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The first presidential debate of the election season is basically the World Cup for D.C. wonks, so naturally, there’s no shortage of debate-watching parties in town. Get into it: The domestic-policy debate between President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney is showing all over town beginning at 9 p.m. (For your future planning: The town-hall debate happens Oct. 16, foreign policy on the 22nd, and Joe Biden and Paul Ryan go mano-a-mano Oct. 11.) Take advantage. These are some of the few occasions when it actually feels normal to drink and watch Jim Lehrer at the same time.
Located near many Capitol Hill offices, the 201 Bar (formerly 201 Lounge) will be a debate-viewing hotspot. The debate falls within 201 Bar’s happy hour, and red and blue cocktails are on the menu tonight.
Watching the presidential debate close to the White House is an option thanks to 1331 Bar and Lounge’s debate specials. Along with renaming some of their staple cocktails (campaign champagne cocktail, anyone?), 1331 has 11 flat-screen televisions and wireless Internet for all of your nerdy needs.
From 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Barcode Restaurant and Lounge hosts a debate-viewing party aimed for “young professionals.” There is no cover charge on Wednesdays, and Barcode will have drink specials from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Food is available until midnight, and yes, they have hookahs.
The Black Squirrel
Hunker down in the Tap Room with a Dragon’s Milk Oaked Imperial Stout from New Holland Brewing Company—-just tapped today, according to the Adams Morgan bar’s Facebook page.
Busboys and Poets (all locations)
The bookstore and restaurant is planning to show all the presidential debates and the VP debates later this month.
The Islander Caribbean Restaurant and Lounge
Debate the debate at the Islander Caribbean Restaurant and Lounge tonight, where there will be five whole screens of uncut debate action. Discussions will take place before and after the debate, and families are welcome. Between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., their happy hour includes $2.50 beers, half-price appetizer specials, and two-for-the-price-of-one signature cocktails.
Lou’s City Bar has half-price drafts every Wednesday, and today is no exception. Kick back and watch the debate on the bar’s covered patio. The bar will also have specials for the rest of the debates.
The Adams Morgan restaurant and bar hosts a debate party from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Includes specials on alcohol and pizza.
Slurp a $5 gin and tonic at the Woodley Park restaurant, which will air all the prez debates and the VP debate.
Drinking games abound!
Arrive early—-think right after work—-and grab yourself a few $6 frozen margaritas.
Ventnor Sports Café
Starting at 9 p.m., Ventnor Sports Café hosts a presidential debate bingo night.
Someone Else’s House
Find a debate party on BarackObama.com.
Or, you can just stream the debate on your computer. Easy.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery