Where to watch the State of the Union speech

This post has been updated with more events.

To me, few things scream "This Town" more than Washingtonians getting together in bars to watch the State of the Union speech like it's the Super Bowl, with sound blaring throughout the room and customers alternately heckling the speech or playing drinking games. While you'll be able to find the State of the Union playing in just about every bar on Capitol Hill, these spots go above and beyond just showing the speech with sound.

As a reminder: The speech begins at 9 p.m., but many people will claim their barstools much earlier.


Listen carefully when President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union speech on Tuesday: You might win your bingo game or claim a $1 Jell-O shot. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

201 Bar: The Washington Examiner is hosting its own State of the Union Bingo game at 201, where cards will include phrases like "compromise" or "let me be clear." Drink specials include half-price Belgian beers and $5 infused bourbons. The party begins at 8; early arrivals receive a free drink on the house. RSVP to reserve a free bingo card.

Barcode: If watching the speech on a pair of high-definition projection screens isn't enough of a draw, how about half-price pizzas and bottles of wine?

Busboys and Poets: All four Busboys and Poets are hosting State of the Union viewing parties. The Shirlington location features a post-speech panel discussion.

Capitol Lounge: What makes the Lounge stand out from its Pennsylvania Avenue neighbors? Wing Night, which means 25-cent wings with the purchase of two beverages.

The Diner: Even if you don't win prizes in the State of the Union Bingo at the Diner, there are plenty of deals to be had, including 50-cent wings and $18 pitchers of beer. Specials and bingo kick off at 8 p.m.

Duffy's Irish Pub: Duffy's promises to serve free tater tots during the speech itself. Free tater tots? God bless America. If that's not enough, there are PBR tallboy combos – $8 gets you a PBR and a shot of bourbon; $10 for a PBR and wings – and $20 pitchers of Great Lakes Burning River IPA and Sam Adams Cold Snap.

Lou's City Bar: Play State of the Union bingo to win shots and restaurant gift certificates. Specials during the speech include $20 buckets of Coors Light bottles.

Redline: The Penn Quarter sports bar is showing the speech on all 50 TVs and offering happy hour deals -- $4 drafts, $5 rail drinks, $6 wine by the glass, 20 percent off appetizers – all night long.

Shaw's Tavern: The State of the Union will play on the big screen TV on the second floor. Burgers are half-price from 5 p.m. to close; Wine and draft beer will be two-for-one after 7 p.m.

Sonoma: The Capitol Hill wine bar serves free snacks in its upstairs lounge, including truffled popcorn and flatbreads, and $5 rail drinks. The full happy hour menu, including discounted drinks and snacks, will be available for the duration of the speech.

Star and Shamrock: Remember when President Obama rediscovered his Irish roots? The Star and Shamrock does, and Guinness is hosting a pre-State of the Union happy hour in the H Street NE pub. From 6 to 9 p.m., the Guinness crew will be at the bar, silk-screening T-shirts for anyone who purchases a pint of Guinness or Harp. The music cuts off at 9 p.m. for the speech, but drinks keep flowing all night.

Ventnor Sports Cafe: The ninth edition of Ventnor's State of the Union party adheres to the same rules as always. Pick a word or phrase when you walk in, such as "bipartisan" or "middle class." Every time the president says it, you get a $1 Jello shot. This is one of the most popular State of the Union parties in town, so make sure you arrive early.

Bars that advertise they will have the speech on with sound: DC Reynolds (with happy hour until 9), Hank's Oyster Bar (all locations), Ivy and Coney, Meridian Pint, Stoney's Bar and Grill.

Fritz Hahn has covered 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. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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Fritz Hahn · January 28