Where to watch the State of the Union address

February 12, 2013

When Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address tonight at 9 p.m., many bars and restaurants will put the speech on their biggest TVs and turn up the sound. Some will also offer drink specials during of the speech. Here's where to watch:


You'll be applauding cheap food and drinks during tonight's State of the Union address. (Joshua Robers/Bloomberg)

Bar 201
Bar 201 will be putting its new flatscreen TVs to good use, with the State of the Union on in both rooms. All-night food and drink specials include $4 glasses of house wine, $5 gin cocktails, $12 buckets of Goose Island's 312 urban wheat ale (a nod to Obama's Chicago roots) and $6 flatbread pizzas.

Busboys and Poets
All four Busboys locations are hosting viewing parties, and the original 14th Street restaurant is the site of the League of Young Voters gathering. (They'll be livestreaming a discussion before and after the speech at YoungVoterLive.com.)

Capitol Lounge
There's a house divided on Pennsylvania Avenue tonight. While Capitol Lounge is one of the best political bars in town, it's also home to the local Michigan State alumni, and tonight is the big rivalry game against Michigan. The State of the Union speech will be broadcast with full sound in the basement lounge, but the basketball game will get sound priority upstairs. (It will be on TVs upstairs with closed captioning, but how much fun is that?) Because this is Tuesday, the bar offers 25-cent wings all night with a two-drink minimum.

DC Reynolds
The Capitals game and the State of the Union will both be on at DC Reynolds tonight, but the president gets priority over the house sound system. (Thankfully for Caps fans, the puck drops 90 minutes before the speech.) Don't miss happy hour, with buy-one, get-one-free drinks from 5 to 9 p.m.

Rock Bottom Brewery, Ballston
The Arlington Young Democrats will be gathering in the Ballston brewpub's back room, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Star and Shamrock
If you want to watch the speech while sipping a Guinness and snacking on a Latke Madness sandwich, the H Street pub will have all its TVs on, with sound.

Ventnor Sports Cafe
The Adams Morgan sports bar hosts the city's most (in)famous State of the Union viewing party for the eighth year running. You pick a word (say, "bipartisan" or "insurance") and every time the president says it, you receive a $1 Jell-O shot. Arrive early: Owner Scott Auslander says all the seats were taken by 8 p.m. last year.

Fritz Hahn has written about bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. A product of Prince George's County public schools, Fritz majored in journalism at the University of Maryland and lives in the District.
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Alex Baldinger | February 12, 2013