A strong defense against those who claim Washington, D.C
isn't a true hockey town. Bugsy's Pizza & Sports Bar, which opened in August 1998
, is a two story establishment located right near the Potomac River
at 111 King Street in D.C
's true second city, Old Town Alexandria
. Technically consists of two restaurants, the downstairs Bugsy's Pizza and the upstairs Bugsy's Sports Bar, which is better known as The Penalty Box
Bugsy's is owned and operated by Bryan Watson, who's nickname has always been Bugsy. Watson played seventeen professional hockey seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings and spent the final three years of his NHL career with the Washington Capitals. In his three years with the Caps, Watson played 155 games, scored four goals, tallied 25 assists and logged 294 penalty minutes.
Downstairs, Bugsy's offers a nice family restaurant setting offering Chicago-style pizza. Yet upstairs is a totally different story. The walls are loaded with posters and jerseys of ice hockey greats, autographed photographs from famous athletes, cutouts from The Washington Post from memorable moments in D.C sports history such as the Washington Redskins winning Super Bowl XXVI, Cal Ripken Jr. breaking the consecutive games played streak and the Washington Capitals winning the Prince of Wales Trophy by clinching the 1998 Eastern Conference championship.
Bugsy's, which seats 190, is a force to be reckoned with when the Capitals are on the bar's eleven televisions. Caps fans frequently crowd the place for games. Between the thunderous groans when the guys in black and white make a terrible call, the cheers when Brendan Witt puts somebody on the boards hard and the fans on their feet, arms in air as a flashing red light and loud siren go off after every Capitals goal...Bugsy's is almost identical to taking in a game at the MCI Center, minus the players being in the same building as you. Yet, there's a good chance players might be in the same building as you, as many ex-Capitals have been known to frequent the joint.
Since the bars opening, fans have seen Peter Bondra become the Capitals all-time leading scorer, the Caps exit in the first round of three Stanley Cup Playoffs, Olaf Kolzig win the Vezina Trophy for Best Goaltender, Jaromir Jagr being perhaps the biggest bust in NHL history and the Caps winning back-to-back Southeast Division titles in 2000 and 2001. In all, in the six seasons since Bugsy's opened and became a staple for Caps fans and all D.C hockey fans, the Washington Capitals have logged 214 wins, 204 losses, 57 ties and 17 overtime losses.
Myself, Bugsy himself and the hundreds of Bugsy regulars will agree when I say "LETS GO CAPS!"