stay true to their roots, football fans and non-football fans alike need to order a Chicago-style or Detroit Coney-style dog.

1523 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

7. Meridian Pint

3400 11th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010

Be a bartender, not a football fanMeridian Pint is a staple for Columbia Heights' bar scene. With plenty of space and plenty of televisions, it's not too difficult to score a great space. For those not interested in the football game, saddle up in a booth and be your own bartender with taps at your booth.

3400 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

8. Nellie's Sports Bar

900 U St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Meet someone newThis is one of the largest gay sports bars in the country, but it welcomes gays and straights and everyone in-between. While a few may actually be watching the game, everyone else is watching everyone else.

900 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

9. Penn Social

801 E St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

Develop some shuffleboard skillsShuffleboard doesn't have to be just for the geriatric set. Penn Social has plenty of games to keep bar goers occupied while the rest are slamming beers and yelling at the TV.

801 E St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

10. The Queen Vic

1206 H St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Eat something British There's football and then there's football. At the Queen Vic, the British pub can appreciate both. And everyone should order the bangers & mash. Real Brits swear by it.

1206 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

11. R.F.D. Washington

810 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Concentrate on the craft beerThis Chinatown drinker's paradise is always showing some game, but for those who care more about what's in the pint glass and not what's on the small screen, this is the place to go.

810 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

12. Redline

707 G St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Check alligator off the bucket listThis is a sports bar with elevated food. Who has ever been to a sports bar that served lamp lollipops, alligator three ways or savory beignets with lobster and shrimp? Didn't think so.

707 G St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

13. Stoney's Restaurant

1433 P St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Devour the city's best grilled cheeseStoney's calls itself the "boss of the sauce". And if the "sauce" is actually grilled cheese, it's not hard to see why. The grilled cheese is a house specialty, and one of the more affordable meals in the Logan Circle neighborhood. For $2 more, spring for the super grilled cheese, which has bacon as well. It helps soak up the beers.

1433 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

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