Close Out the 2016 Presidential Election at These Boston-Area Bars and Restaurants

Grab a seat at the Gallows, River Bar, and more places to watch history happen—with a themed cocktail in hand, of course.

XLV, the newest presidential double IPA from Night Shift Brewing. / Photo by Tim Oxton

XLV, the newest presidential double IPA from Night Shift Brewing. / Photo by Tim Oxton

You watched the debates. You drowned your frustrations in election-themed cocktails. And now, the decisive moment is here: the 2016 presidential election takes place on Tuesday, November 8. We understand many just want it to be over with, but if you want to watch the electoral votes tick up, here are 13 restaurants and bars marking the occasion with themed food and drink.

Boston Chops

Starting at 5 p.m., chef Chris Coombs’s South End restaurant has a special burger honor of election day. It’s only available if you’re seated at the bar, so hurry in and snag a spot.

Boston Chops, 1375 Washington St., South End,

Brass Union

The Union Square spot has its own last-minute election between three Captain Morgan cocktails. Vote for the Air Force Rum, with pineapple juice and orgeat; the Bye Obama, with lime juice and grenadine; or the Running Mate, with pineapple juice and blackberry liqueur. While you sip and judge, watch the election action in high definition, with sound on in the lounge. Ballots for each drink will be counted at 9 p.m., with a few prizes given out to lucky voters.

$10 per drink, Brass Union, 70 Union Square, Somerville, 617-623-9211,

Bukowski Tavern

If you stopped by this Cambridge bar during any of the presidential debates, you’ve likely snacked candidate-themed plates like Trump buffalo maple-dusted little fingers, or Clinton email server of onion rings. Chef Brian Poe will serve all of those specials one last time, and is adding another item to the mix: the Tofu Palin, a vegetarian dish featuring tofu tips topped with soy-sesame vinaigrette, quinoa, and grilled vegetables. If you arrive wearing an “I Voted” sticker, you could also score a two-ounce packet of Poe’s house-made hot sauce.

$5-$15.95, Bukowski Tavern, 1281 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-497-7077, and other locations,

Chelsea Station

A new restaurant inside an old firehouse marks its first presidential election with complimentary, light bites; creative cocktail specials, and its own election, complete with prizes. Returns coverage will be on TV.

Chelsea Station, 105 Everett Ave., Chelsea, 617-466-0754,

Foundry on Elm

Watch the votes come in on the many flat-screen TVs around this Davis Square restaurant. For the thirsty, the bartenders are shaking up two special cocktails: the Orangeman, with double-barrel whiskey, Averna, and bitters; and the Nasty Woman, a blend of gin, lemon, grapefruit, and simple syrup.

$12, Foundry on Elm, 255 Elm St., Somerville, 617-628-9999,

The Gallows

Exercise your right to vote, and benefit at the Gallows: This South End restaurant has a signature poutine special for those who display an “I Voted” sticker. The election returns will be on the TV, too.

The Gallows, 1395 Washington St., Boston, 617-425-0200,

The Independent

The election results will be broadcast with sound on at this Somerville bar. It’s bound to be a high-stress viewing party, so the bar will be mixing up a classic Penicillin cocktail, with scotch, ginger, honey, and fresh lemon. Relief is close.

$11, the Independent, 75 Union Square, Somerville, 617-440-6022,

Lala Rokh

After airing all three debates, the Beacon Hill restaurant is throwing down for one last watch party. Grab a chair, a free bar snack, and a stiff cocktail, and watch this monumental election cycle come to a roaring conclusion. The festivities begin at 4 p.m.

Lala Rokh, 97 Mt Vernon St., Beacon Hill, 617-720-5511,


This 141-year-old cocktail bar has a few historically inspired drinks to mark Election Day. The President is based on the classic El Presidente cocktail with white rum, dry curacao, and vermouth. The Bourbon Democrat, with bourbon, allspice dram, and lemon, is named for a 19th century term for a conservative member of the Democratic Party. Finally, the Republican Cabal features barrel-aged genever, bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and it’s an homage to a conspiracy exposed in 1875 (the year Marliave opened) in which government agents, politicians, whiskey distillers, and distributors colluded to divert tax revenue.

Marliave, 10 Bosworth St., Downtown Crossing, Boston, 617-422-0004,

Night Shift Brewing

Toast the end of this election cycle with the newest release in the in the Presidential double IPA series. XLV—America is electing its 45th president—is an 8.7-percent ABV beer, with Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra hops for a hoppy distraction from whatever happens on TV this Tuesday. Look for the beer on draft at the Everett taproom, as well as in 16-ounce four-packs.

Night Shift Brewing, 87 Santilli Highway, Everett, 617-294-4233,

Pier 6

The Charlestown restaurant will start serving three presidential cocktails starting at 5 p.m. Sip the Billionaire Boulevardier, with Woodford Reserve Rye and sweet vermouth; the Oaktober Surprise Smash, with oaked vodka, lemon, and mint; or How ’Bout Them Emails?, with silver tequila, Downeast cider, agave, and cinnamon.

$13 per cocktail, Pier 6, 1 8th St., Charlestown, 617-337-0054,

River Bar

As the votes are tallied, sip a number of boozy absinthes at the Assembly Row spot. Brands range from Herbsaint, to St. George Absinthe Verte, to Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure. While you drink, election coverage will be shown around the bar.

$6-$11, 661 Assembly Row, Somerville, 617-616-5561,

Custard at Shake Shack.

Custard at Shake Shack. / Photo by Evan Sung

Shake Shack

On election day, show proof that you voted (or mention this deal) and snag a free scoop of custard at Shake Shack. The promotion spans all five locations in Massachusetts, including Newbury Street, Harvard Square, and the Seaport. The restaurant is also serving complimentary scoop to all veterans on Friday, November 11.

Shake Shack, 234 Newbury St., 617-933-5050, and other locations,