Va. is for (sports) lovers

So you got bitten by the hockey bug this post-season. As a Washington partisan, it was only natural. But don’t let that sucker off just because the Capitals lost in the most heartbreaking fashion imaginable, clawing back from a 3-1 series disadvantage, and from several late-game deficits, only to watch as the Philadelphia Flyers tucked away an overtime goal in game seven at our very own Verizon Center.

Yes, that was sad — at least one proud Washingtonian was caught on camera soiling his brand-new Ovechkin replica jersey with an April shower of tears — but the Caps’ early bow-out shouldn’t be enough to send you back to “Two and a Half Men” re-runs come 7 o’clock. There are plenty of great teams left standing — the crafty Canadiens, the potent Penguins, the dominant Detroit Red Wings — and no shortage of places in and around D.C. to watch them in action.

The best of these is arguably Summers Restaurant, a stone’s throw from the orange-line Court House Metro in sleepy Arlington. Home to two separate bars (a smoke-free upstairs room and a more, um, aromatic lower level), a menu flush with both finger foods (wings, ribs) and gourmet items (salmon salad) and — oh yeah — about a billion flat-screen TVs, Summers has your living-room setup beat when it comes to indulging your inner sports junkie. And thanks to a killer satellite hookup, the place gets all those hard-to-find channels: the CBC and TSN for Canadian broadcasts, GolTV for international soccer, even Setanta for rugby and cricket.

Best of all, unlike a lot of the satellite-specialty-sports joints that dot the District, Summers isn’t affiliated with any one team. That means no Scousers stealing your hubcaps when you pull up wearing a Manchester United scarf; no Philly fanatics pelting you with batteries when you break into a chant of “M-E-T-S Mets Mets Mets!” The banter at Summers is always affectionate, never adversarial — as befits a bar to which patrons flock for the express purpose of letting their sports-geek flag fly. Think of it as the place you go where everybody knows your game.

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