During presidential debate nights, people in Miami may not congregate around giant screens at restaurants and bars, Super Bowl-style, as they do in Washington, D.C.
However, there are some places in Miami where you can watch the debates, whether you prefer watching the event with a group, want a steady flow of cocktails, or just wish to escape your abuelo‘s or your sister’s running commentary at home (list of watch parties and restaurants/bars follows).
Aimee Ferrer, a 35-year-old lawyer, was surprised that some of her favorite Miami restaurants weren’t showing the previous presidential debates .
During the 2004 campaign season, Ferrer worked at Tonic, a restaurant/bar in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Ferrer says the music at Tonic was turned off and the volume turned way up on the TV during presidential debates: “Everyone at the bar was into it. Even people who weren’t involved in politics were engaged.” Of course, D.C. is a world unto itself when it comes to the horse races of politics.
However, there are some Miami restaurants and bars that plan to show the last presidential debate, which takes place at Boca Raton’s Lynn University, 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday. Some of these restaurants won’t necessarily turn the sound on unless customers request it, but going with a group can help.
Even if a restaurant isn’t listed here, many spots will change the channel per customers’ requests. Finding a location with multiple TV’s may help ensure you don’t get vetoed by “Monday Night Football” fans.
Below the list of restaurants and bars there is a list of local watch parties open to the public.
Restaurants and Bars Where You Can Watch Monday Night’s Presidential Debate
Area 31 (bar), 16th floor at Epic Hotel, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Brickell; 305-424-5234
BGR: The Burger Joint, 232 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-461-9989
The D.C.-based chain continues its “Presidential Burger Challenge” through the November elections. As of Oct. 15, BGR: The Burger Joint customers purchased more “President Barack Obama Burgers” (topped with a Chicago hot dog) than “Governor Mitt Romney Burgers” (topped with lobster and hollandaise sauce).
BGR: The Burger Joint, 13668 SW 88th St., West Kendall; 305-386-5658
The Corner, 1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-961-7887
Essensia (lounge) at Palms Hotel & Spa, 3025 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-0505
Lantao Social Club (lobby bar), Surfcomber Hotel, 1717 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-1800
John Martin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, 253 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-445-3777
Mike’s at Venetia Restaurant and Irish Pub, 555 NE 15th St., Ninth Floor, Miami; 305-374-5731
Miller’s Coral Gables Ale House, 101 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-3600
There are numerous TV’s at Miller’s Ale House locations throughout South Florida; staff will turn some of them to the (closed-captioned) debate upon customer request.
Debate Watch Parties (Updated at 11:00 a.m.)
Libre Intiative/Heritage Foundation/American Conservative Union Watch Party
The free event begins with a reception at 5:30 P.M., followed by a forum of speakers and panelists from South Florida. Hors d’oeuvres will be served. At 9 P.M. the debate will be shown on a large projection screen. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center, 5150 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton; 561-392-4600
Democrats of South Dade
The public is invited to watch the debate with Democrats of South Dade at Sports Grill in Kendall.
Sports Grill Kendall, 9090 SW 97th Ave., Kendall; 305-595-3335
Mitt Romney for President Watch Party
Fritz & Frans Bierhaus, 60 Merrick Way, Coral Gables; 305-774-1883
Miller’s Ale House Boca, 1200 N.W. 51st St. (Yamato Rd.), Boca Raton; 561-988-9142
Rep. Dwight Bullard’s Watch Party
Rep. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, hosts a watch party at Room Service Restaurant and Lounge in South Beach. Admission is free, with food and drink available for purchase.
Room Service Restaurant/Lounge, 929 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-763-8330
Moloko Innovative Food Gallery Watch Party
The Midtown restaurant offers two-for-one specials on Florida Lager and on the house Sauvignon Blanc during the debate, which will show on two large flat-screen TVs.
Moloko Innovative Food Gallery, 3201 N. Miami Ave., Suite 104, Midtown Miami; 305-572-9336
Obama for America Watch Party
Obama for America hosts a watch party at the new South Street soul food restaurant in the Design District. Happy hour begins at 7 p.m. with cocktail specials on “Obamatini’s” and “Forward Punch.” The debate will be shown at 9 p.m. Food will be available for purchase. Admission is free. RSVP to Circle of One Marketing at 305-576-3790.
South Street Restaurant, 4000 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-5474