If you're anything like us, it's probably not safe for you to be alone during the Presidential debates. We think the best way to watch all the false politeness, smirking and over-rehearsed talking points is with plenty of friends (and plenty of booze). With that in mind, here are some places to go watch tonight's final argument - er, debate.
Really hungry for politics? Head to one of these local restaurants, known as Obama's favorites.
American history is fraught with illustrious political dynasties: the Adamses, the Kennedys, the...Bushes. Well, anyway, turns out there's some great American musical dynasties, too. Following this debate watch party hosted by the 42nd Ward Democratic Party, Shirley King, daughter of blues great B.B. King, performs at The Joynt. And while Shirley's legendary dad certainly helped launch her career, she's stayed in the spotlight thanks to her undeniable talent...which is more than we can say for some other high-profile offspring. We're referring to Lisa Marie Presley, of course. Purchase your $20 individual ticket, which includes beer, wine, and vodka drinks online at BarackObama.com, or call (312) 274-0042.
Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine
My friends, with all the belt-tightening going on these days, you would be wise to watch the final Presidential Debate at Venus, where there will be half off food and drinks. While the candidates go head to head in fierce debate of domestic and economic issues, Chicago's only Cypriot eatery serves favorites like hummus and saganaki (fried cheese) as well as less familiar fare such as sieftalia (grilled rolls of ground pork and spices). Now that we think about it, this might be one instance where there's more belt-loosening than tightening going on. RSVP is suggested or call (312) 714-1001 for a reservation. Donations will be accepted for the Obama campaign.
Mad River Bar & Grille
Ever get frustrated watching the debates, wishing there was some way to make your voice heard? Well, here's your chance. At Mad River Bar and Grille's Obamaganza! Debate Watch Party and Postcard Campaign, you can watch the candidates duke it out and then send them your thoughts with supplied postcards. $5 Ketel One mixed drinks, $3 Blue Moon pints, $3 Coors Light bottles and $2 Coors Light drafts will help bring out the political critic in you. Or, you could just stay home and yell obscenities at your TV screen. Suggested donation is $10. Obama books and gear for sale while supplies last.
In dire economic times like these, we could all use a stiff drink. So head to M Lounge, the South Loop's premier martini lounge, for the third and final presidential debate and $5 cocktails. If economic policy and liquor prove too powerful a combination, settle down with complimentary appetizers. Doors open at 5 p.m., appetizers begin about 7 p.m., and the debate starts at 8 p.m. Be sure to come early...there's a high demand for seats, and M Lounge, unlike the Fed, won't be imposing any regulations.
If the election's got you fired up, then Rosa's Lounge has got your antidote. After the heated presidential debate is viewed on the club's 52-inch HDTV, Ray Allison takes the stage and delivers some soothing blues. There's no admission charge for the music, so sit back and forget about all the gloom and doom...well, at least until tomorrow morning's headlines.
Need some in-the-flesh debate action? In addition to showing televised debate coverage on its theatre screen, this River North restaurant will add an in-person element to the proceedings. Before the debate, 13th District State Senator Kwame Raoul (who replaced Obama in 2004) and 26th District Democratic Nominee for State Representative Will Burns will discuss what the next few weeks will mean for Chicagoans. During the event, the two will join various tables and discuss key issues. Following the debate, you can ask the pols all the questions you don't hear on TV. Note: There is supposed to be a Republican presence at this thing, but as of yet, no one has stepped forward. RSVP to rumbarsvp.com.
McCormick Freedom Museum
Illinois is not exactly a battleground state, but in case you're one of the few who still hasn't sided with a candidate, come to this bipartisan watch party and panel discussion at the Freedom Museum in the Loop. Organized by Lake Forest College, the panel features Professor Emeritus Paul Fischer, Associate Professor Siobhan Moroney, Assistant Professor Carrie Nordlund and resident scholar from the Freedom Museum Shawn Healy. Of course, even scholars like to party, so the $20 registration fee also includes food and beer or wine. Mixed drinks will be offered at an additional fee. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the panel beings at 7 p.m., followed by the debate at 8 p.m.
Chicago History Museum
Didn't vote last election because you didn't know enough about the candidates? This year, you don't have an excuse. In the K/Now presents Debate Watch at the Chicago History Museum, featuring a panel of experts including Sun-Times journalist Laura Washington, Chicago Public Radio political correspondent Ben Calhoun, DePaul University professor of political science Michael Mezey and DePaul University Department of Political Science chair Wayne Steger. Listen to a fascinating panel discussion, watch the debate and this year actually make an informed decision. After all, those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Cost is a $5 suggested donation.