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Posted at 12:01 PM ET, 03/13/2008

Big Screens, Bigger Deals

By Fritz Hahn

March Madness has rolled around again, and I know everyone is wondering where they can watch their team on high-definition screens and, perhaps, with drink specials.

While compiling this list (which follows after the jump), I've also paid careful attention to two things: Bars that have the March Madness satellite package and can therefore show every game; and the places that will be "open all day" this Thursday and Friday as well as next Thursday and Friday -- just in case, you know, you need to set up a "lunch meeting" with a client when your alma mater is playing. More locations will be added as we get information, so watch this space for updates.

(NOTE: This list was last updated on March 20)

Taking over from the long-gone Willie and Reed's, BlackFinn is keeping that sports bar's strength: Thirty televisions, ranging from 60-inch flatscreens mounted high on the walls to the smaller 20-inch models found in booths. Miller Lite is $2 during all basketball games. Stick around Thurday through Saturday for DJs and dancing.

Buffalo Billiards
Though Buffalo Billiards usually opens at 4, the subterranean Dupont pool hall makes an exception for March Madness, when opening time is 11. Watch the games on one of six 10-foot projection screens or 30 other TVs. Drink specials include $4 Sam Adams and Sam Adams seasonal brews during games, as well as the usual $2.75 drafts and $3 rail drinks between 4 and 7 on weekdays.

Cleveland Park Bar and Grill
Cleveland Park Bar and Grill's best features are its two dozen TVs and comfortable rooftop deck, but those aren't the only reasons to stop by during March Madness: For the next two Thursdays and Fridays, the Cleveland Park Bar and Grill is opening at noon and offering $2 Bud Lights from noon until 2, and $3 beers from 2 to 7. Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Illinois and Minnesota are among the groups that gather here.

Crystal City Sports Pub
A haven for alumni groups during the college football season, Crystal City Sports Pub is going the opposite direction during March Madness: No reservations will be taken for anyone, and no specials will be offered. Make sure you get there early if you want a table in the stunning third floor room, which has almost three dozen flatscreen TVs and three enormous projection TVs.

The Exchange
Now under new management, the Exchange is showing all the games on its 14 TVs, which includes one large projection screen and five 52-inch sets. Happy hour specials vary by day, but they might include $8 Miller High Life pitchers or $2 Miller Lite bottles. On weekends, save with $5 burgers and $10 pitchers of Miller Lite.

Gordon Biersch
Gordon Biersch doesn't have as many TVs as some of the spots on this list -- only four 51-inch plasmas in the bar areas -- but the house-brewed German lagers always satisfy, and during March Madness, appetizers are half-price when a game is on. (There are no drink specials, but the usual happy hour runs from 4 to 6:30, includes $3.75 half-liters of beer and $5 martinis, margaritas and mojitos.)

Grand Slam Sports Bar
Home to alumni groups from Duke to Texas A&M, the Grand Hyatt's sports bar was recently redecorated with 17 plasma TVs and two large projection screens. Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3 systems are available for $20 an hour when the basketball games are over. During March Madness, the "Heineken Hotties" will be stopping by to offer free and reduced-price beers.

Owner Kevin Grevey played for the Kentucky Wildcats in the 1975 NCAA Championship game -- they were defeated by UCLA -- and his sports bar is a popular destination for Kentucky and other SEC fans during March Madness. The big pull for the restaurant is a TV screen in every booth, but there are a pair of projection screens and more than 20 other TVs at the bar and in the saloon. Different food specials are offered every day.

Mister Days
Mister Days has long had one of the highest TV-to-guest ratios in the D.C. area, and now the management boasts that they've recent upgraded every TV in the building to either a plasma or flatscreen set. That's more than 70, folks, including three huge projection screens. During March Madness, the bar opens at 11 a.m., and food and drink specials will rotate daily, with one of the few constants being $8 buckets of Bud and Bud Light mini-bottles. Look out for giveaways like fleeces and T-shirts.

Momo's Sports Bar
With 16 TVs spread over two levels, Momo's is a good spot for watching the game. Arrive early to stake out one of the couches upstairs, as those are claimed pretty quickly. During March Madness, there are specials on Coors Light ($3 pints, $12 pitchers) and Stella Artois ($5 pints, $15 pitchers).

Nellie's Sports Bar
March Madness comes too soon for Nellie's spacious rooftop deck, which is still about a month away from opening, but there are plenty of other reasons to stop by the light, airy sports bar: $12 buckets of full-sized Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Ultra bottles and food specials during all games, and a beat-the clock happy hour that starts with $1 beers at 5 p.m. (They go up $1 every hour until 8). Nellie's opens at 11 when there are early games, and has 10 flatscreen TVs.

Old Dominion Brewhouse
Old Dominion offers a slew of specials to go along with its 22 flatscreen TVs. During games, choose from $2.99 drafts, $12 buckets of five bottled beers or $5 shots, including Patron tequila and Jagermeister. With a group, spring for one of the 133-ounce draft towers; Bud or Bud Light costs $22.99. You won't go hungry, either: Choose from $3.99 personal pizzas, $5.99 quesadillas or platters of wings: 25 for $15.99 or 30 for $30.99.

