Watching Presidential Debates in DC Bars Used to Be Fun. Not This Year.

Published in Washingtonian, September 28th, 2020

In This Town, bars name cocktails after Cabinet members and open early for big congressional hearings. Needless to say, presidential debates are basically the Super Bowl.

This year, though, Washington’s favorite spectator sport is having an off season. Fewer bars are hosting debate festivities—assuming they’re even open. (Capitol Lounge, a go-to watering hole for politicos, permanently closed last week after 26 years.) Pandemic restrictions mean no bar seating, reservations for socially distanced tables, and earlier closing hours. On top of that, humor and revelry just don’t seem to fit the mood this election cycle.

Union Pub is one of the handful of establishments that will still host a viewing this Tuesday. “It’s not actually a party… We’re really just staying open later to let people watch,” says Union Pub Director of PR and Marketing Sam Sanchez. By that, he means the bar will close at 11 instead of 10 PM, which is still way earlier than the pre-pandemic 2 AM weekday last call.

View Full Article