- Eat & Drink
- News & Features
- City Life
- The Hamptons
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Orange County
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Silicon Valley
- Washington, D.C.
Whether You're a Democratic or a Republican, Where to Watch the Debate (with a Drink in Hand)
Ben Christopher | Photo: DonkeyHotey | October 16, 2012
Tonight's presidential debate takes the format of a townhall. How about you make that a beerhall?
Squabbling over politics and getting drunk: Two American pasttimes that have gone together since the Whiskey Rebellion. Whether you'll need to toast your candidate's victory or drown your sorrows after his defeat, here are a few watering holes around town where you can take in the second round of Obama vs. Romney—and then take in a few more rounds after that.
The self-proclaimed neighborhood bar of the Castro will be hosting a debate watching party with the San Francisco Democratic Party. While Mr. Obama himself may not be making an appearance among the local Dems in attendance, word has it that a cardboard cut out of his presidential likeliness will be there in his stead.
Doors: 5:30 p.m.
Cover: $10 (suggested)
Red Devil Lounge
What could provide better comedic material than a heated debate over optimal long-term debt-reduction strategies? No matter, comedians Brian Copeland and Jill Bourque will be doing their best to keep things light and lively as the bar mixes up "non-partisan, debate inspired drink specials." Doors: 5:30 p.m.
Cover: $5 (get tickets in advance here)
The café at this Presidio hotel lounge may serve Blue Bottle, but the politics at Swank tonight will be solidly red. Who could have guessed that the San Francisco Young Republicans (it's true, they exist) would choose to hold their Mitt-boosting debate bash at a bar with a name that evokes the aesthetic of the 1-percent? Go with it and order the Veuve Clicquot.
Meanwhile, representing the other candidate in SOMA, Technology for Obama will be partying like it's 2008 at this nightclub meets sustainable sushi bar. Come for the debate and post-event speeches; stay for that feeling of smug satisfaction that your candidate is so much cooler than the other guy.
And if neither candidate strikes your fancy, head to Mutiny Radio & Cafe, where the community broadcasters have announced their plans to "occupy the debate." And by "occupy," it looks like they mean watch it on TV and then hold a group discussion about how both candidates are awful. BYOB!
Doors: 6:00 p.m.
Sip Bar & Lounge
This dimly lit hangout at the mouth of the Broadway Tunnel has an extensive list of cocktails at the ready—from tried and true favorites to more ostentatious concoctions. All pair well with civic engagement. RSVP first.
Doors: First come, first seated.
The Balboa Theatre
Under the circumstances, we'd be remiss if we didn't offer at least one Mormon-friendly venue. Head to this historic theater in the Richmond and watch the candidates slug it out on the big screen.
Cover: Free (but bring cash for popcorn)
Got your own debate night plans? Tell us where you're watching the action on Twitter: @sanfranmag