Penn Quarter Sports Tavern
Though the Penn Quarter Sports Tavern is a relatively new player on the D.C. sports scene, it's already become the home base for 47 alumni groups, ranging from Georgia and South Florida to Lehigh University hockey fans. Eight 55-inch flatscreens are spaced throughout the two-level building, and a 120-inch projection TV dominates the first floor. In addition to its daily happy hour, which runs from 5 to 7, the Sports Tavern will have a number of special promotions throughout March Madness -- think the "Dos Equis girls" dropping in to hand out beers and swag.

Porter's Dining Saloon
A convenient viewing spot for midtown office workers, Porter's will have two floors open during the days when basketball makes an early start. Take advantage of $3 Miller Lites while watching the game on 15 TVs, including nine 42-inch flatscreens. Even better: Thursday's all-night happy hour means $2 Miller Lites, $3 rail drinks and a buck off everything else until last call. (On Fridays, specials end at 7.)

The Pour House
The Pour House is opening at 11 to show the early games on its 28 TVs, including projection screens on two of its three levels. During games, sip on $3 Sam Adams Light bottles, $4 Sam Adams White Ale drafts and $10 pitchers of Bud Light or Miller Lite.

Rhino Bar
The two things essential for March Madness viewing are wings and cheap pitchers of beer, and Rhino Bar does both well. The Georgetown favorite offers 25-cent wings and $8 pitchers of Miller Lite during all games, and the beer of the month -- the refreshing Pilsner Urquell -- is $3.50 at all times through the end of March. Rhino sports 3 huge 110-inch high-definition projection screens as well as two dozen 29-inch TVs.

Rhodeside Grill
Both levels of the Rhodeside Grill will open early to show every game during March Madness. There are 22 TVs at the Arlington neighborhood bar, including two projection screens and a number of high-definition sets. Beer specials include $3 domestic drafts.

Sports Club LA
You'd think folks at a health club would be playing basketball, not watching it, but the Sports Club LA is showing every game in surround sound at its snazzy little bar. More surprising is the selection of food and drink specials: $2 Bud Light bottles, $7 pitchers of beer, $5 wing platters (with 15 wings) and free hors d'oeuvres at halftime of some games. Fill out a bracket for a chance to win spa treatments, personal training sessions, squash lessons or gym memberships.

Stetson's should be at or near the top of any bargain hunter's favorite venues. The U Street staple offers 25-cent wings and $2.50 happy hour drinks (rail drinks and Miller drafts) during all games. The bar is opening early to show games on its three projection screens and four high-definition TVs.

Tommy Joe's
During basketball games, specials include $3.50 domestic drafts and half-price wings and quesadillas. Tommy Joe's has 20 high-definition screens and two large projection screens. Watch out for giveaways of T-shirts, hats and other paraphernalia.

Tonic at Quigley's Pharmacy
Tonic's new outpost, located on the campus of George Washington University, will be showing all the games on its six large flatscreen TVs. As long as a game is on, happy hour prices are in effect: 50-cent wings and half-price draft beers.

Town Hall
A popular spot for Georgetown alumni, Town Hall is showing all the games on its six flatscreen TVs. Bud Lights are $2 on weekends.

Union Pub
Union Pub made its name by offering a wide range of specials to underpaid Capitol Hill interns, and the bar is keeping up that tradition during basketball season. Specials during games include $12 buckets of Budweiser and Bud Light bottles, $3 Bud Light, Miller Light and Amber Bock drafts, $5 Captain Morgan cocktails and $5 wings or nacho platters. There are two televisions on the bar's heated patio, which will be open weather-permitting, and 15 more inside, include a projection screen, a 70-inch high-definition TV and a quartet of 50-inch plasmas.

Ventnor Sports Cafe
Home of D.C.'s Tarheel contingent, Ventnor serves drinks in blue cups during all Carolina games. No matter your affliation, game-time specials include $3 Miller Lites and half-price wings. The bar recently upgraded its TV system and now has 16 high-def screens over two floors.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | March 13, 2008; 12:01 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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For Mason fans don't forget Brion's Grille at University Mall in Fairfax. It's across the street from the Patriot Center and a great place to cheer the Patriots on with fellow students, faculty and alums (like myself).

Posted by: Mike O | March 14, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking the same thing Mike, where is Brion's Grille and Champions in Reston? Gurus......maybe not!!!

Posted by: Matt | March 15, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Illinois and Minnesota, eh? Looks like it won't be hard to find seats at the Cleveland Park Bar and Grill this year.

Posted by: Darren | March 15, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

ventnor --- i guess it's not false advertising to say you have 16 HDTVs, but for the longest time you just had standard definiton reception broadcasts stretched onto the widescreen TVs

do you guys now actually have HD?

seems like such a huge waste otherwise

Posted by: Anonymous | March 19, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Any of them showing the Syracuse/UMD NIT game tonight?

Posted by: a stretch... | March 20, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

This is all interesting ... but where can one go if one could care less about March Madness? Tis a conundrum.

Posted by: GoCubs | March 20, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Vetnor probably will have it on somewhere. Its a Syracuse bar. Rhino may be able to as well.

Posted by: Jon | March 20, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Ventnor's Rocks, we love the atmosphere. Go Mason, go East Carolina to those planning on going to Ventnors.

Posted by: Go Mason | March 20, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

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