[UPDATE] Eight Places to Watch the 2016 Presidential Debates
Given the political climate, we expect this season’s presidential debates to be tense. While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump exchange blows over healthcare, the economy, and each other’s outfits, you might need a drink. Instead of watching it all unfold at home over Twitter, look out for sound-on watch parties at bars like Cambridge Common and Parlor Sports. Or, go all in with drink specials and political debauchery at these area bars.
Aeronaut Brewing Company
During each debate, the action will be projected on the taproom wall, alongside a live Twitter stream. By using the hashtag #AEROdebate, guests can simultaneously participate in the on-screen discussion. Aeronaut encourages everyone to bring their own laptops and smartphones to participate, and the Somerville brewers are offering prizes for the “snarkiest” and “most clever” tweets each hour.
Aeronaut Brewing Company, 14 Tyler St., Somerville, 617-987-4236, aeronautbrewing.com.
While the debate screens on a 70-inch TV in the lounge, sip two speciality cocktails crafted just for the night: a classic gin and tonic called the GOP G&T, and the Clinton Bramble with gin, lemon, and blackberry liqueur. Both unshaken cocktails are made in collaboration with Brockmans gin.
$10, Brass Union, 70 Union Square, Somerville, 617-623-9211, www.brassunion.com.
During the final presidential debate, chef Brian Poe will make some special apps to help guests get in the political spirit. Try small plates like the Trump, a plate of very, very tiny Buffalo chicken fingers with maple dust and ranch, or the Clinton, a tower of onion rings battered with Dark Horse Brewing Company’s Crooked Tree IPA, with a “private server” of sauces on the side. If you’re still undecided, ponder your decision with the Ken Bone, which comes with bone marrow, chive vinaigrette, and toast.
$5, $7.95, and $15.95, Bukowski Tavern, 1281 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-497-7077, and other locations, bukowskitavern.net.
Grab a drink at the Union Square bar and watch the final debate with sound. If what you see makes you distraught, clear your head with the Penicillin cocktail, a mix of lemon, scotch, honey, and ginger.
$10 and $11, the Independent, 75 Union Square, Somerville, 617-440-6022, theindo.com.
A retro, Asian-fusion spot in Cleveland Circle is the place to go for debate bingo. Mark the spot when someone brings up Benghazi, the Common Core, or says “tremendous.” Jade Monkey, which opened earlier this year, has a tuna poke bowl, a Korean-style take on steak frites, Malaysian chicken wings, and more shareable plates by consulting chef Marc Orfaly (the Beehive, Pigalle), plus beer, wine, sake, and cocktails, so bring your friends.
1952 Beacon St., Brighton, 617-303-1000, jademonkeyboston.com.
Catch the debate on two flat-screen TVs posted around the restaurant. If all the political banter just does you in, head to the bar’s “neutral zone.” There, order any drink after 5 p.m. and get a free bar snack.
Lala Rokh, 97 Mt Vernon St., Beacon Hill, 617-720-5511, lalarokh.com.
Parker’s Bar and the Last Hurrah
Both bars in the historic Omni Parker House will screen this year’s debates, according to the Boston Globe. Additionally, Parker’s Bar has special Polling For Cocktails campaign going on through Election Day. Cast your vote with an order of the Hilla-rita, a tequila cocktail with orange juice and agave, the POTUS Punch, vodka with blackberries, lemon juice, and grenadine, or the Sugar Kaine Smash. The hotel will tally drink orders and post the results online every Wednesday, so make sure you turn out and vote.
Omni Parker House, 60 School St., 617-227-8600, omnihotels.com.
The final presidential debate will be shown live indoors and on the patio, and you can view the action while sipping one of the bar’s new fall cocktails. The seasonal menu includes new drinks like Ignored Prayers, a blend of tequila, Campari, and herbal liqueur.
$10 and $12, 661 Assembly Row, Somerville, 617-616-5561, river-bar.com.
UPDATE, October 17, noon: This post has been updated with new information ahead of the third and final presidential debate, taking place on Wednesday, October 19, at 9 p.m.