United States: Tavern in Nation’s Capital Wins Denver Broncos Sports Bar Challenge!

American Football

Penn Quarter Tavern in Washington, DC, has won the Denver Bronco Sports Bar Challenge, garnering 44% of the 11,934 votes cast in the run-up to Super Bowl 50. Irish Oak in Chicago came in 2nd with 33%.

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Former Club Organizer Ron Campbell (left), the owner Penn Quarter Sports Tavern Mike Brand, and current Club Organizer Hilary Tilkens. Photo Credit: Denver Broncos Fan Club, Washington, DC, Chapter..


Penn Quarter Sports Tavern in Washington, DC, won the 2016 Denver Bronco Sports Bar Challenge with an impressive tally of 5,233 votes, which represented 44% of the 11,934 votes cast.

Following the tavern’s impressive victory, I got in touch with Hilary Tilkens, Fan Club Organizer of the Denver Broncos Fan Club, Washington, DC, Chapter, to find out more about the tavern – and the fan club that watches games there. Our interview follows:

How did the club get started?

We have been around for a decade now and originally began with just one or two people at a bar in Arlington, Virginia.

Our original founder’s name is Eric Allen. He is the person who was responsible for bringing us to Penn Quarter, and the group has grown exponentially since then!

Even in that dreaded 4 and 12 season in 2010, we gained new members, which we were very excited about.

What kinds of activities do you engage in?

For each game, we try to make PQ (as we call it) Mile High East. We come early and stay late, during which time we do all the chants and cheers you will hear in the stadium and even one or two that have been developed by members over the years.

Are you only active during football season, or do you meet throughout the year?

We are mainly active throughout football season. However, we do have occasional meet ups in the off-season.

Some examples of our off season meet ups are celebrations for players’ birthdays, draft parties, pre-season kick off parties, and occasionally we engage in a philanthropic endeavor or two.

Who are the members? Are they transplants from Colorado or locals that just happen to like the Broncos?

Much like the city of DC, we have both transplants and locals. Some of our newer members have just moved from Colorado, and some of our oldest members are lifelong East Coasters who fell in love with our team during the John Elway days (1983 – 1998), and vice versa.

Why do you hang out at this particular bar?

The reason we chose PQ started out quite simply: they promised to play the games with sound. However, in the 10 years that have passed, this place has truly become a home.

The owner treats us like family and tries to accommodate every crazy idea we come up with.

Furthermore, he goes out of his way to accommodate our group, from sponsoring party buses when we play locally to offering free brunch and drinks before select games.

He has truly become a friend to our group, and we love the reception we get from the amazing staff, and like Cheers, we all know each other on a first name basis.

How many people usually show up to root for the Broncos?

Our group fills the bar every week. Our numbers range from 100+ people every game.

Funnily enough, during the playoff game against the New England Patriots, we received 26+ inches of snow so we weren’t sure what kind of numbers we would get for the game.

We were thrilled when over 100 people trekked to the bar, some even walking miles to get to the bar as the city’s transit system was closed.

It was amazing, seeing that many people come out to watch a nationally televised game just to be in the bar and around fellow fans!

How many people were there for the Super Bowl, and what was the mood like?

Hundreds. I don’t think I have an accurate count, but it was jam packed wall to wall, and I think the best way to describe the atmosphere was electric!!!

Everyone felt like it was going to be a special game, and it didn’t disappoint. No matter how crowded the bar got, people were still psyched to be there!

How do you feel about winning the Sports Bar Challenge?

We are very excited about it. It was kind of fun to see people sitting around the bar during day of the Super Bowl frantically voting so that we could win this for PQ, we love them so much, so anything we can do to show just how special of a place it is we are happy to do.

Congratulations on a great season and winning the challenge! I hope you all become regular readers of the Accidental Travel Writer!

Live from Penn Quarter Sports Tavern

Produced by Rick Smith.
If you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, check out this stellar video produced by Denver Bronco fan Rick Smith. I promise you: You will NOT be disappointed!

Orange Crush Soldiers

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Founding member of the Denver Broncos Fan Club, Washington, DC, Branch. Photo Credit: Denver Broncos Fan Club, Washington, DC, Chapter.

Mile High East

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Photo Credit: Denver Broncos Fan Club, Washington, DC, Chapter.

From two guys at a sports bar in the suburbs, to hundred plus at a tavern in the heart of the nation’s capital – you’ve come a long way, baby!


Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, 639 Indiana Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Telephone: (202) 347-6666.


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