So last night I went to the Official Capitals’ Away-Party at the Glory Days Grill in Gainesville, Va. Even though I have noticed that there are several Glory Days locations popping up around the area, I had never been to one before last night.
I suspected it was going to be busy, so I got to the restaurant early. First thing I noticed was that there were TV’s everywhere. Each showing something different. Each TV had something different on it from ESPN to Tennis to basketball, just all kinds of sports. You would expect in such an environment that there would be a cacophony of noise from the many TV’s, but none of them had the volume turned up.
Instead, they had a wireless box at each table where you could select which TV you wanted to listen to, and adjust the volume yourself. I know this may be “old news” to the many of you who have been to one, but to me it was new, and I thought it was cool.
So, since I was there early, I ordered dinner. I had the center cut sirloin, and the redskin potatoes (I’m a sucker for anything “Redskins”). The food was excellent! Later in the evening I ordered the Buffalo Chicken dip with tortilla chips and it lasted all of about 5 seconds. My server was on top of things as well. My beer may have gotten low a few times, but he never left me without or wanting.
The Caps’ fans began pouring in around 6pm, and I noticed the most popular jersey was Nicklas Backstrom’s. I know they are called “sweaters” (to you hockey purists out there) but I haven’t grown accustomed to calling them that yet. A sweater is something grandma gives you for Christmas with little reindeer on them that you wear once (usually on Christmas so she can get a picture of you in it) and never wear again.
The environment was very family friendly, and I loved seeing four year olds wandering around with their little Ovechkin jerseys. I think I even saw a six-year old with a Varlamov jersey; Mom and Dad are raising him right! Slapshot was a big hit with the kids as he posed for pictures, signed autographs and acted silly for the kids (in one instance he posed for a pic with two little girls and “accidently” covered their faces with his hands).
The Caps gave everyone a complimentary red plastic cup with the team logo on it; inside was a single raffle ticket. Throughout the night they would draw for prizes such as autographed pucks and sticks and gift certificates from Glory Days Grill. I was one number away from winning a puck autographed by Coach Boudreau, a Glory Days T-shirt and a $10 gift card. The gentleman across the aisle from me won a stick signed by Alex Ovechkin. A guy behind me won a Mike Green signed puck, and the guy across from him won a puck signed by Alex Semin. (though I didn’t “win” anything, it wasn’t a total loss; my wife had bought me Mass Effect 2 for the Xbox 360, and had it waiting as a surprise for me when I got home).
As the game started, the restaurant turned up the house volume for the projector screen, the cowbells began ringing and the familiar cheer of “C! A! P! S! CAPS! CAPS! CAPS!” began to fill the restaurant. When Brendan Morrison scored the game’s first goal 65 seconds into the contest the place went nuts! I can’t accurately describe what it was like to be there other than to say it was only second to being at the game itself. When the Caps scored (which they did often in their 7-2 thrashing of New York) I could barely hear myself yelling over the noise of everyone else doing the same!
For a full list of the Caps’ upcoming “Away Parties” you can click here and trust me when I say you won’t regret going! The Glory Days Grill in Gainesville has invited all Caps fans out for the Caps’ game versus Pittsburgh on February 7th, where you can watch the game and stick around for their Super Bowl festivities!
For more info on Glory Days Grill in Gainesville, you can click here.