Andrew Karpan 


The word on the street is that the third Democratic Presidential debate, the serious-candidates-only-one, will be where things go down. Maybe not. There’s still probably a hundred to go. But why experience history by yourself in front of your laptop’s cold and merciless glow when you could be, instead, drinking a cold one? Tune in on September 12 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at these six local bars.

Bonus Room

The punk dungeon down on Wyckoff Avenue and next to the sleepy Halsey L is one place to catch debate No. 3, where “a large screen, full sound, and drink specials” are promised by the proprietors. This “jagged and unrefined” project of neighborhood bar barrons Gina Leone and Ben Warren also puts out a mean frozen negroni most evenings. 

Heavy Woods

Leone and Warren’s other bar will is another place to see the final 10. Those closer to the comparatively woke Jefferson L will be able to enjoy “three large screens,” along with the aforementioned full sound and drink specials. For the politico looking for a debate night rager following hardcore conversations about the health care industy, the cajun spot runs a late-night happy hour after midnight, that got the bar a nod in a Thirllist happy hour listicle earlier this year, noting that it “stands out from the Bushwick dive bar scene.” And you can too!


Alonzo Maciel for Bushwick Daily.

The roomy East Williamsburg bar-slash-single screen movie theater will also be shooting up the debate on its high walls and mid-century chic upholstery. Cinephiles arriving earlier in the evening can score tickets to a showing of Lulu Wang’s Sundance hit “The Farewell,” which will be screening at an earlier time on Thursday to accommodate the debate.  

The Well

The “enormous warehouse” on Meserole Street will host New York State Senator Julia Salazar’s official debate-watching party, which will be preceded by a speech by the Senator, who has endorsed Bernie Sanders’ run for big job. The speech, which will cover “what we’ve accomplished in this past legislative session and ways to get involved in our ongoing community and policy work” will begin at 7 p.m. and a donation to Salazar’s re-election campaign is requested

Starr Bar

The drinking hole affiliated with Bushwick’s Mayday Space—10 percent of proceeds there go directly to the colorful mutli-faciated community space and Starr has been a longtime host of many a worthy cause—will also be playing host on Thursday to a Sanders-themed debate party. 

Namely, New York City for Bernie 2020’s official debate watching function, which attendees can enjoy in addition to Starr’s regular schedule of dry gin-based cocktails called the Green New Deal and Jalapeno-infused Tequila creations that promises to kill fascists. The Sanders crew here promises that newcomers can “learn how you can help us organize locally to send Bernie Sanders to the White House and win the class war.”

Little Skips East

News that venture capitalist Andrew Yang creaked in with 2 percent in a number of polls in Iowa brought cheer to his followers online and off. Locals can witness a gathering of one of these celebratory “Yang Gangs” on debate night at the East Broadway bastion of Little Skips, a line of local coffee shops that also serve an in-house line of “Cutie Ale,” in addition to Grimm IPA on tap. “Get excited about our historic campaign to transform America! UBI for the win!,” organizers say.

Cover image courtesy of Heavy Woods.

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