Andrew Karpan


The word on the street is that next week’s Democratic Presidential Debate will be a real record-setter, its pool of 12 candidates numerically besting the 11 who appeared at some Republican president debate in 2015. In addition to the 10-person party who showed up last month, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer are set to join the fun before the group will be culled into the eight who will perform at debate number five. But why experience history by yourself? Tune in on October 15 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at these seven local joints.

Bonus Room

Photo courtesy of the Bonus Room.

Keeping young punks on the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood informed as to the Democratic Party’s process remains a vital concern to the operators of the Bonus Room, a bar that really ties the budding scene around the Halsey L stop together.

Come Tuesday, the bar says they will keep things largely the same as last month, with full sound, and possibly some hot drink specials.

Heavy Woods

Photo from Bushwick Daily archive.

Ditto Gina Leone and Ben Warren’s other bar on the fancier side of Bushwick, which joins its indepently owned and operated drinking establishment in again offering viewers a largely nonpartisan place to watch the Democratic Party’s hopefuls biggest faceoff yet. Fans of all candidates are surely welcome at the New Orleans kitchen that has taken on the N.O. folk artist Dr Bob’s line, “Be Nice Or Leave,” as their motto. 


Photo by Alonzo Maciel.

Fittingly, the Bushwick single-screen theater and bar will be pushing their showing of the seasonal hit “Hocus Pocus” to an earlier slot on Tuesday in order to accommodate the debate. Unlike the 1993 convention of light-hearted witches which millions also regularly tune into this time of year, the debate will be screened in the cavernous bar’s main atrium where viewers can swing by, no tickets required. 


Courtesy of Emblem Sports Bar.

The East Williamsburg sports bar Emblem is known for conveniently having a TV screen on every wall and, on Tuesday, all 15 of those screens will be dedicated to a screening of the Democratic Presidential debate, officially sanctioned by a local chapter of volunteers for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential run. “There’s even a garden in the back where you can watch Elizabeth crush it on the debate stage!” the volunteers say. 

Guacuco Bed-Stuy

Courtesy of Guacoco Bed-Stuy Facebook.

The pundits are saying it’s now Senator Warren’s race to lose, so it’s fitting the campaign’s volunteers are running a second debate watching party at the recently-opened Bed-Stuy location of the Venezuelan standby Guacuco. Those joining the local debate party bound to have the best arepas will also be able to hear the thoughts of Nelini Stamp, the organizing director of the Working Families Party, a labor-aligned New York group that, not uncontroversially, gave its nod to Senator Warren last month. Per Facebook, the pre-debate talk will be on “Elizabeth’s vision for real, structural change in this country.”

Starr Barr

Courtesy of Brooklyn for Bernie Sanders Facebook.

The politically-active Starr Bar, long affiliated with Bushwick’s Mayday Space, will remain host yet again to the Brooklyn For Bernie Sanders and Queens For Bernie Sanders’ official debate-watching functions, among the no fewer than eight Sanders debate watching parties in the city on Tuesday. “Accept no substitutes,” the local group urges.  

Ridgewood Democratic Club

Courtesy of RDC Facebook.

Those looking to conduct a quieter public inspection of the 12 Democratic presidential candidates would do themselves a disservice by not checking into the Ridgewood Democratic Club’s venable and wooden-tiled walls on Tuesday. Located near the Fresh Pond Road M Station, the Club’s screening room is known to feature a large green replica of the Statue of Liberty along with an educational history of Democratic Party campaign 

paraphernalia, in addition to the required television set.

Cover photo courtesy of Public Citizen via Flickr.

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