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Where to watch the presidential debates in NYC

Written by
Jennifer Picht

The event we’ve all been waiting for (also dreading) is here. If you haven’t noticed on Twitter—or if you are purposely avoiding social media entirely for the sake of your sanity—the first presidential debate begins tonight at Hofstra University on Long Island. Lord, help us. 

We don’t know about you, but we could certainly use a drink (or 10,000) while we watch Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton face off and speak on the serious matters our country endures not only today, but in years to come. Because we live in the greatest city in the world, many bars and venues are hosting fun debate watching parties, which should take the edge off (we hope). Make sure to get there before 8pm so you can find a seat and grab a drink before all the screaming and shouting commences.

But first, here is the schedule for the debates, which also includes the vice presidential head-to-head between Clinton’s running mate Senator Tim Kaine and Trump’s right-hand Governor Mike Pence.

Monday, September 26 (Presidential Debate)
Tuesday, October 4 (VP Debate)
Sunday, October 9 (Presidential Debate)
Wednesday, October 19 (VP Debate)
Tuesday, November 8 (Election Night)


The Standard (East Village): Café Standard (25 Cooper Sq)
Watch the debate on the big screen and down a gratis red or blue shot every time Trump says, “Yuge!” 

Village Pourhouse (64 Third Ave)
There will be special cocktails such as the Donald Drumpf and Secret Server for $8 available from 8–11pm while you stare, gasp and gape at the big screen.

Apollo Theater (253 W. 125th St)
The historic theater in Harlem is hosting a very special debate watching party including music performances by Hot 97 and WBLS DJ Enuff at 7:30pm. There will also be an interactive panel discussion led by Keli Goff (WNYC host) with folks such as Derek Dingle (editor-in-chief of Black Enterprise), Amy Holmes (political analyst), Scott McConnell (founding editor of The American Conservative) and Mariela Salgado (award-winning journalist for Univision 41 News). A Q&A facilitated by Rob Nelson (ABC7 News anchor) will follow. R.S.V.P. here.


Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan St)
Drown your electoral blues during this “Three Sheets to the West Wing” bash. There will be plenty of booze, including the Donkey Punch (a tall blue drink) and The Elephant in The Room (a red martini) to go around, plus voter registration forms. (Note: They must be postmarked by October 14).

Union Hall (702 Union St)
The debate will stream live on the big screen of this fun, Park Slope watering hole. There will be discounted drink specials (of course), plus bocce ball, for when you need a distraction. 

The Bell House (149 7th St)
Drink specials. Big screen. Rousing discussions. What more could you want?


Q.E.D (27-16 23rd Ave, Queens)
If you’re looking for some comic relief tonight, head to this Queen’s venue for a special viewing, where comedians and political commentators will add their “two cents” during the debate. Tickets are $10.  

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