Alan Harris has been with BlackFinn since it opened in Bethesda. Bar goers note that he’s never in a bad mood, a feat for a guy that spends a lot of time behind the bar. From Fairfax, he’s a hard-core Washington sports fan. He’s even hoping to catch a few games this year - in person.
On Tap: How have things changed since you opened this bar in 2007?
Alan Harris: Well, we’ve pretty much stayed the same ol’ American neighborhood pub. But we’ve grown more popular, we now have people coming from the city out here to see us.
OT: Where can you be found when you are not working?
AH: With my son, watching baseball.
OT: Nats fan?
OT: Who do you root for come football season?
OT: Are you watching from behind the bar or in the stands?
AH: In the stands. I love tailgating. Last year, I didn’t get to any games, because I was managing more often. But they promised me I could go this year.
OT: How do you think the Skins are going to do this year?
AH: I would like to say we are going to the Bowl, but in all likelihood we are probably gonna go 8 and 8. We have a couple years to go before we really take off. Need to get that O line in line first.
OT: Why should people stop by BlackFinn for the games?
AH: For the beer towers, incredible food specials, and our top notch service. For $18, you get 100 ounces of beer, roughly 9.5 beers. That’s a deal!
Catch Alan at the bar Thursday through Monday nights.
With TVs at individual tables on the main level, and plenty of big screens, this is a great place to catch the game. The menu has tasty options like crab cake sliders and gourmet burgers. Late night, the DJ gets going and it gets pretty crowded.
BlackFinn American Saloon: 4901 Fairmont Ave. Bethesda MD; 301-951-5681; www.blackfinnbethesda.com
Annie Pham joined On Tap for a tubing trip on the Shenandoah for a day of relaxation, and maybe a little craziness. So On Tap decided to visit her for the same reason. With a day job that keeps her busy, she’s in the bar for the same reason you are: to have a great time.
On Tap: What is the best part about working here?
Annie Pham: The people. We take care of each other here. It’s the type of place you want to come back to. I don’t mind picking up shifts or covering for someone, because I always have a good time when I’m here. I love that I feel like I’m going out for the night, but I’m making money also!
OT: Where can you be found when you’re not working?
AP: Well, I have another job. During the day, I’m a Medical Assistant for a Dermatologist. Then the piercings and the tattoos come out and I come to work here at night. When I’m not working, I might be at the bars around here. I love Temple’s happy hour, and many of my friends work there.
OT: What are you most looking forward to about Fall?
AP: Football! I’m a die-hard Redskins fan. But I do have two Patriots jerseys that I have to wear occasionally; it’s my boyfriend’s fault.
OT: Who do you root against?
AP: Cowboys. That was an easy one. It gets ugly in here when the Skins and Cowboys play. We’ve got Cowboys jerseys in the front and Skins jerseys in the back. Lots of pounding on the walls and loud noises.
Catch Annie at the bar Wednesdays and on the weekend.
First Down is a laid back bar just across the street from the Ballston Metro. With plenty of bar space, and lots of fun reasons to stop by—ranging from Karaoke to Bingo to NFL games—people are never lacking for something to do. It’s the sort of place you can show up on your own, and never be short for conversation. Check out the all-you-can-eat wings on Thursday nights.
First Down: 4213 N. Fairfax Dr. Arlington VA; 703-465-8888; www.firstdownsportsbar.com
Chris Williams loves his job because it combines two of his favorite things: talking to people and sports. As one of the best destinations for college football, UFC fights, NFL games, and pretty much any other sport you can think of, this Washington sports fan loves life at the top of Public DC.
On Tap: When did you start bartending here?
Chris Williams: My first shift here was week one of college football three years ago. We opened at 11 a.m. as a test run. Two girls came in and asked us if we could put on the Iowa Game. Two weeks later, we had 300 people wearing black and yellow. It’s a great place for alumni groups.
OT: What is the hardest drink to make?
CW: The hardest drink to make is one given with no context. “Make me something that tastes good.” Well, everyone’s taste is different. I think a Jameson is delicious but that might not be the case for you. If you make a shooter red, most people won’t complain. A bartender told me that years ago. In time, I’ve found it to be true.
OT: What are you most looking forward to about fall?
CW: Besides football? The Nationals being in the playoffs. This city hasn’t had a great fanbase for the baseball team. But it’s starting to swell more and more. Come October it will be great.
OT: Why should people stop by Public for the games?
CW: The atmosphere. The staff embraces all sorts of screaming fanatic behavior. The fact that you can literally watch nine games at the same time is a big differentiator.
Catch Chris at the bar Tuesday through Saturday nights
With two walls covered in 40 inch screens and one giant projector wall, a sports fan gets a little excited when encountering the first level of Public Bar. With two other levels of fun, including an open air rooftop, there is a place for everyone at Public Bar. Stop in for happy hour Monday through Friday, 4 to 8 p.m. or reserve a booth for your favorite game.
Public Bar Dupont: 1214 18th St. NW, DC;202-223-2200; www.publicbar.co/dupont