Voting by mail is great for increasing turnout, but it does make Election Day rather anticlimactic. Fortunately there’s election night, when a bevy of local bars, restaurants, and civic organizations let the booze flow and the anticipation mount...at least until the winner is declared. But at least by then you'll be amply lubricated for the celebrations or sorrow-drowning that follows.
Here, a few places to spend election night. Did we miss one? Rail or regale in the comments.
The 5 Spot
This restaurant never misses a chance for a theme menu, so obviously the staff is all about politically themed cocktails, apps, and dinner specials tonight (hmmm, Super PAC’d Pork Treat or Lame Duck Confit?). Election results will be up on the big screen, but don’t expect any drunken mayhem in this family-friendly spot. Kids, however, are welcome.
Capitol Hill’s newest sports bar is all about Obama and marriage equality on election night. Happy hour runs from 4 to 6. After that, DJs will usher in election results. Jokes about political spin optional.
Bar manager Erik Carlson will hold court in the back bar from 4:30 on. The Ballard bistro has set up a showdown between a French wine (a 2006 Chateau Lagrange Pomerol from Bordeaux) and a local contendor (2010 Cadence Coda from Red Mountain). Taste, watch election results, and vote for your favorite. Feel unpatriotic drinking like a cheese-eating surrender monkey? Carlson has two $8 cocktails with an Ameriana theme, and chef Jason Stoneburner (yeah, that guy) is offering up a burger and French freedom fries special for $10.
With a one-night-only cocktail list that includes drinks like the Blue State, Barack on the Rocks, and the Freedom to Marry Mary, Madison Valley’s meatless haven clearly isn’t expecting many conservatives to stop by. But anyone who does can fuel up on $10 pizza specials and all-night happy hour (starting at 3pm) while watching election results projected on the wall in the main dining room.
Moe Bar and Neumos
Get-out-the-vote group Washington Bus is parking it here for the night, starting at 5. On the agenda: Lots of screens to track the results, and lots of booze for celebratory or sorrow-drowning purposes.
The Neighbor Lady
Much like the revolution, the election will be televised at this vegetarian-friendly bar in the Central District, a sibling to Twilight Exit. Drink specials and happy hour prices are in effect until a president-elect is declared.
The Pink Door
At the special election-night price of $1 apiece, the restaurant’s signature Obama-Rama cocktails will no doubt be flowing in Pike Place Market. An impressive 104-inch screen will show coverage from CNN and Fox News, focusing on the governor’s race, R74, and, duh, the presidential race. Festivities start at 3 and last until well after midnight; no reservations tonight, so get there early.
Obama’s Hawaiian heritage and Romney’s love of barbecue inspire the pizza toppings tonight, and happy hour starts at 4pm and lasts until the winner is announced. What to drink at said happy hour? Depending on which way you swing, either a Mitt Julep or an Oban-A Scotch on the B’Rocks, or special cocktails colored red, blue, or purple for independents. Sorry, underage voters—this one is for big kids.
Strawberry Theatre Workshop
The company has been known to throw the occasional election-night dance party, and the 2012 Electionation installment is free and happens from 6 to midnight in the lobby of the Broadway Performance Hall. Local actors Alycia Delmore and Basil Harris will host a night of booze, interactive U.S. maps, quizzes, booze, White House, gubernatorial, and R74 results, booze, and coverage from CNN, and Fox News, and Comedy Central for balance/irony. Oh, and did we mention booze? Drinks are half-price from 6 to 7.
Wine Tea Chocolate
Fremont’s destination for the aforementioned indulgences is skipping the big screens for election night. But plans do call for updates via smart phones, an American history quiz (with prizes), a rousing round of Pin the Dollar on the Senator, and beer vs. wine specials. A round of bubbly will be dispensed to celebrate the conclusion of election media coverage. Festivities start at 5 and, like a college party, last until "???".