Things to Do

2015 State of the Union Watch Parties

Where to eat and drink your way through Obama’s sixth address.

Osteria Morini is one of several spots offering State of the Union specials tonight. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Each year around this time, we are reminded that we live in a place where presidential speeches are cause for drink specials and social gatherings. On the upside, that nerdiness means bars and restaurants are offering games, discounts, and creative commentary to coincide with President Obama’s State of the Union address. The speech is scheduled to begin at 9, but you don’t have to wait until then to start drinking. Grab your friends and a bar stool and take advantage of these specials. Know of another great watch party happening? Leave details in the comments or e-mail

Busboys and Poets

Multiple locations

Watch parties are planned for each location, including a gathering at the Brookland branch with CODEPINK creative director Tighe Barry and Busboys owner Andy Shallal. Activities include SOTU bingo and Stephen Colbert-style “right wing” commentary.

Capitol Lounge

229 Pennsylvania Avenue; 202-547-2098

Generation Opportunity hosts a free watch party event at this Capitol Hill hot spot. Space is limited, but you can add your name to the list here. Twenty-five cent wings will be offered post-speech for those arriving later.

Local 16

1602 U St., NW; 202-265-2828

A watch party hosted by Network for Progress is scheduled to take over this U Street spot. Find $5 drink and appetizer specials, raffle prizes, and free pizza for the early birds, starting at 7. A $10 donation is suggested at the door for those who don’t RSVP by 5 PM.

Lou’s City Bar

1400 Irving Street, NW; 202-518-5687

Lou’s dusts off the bingo cards for another year of State of the Union fun. The speech will play on televisions throughout the bar, and bingo participants will have the chance to win a $25 gift certificate.

Osteria Morini

301 Water St., SE; 202-484-0660

Grab an early seat at the bar and enjoy discounted drinks before the speech. Specials run from 4 to 7, enough time to get settled before the TVs tune in to Obama’s address at 9.


707 G St., NW; 202-347-8683

This Chinatown spot will play the President’s address with full sound. Arrive early for happy hour specials complete with discounted appetizers, drafts, and select wines from 4 to 7.

Shaw’s Tavern

520 Florida Ave., NW; 202-518-4092

Watch the State of the Union here while enjoying half-price burgers and pizza as well as $5 house wines and $5 Sam Adams.

Star & Shamrock

1341 H St., NE; 202-388-3833

The State of the Union will be shown on all the bar’s TVs tonight. Ask the bartender for instructions on a special drinking game to be played throughout the speech.

Union Pub

201 Massachusetts Ave., NE; 202-546-7200

Join the crowd at Union Pub for $4 bourbons, $12 Bud Light pitchers, and $5 craft cans while the President’s address plays on the bar’s TVs.

Ventnor Sports Cafe

2411 18th St., NW; 202-234-3070

This is Ventnor’s tenth annual State of the Union celebration, and all the usual rules apply. Pick a word or phrase you think the President is likely to repeat, and get $1 Jell-O shots whenever he uses it.