It is truly amazing what has happened to Chinatown since the Verizon Center was built back in 1997. It has become one of the trendest hot spots in the city from the fantastic restaurants to wide variety of bars and night clubs.
Whether you plan to drive into the city or take the metro, (which drops you off right at the arena) be sure to get down to Chinatown a couple hours before puck drop to pregame.
I recommend you head over to “Rocket Bar” which is located less than one block from an entrance to the Verizon Center. Lots of Capitals fans get their pregame libations at this “hole in the wall” bar. It features a great happy hour with plenty of pool tables, dart boards, and other bar type arcade games. If a dive bar is not your scene, you can settle in at Cylde’s which features another fantastic happy hour which also includes their famous Raw Oyster Bar.
Once you’ve had your fill before the game, make your way into the stadium for an in your face hockey experience you’ll never forget. During the National Anthem, please don’t be alarmed when the whole crowd yells in unison “RED!” Capital fans love their red. Once the puck drops, listen for the sound of a vuvuzela in the distance. Yes, the same vuvuzela you remember hearing throughout the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. “Horn Guy,” as he is known at the Verizon Center, blows his horn throughout key moments of the game to the tune of “LETS – GO – CAPS” as a way to fire up the fans. I also would be remiss if I forgot to mention “Goat.” “Goat” is an extremely passionate Caps fan who gets featured on the jumbotron during the game to stand up and lead the crowd in a chant of “LETS – GO – CAPS.”
The last thing and probably most important thing to remember when going to a Washington Capitals game is to “Unleash the Fury.” If you aren’t familar with the comedy “Road Trip,” there is a scene where Tom Green is trying to feed his roommate’s pet snake but he just won’t eat. To help get the snake to eat, Green says softly, “Unleash the Fury” and slowly it gets to the point where he screams it out loud at the snake. The Capitals started showing that scene to fire up the crowd late in the 3rd period of games and it became a phenomenon. Tom Green heard about all the love in Washington D.C. that he volunteered to shoot a special version of the scene for the fans that is just played at the games.
After a great night of hockey action, you can’t let your night end just yet. There are tons of great post game hot spots. Directly across the street is “Redline” which is known as a Gastrolounge. When you are seated, there are two beer taps installed into the table with two different types of beers on tap. The waiter will bring you pint glasses to fill to your hearts’ content. When you are ready to settle up, the waiter gets a digital read out of how much you poured and charges you by the ounce. If you are looking for a more chill atmosphere, head down a couple blocks to Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. They always have postgame drink specials for you to enjoy.
So, make sure you “Rock the Red” while chanting “LETS GO CAPS” when attending a Washington Capitals game at the Verizon Center but always remember to “UNLEASH THE FURY!”