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Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 11/ 2/2006

The Biggest Night of the Year

By Fritz Hahn

In other cities, people gather in bars to watch major sporting events, like the World Series or the Super Bowl. In Washington, people write in to the Going Out Gurus to ask where they should go to watch election results roll in. No wonder people from outside the Beltway make fun of us.

If you're going out to watch the results come in, here are a few reliable places we've visited in the past, both on and off Capitol Hill. We'll be adding more as we get more information, and you can see a longer list of events here.

On the Hill

Capitol City Brewing Company: The Human Rights Campaign, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are taking over the Hill's only brewpub on election night. Arrive early for a spot by the television screens.

Capitol Lounge: The TVs will be on, the drinks will be flowing, and the young congressional staffers will pack the place. Arrive early for drink specials.

The Hawk and Dove: Manager Paul Meagher boasts that he runs the leading political bar in the country," but he can back this up: On election night two years ago, "ABC couldn't get its cameras in here because it was so packed." In 2006, the bar is offering MSNBC and CNN on 16 televisions with the sound on and two beer specials: $2 Miller Lites from 6 to 9 and $3.25 pints of the house Hawk Ale from 4 until close. Republicans be warned: Meagher boasts that the Hawk attracts a mostly Democratic crowd. On Tuesday, Meagher says, "We're pledging to keep John Kerry out of here, before he does any more damage. And we'll be playing "Happy Days are Here Again" throughout the night."

If you get in before Tuesday, the bar is asking patrons to predict the results of 24 races. Forms must be turned in by Monday night, and the top three prognosticators take home gift certificates for the pub.

Lounge 201: Capitol Hill's hippest lounge is making an attempt at bipartisanship with Red State and Blue State martinis -- the bar staff will tally the sales and announce a winner. A DJ will provide tunes in the front room for those who don't want to hear the results roll in, while the back area, usually used for private parties, is being turned into "the War Room," with TV coverage from multiple networks, complete with sound.

Tortilla Coast: There's nothing out of the ordinary going on, though all the TVs will be tuned to political channels. Still, Tuesday night at Tortilla Coast means plenty of young (and mostly Republican) staffers enjoying 50-cent beef tacos and $2.50 Bud and Bud Light bottles.

Union Pub: Don't worry, ladies. You can still take advantage of Union Pub's intern-friendly happy hour: free domestic draft beers and rail drinks for women from 4 to 7. This week, though, all the televisions -- including the 50-inch plasmas and 100-inch projection screen -- will be on news channels, with sound, instead of ESPN.


Busboys and Poets: The lefty coffeehouse and performance space is hosting its open-mike poetry night in the Langston room while bloggers use the house wi-fi to full advantage in the main room.

The Reef: Regulars have been taken aback by the enormous new projection screen hanging over the Reef's main bar, as the owners have been proudly TV-free since opening. The managers swear, though, that it will only be turned on for certain events: Redskins games, the Super Bowl (two mutually exclusive events), the World Series, the State of the Union address and election night. Expect the usual $3 Miller High Life and $5 Grey Goose drinks.

Smith Point: The Republican-leaning bar is hosting a rare Tuesday night event -- it's usually open Thursday through Saturday -- with a DJ, dancing, and Red Bull and vodkas for everyone, no matter who your candidate is.

Stetson's: The weekly pub quiz goes on as usual at Stetson's, though the upstairs will be reserved for anyone who wants to watch the elections on TV, including the big projection screen.

The Warehouse Theater: It's a busy, politically charged night on Seventh Street, with the opening reception for the annual Peace Show, in which local artists depict scenes of war and peace; the final performance of the Bush-skewering satire "Worst President Ever!!!"; and an afterparty in the Warehouse's bar and cafe, where televisions will be showing election results.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | November 2, 2006; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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I will be at the Hawk and Dove!!

Posted by: Adrian Eversoll | November 3, 2006 7:17 PM | Report abuse

The hawk and dove is the last of a dying breed--a racist bar in D.C.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 7, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The hawk and the dove is the last of a dying breed--a racist bar in DC

Posted by: sue | November 7, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

What, no VA places? Where's the love?

Posted by: STick | November 7, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

VA is for haters. Macacawitz for Prezident.

Posted by: jdc | November 7, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Are there any good places to watch the election results in Virginia?

Posted by: Laura Miller, Centreville | November 7, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

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