Nielsen Media Research estimated that 90 million people watched the Super Bowl last year between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks.
How much higher would that grand total be if everyone crowded into their favorite pub, bar or restaurant to watch the game were tabulated?
The National Football League's championship game has become a social holiday for sports fans and non-fans alike — from the die-hard with the foam finger to the group of friends who just want to goof on the million-dollar commercials. Local establishments have followed that trend by offering specials and gimmicks to pack the fans in.
In some cases, booking early and arriving hours before the game is essential. Joe Theismann’s in Alexandria (1800 Diagonal Rd.), for example, rents its restaurant out to Mayor Bill Euille but will have open seating at its bar.
Here's a look at what some popular sports venues are doing for Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears:
Chicago Bears fans have been spotted at the Clarendon sports bar (3100 Clarendon Blvd.) before, and could come out of hibernation for the Mister Days’s Super Bowl party. For $25, fans get a guaranteed seat facing one of the 60 televisions in the facility and access to the bar’s big game buffet. Carol Shivener, a day manager, said they’ve tried to theme the cuisine in honor of the respective conference champions.
For Chicago? “Probably beef.”
For Indianapolis? Well, Shivener admits there really isn’t an obvious culinary choice to represent the Hoosier State. “The only thing I found online was a cream pie,” she said.
Mister Days, which is also scheduled to have appearances by the Redskinettes, is taking reservations for its Super Bowl party in person or over the phone at 703-527-1600.
<ro>Crystal City Sports Pub
If you’re interested in watching the Super Bowl at the Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd St. South, 703-521-8215), you may want to pick up the phone immediately. Travis McCormack, a manager at the Pub, said last Friday that the place was nearly booked up with reservations — including a party of 100 people that has taken a chunk out of the bar’s capacity.
Cost for a seat in the Crystal City Sports Pub for the Super Bowl is $25, but the cover charge is applied to the customer’s check at the end of the night. “Four people at a table is $100, and for the Super Bowl it’s not hard to spend $100,” said McCormack.
As of late last week, the Pub still had seating in its non-smoking areas and on the deck. Call 703-521-8215 or visit www.crystalcitysportspub.net or more information.
Chadwicks in Old Town (203 The Strand, 703-836-4442, located between Prince and Duke Streets) is offering an array of specials for the Super Bowl. Select appetizers will be available for $3 during the game. House wine will be $3 a glass, rail drinks will be available for $2 and select domestic beer for $2 from 6 p.m. until after the game. There’s no cover charge. Visit www.chadwicksrestaurants.com for more information.
<ro>Duke’s Market Café
Football food for a football crowd. That’s how Shelia Jones, assistant to the manager at Duke’s Market Café (100 S. Reynolds St., 2nd Floor Washington Suites Hotel, 703-823-8162) described the food offerings at the restaurant’s Super Bowl party. An $8.95 buffet will offer nachos, hot dogs and other game-time grub throughout the game. There will also to $2 drafts served all night. No reservations required.
Wilson Whitney, owner of the Rhodeside Grill (1836 Wilson Blvd., two blocks from the Courthouse Metro) also plans to include some region food choices in relation to Chicago and Indianapolis. “I kind of hoped that New Orleans would win, because then I could go crazy [with the food],” he said.
In addition, Rhodeside will offer hot dogs, corn dogs, nachos and other stadium fare. Miller Lite and Bud Light will be available for $3 a pint and $10 a pitcher; Microbrews for $4 and $13.
In addition, the first 100 people who arrive at Rhodeside for the game will get their names on an “office pool” grid; if the score at the end of the quarter matches their numbers, the lucky fan will win a door prize.
The second-floor sports bar (111 King St., Alexandria, 703-683-0313) will begin its Super Bowl festivities at 5 p.m. The first 60 people will receive Super Bowl T-shirts. There are 40-cent wings and big discounts on "stadium bottle" beer from Bud Light.
Baileys Pub and Grill Restaurants (Ballston Common Mall, 4238 Wilson Blvd., 703-465-1300)
Champps Bar and Restaurant (1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington, 703-414-3601)
Daniel O'Connell's Restaurant (112 King St., Alexandria, 703-739-1124)
Murphy's Grand Irish Pub (713 King St., 703-548-1717)
Ramparts Restaurant & SportsBar (1700 Fern St., Alexandria, Va., 703-998-6616)
Shooter McGee’s (5239 Duke Street, Alexandria, 703-751-9266)