Where to Watch the State of the Union Address in Washington

Observe one of the biggest presidential speeches of the year the time-honored American way: by drinking. Here’s where to do it.

By: Mary Yarrison

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the House chamber at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 25, 2011. Official White House photograph by Lawrence Jackson.

The State of the Union may not be as big as the Super Bowl, but for many of this city’s politicos, it’s a close second. Whether you have to watch the speech for work or you just want to play a drinking game, we have a lot of options for the event, which begins at 9 tonight.

The Center for Global Development’s annual State of the Union bingo and viewing party will begin at Commissary at 8 PM. Although the guest list has reached capacity, interested parties can join the waiting list here.

The official Obama for America watch party, hosted in Shaw by Surafel Shiferaw, will run from 8 to 10:30 PM. For more information or to RSVP, click here.

The Women’s National Democratic Club party will offer pre-address cocktails (cash bar), discussion, and networking beginning at 7:30 at its offices (1526 New Hampshire Ave., NW). For more information or to RSVP, click here.

If you don’t want to plan ahead, several bars welcome drop-ins to watch the big event on their TVs.

Bullfeathers will show the address with sound, although no food or drink specials will be offered.

Busboys and Poets in Shirlington will host a viewing party and panel discussion, run by the Arlington Democrats, beginning at 8 PM and including as-yet-undetermined drink specials.

Capitol Lounge will broadcast the address with sound and will offer its regular Tuesday specials: $1 off all drinks and 25 cent wings while they last.

Lounge 201 will offer special $4 red and blue martinis during the address, which will play on the many flat-screen TVs with full audio.

Union Pub will offer State of the Union–themed specialty cocktails in addition to the regular Tuesday specials: $12 Bud Light pitchers, $4 small-batch bourbons, and $5 Vintage 50 microbrews. Union will also play the address with sound on its 18 flat-screen TVs and one 5-foot projection screen.

Ventnor Sports Cafe will host its seventh annual watch party, featuring $1 Jell-O shots and no cover.