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Where to Watch the Vice Presidential Debate in St. Louis

Categories: Bars, Community

During presidential and vice presidential debates, you always find yourself yelling at the television. Well that's most of the time you watch TV, but that's not the point.

Want to find a place to watch, yell, gasp and sigh at the television during Thursday night's vice presidential debate, along with dozens or hundreds more of your fellow St. Louisans? From one-room bars to athletic arenas to theaters to concert venues, there are watch parties being held all over the city.

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Here's a list, and if you have any other places (besides your buddy's studio apartment), email more watch party info and we'll add it to this directory.

The Atomic Cowboy, 4140 Manchester Avenue
Alcohol is known for loosening lips and opening up personality that is otherwise shuttered by crippling shyness during times of sobriety. But at the Atomic Cowboy, shun that urge to talk and instead blog at Blogfest '08. Bring your laptop to the Manchester bar at 7 p.m. Thursday, watch the debate at 8 p.m. and opine online until your heart's content. There will be all-American drink specials and no cover. Land of the free. AtomicCowboySTL.com.

The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard
The concert venue in the East Loop is hosting a Rock the Vote viewing party, with the doors that open at 7 p.m. There's no cover charge and this thing is all ages. There is no smoking at this event, except in the Halo Bar. The Pageant.

After the debate, you can head across the street to Pi for an after-debate party, where those ubiquitous Shepard Fairey "HOPE" posters will be given away. There's also $1 PBR's. The after-party gets going at 9 p.m. and lasts until 11:30 p.m.

The Royale, 3132 S. Kingshighway Boulevard
The unabashedly political bar on the south side will have both TV's turned on debate coverage. With photos of JFK on the wall inside and posters of Obama hanging on the wall outside, there's no mistaking the political leanings of the establishment's owner. There's no smoking inside, but smoking is allowed on the patio outside. The Royale.

Chaifetz Arena, 1 S. Compton Avenue
Supporters of GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin will gather at the Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University to watch the Alaska governor debate Delaware Senator Joe Biden. But tickets are required. Luckily, tickets are free and can be obtained by going to the McCain "Victory" locations. Or one can call 314-667-4728 for more information. And here's the sweetest thing: Palin is scheduled to appear at the rally. Palin in da house! Ahem, anyway, go here for more infomation: Watch Party info at johnmccain.com.

Roberts Orpheum Theatre, 416 N. 9th Street
You'll be able to see the pores and nose hairs on both the candidates if you watch the debate at the Roberts Orpheum Theatre, says theater general manager Michael Jennings. After all, the screen is 28-feet by 18-feet in this historic theater -- built in 1917 and now restored. The doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is of course free. The bar will serving drinks if the candidates are too dry for you. Parking is available at the 9th and Olive garage for $2 an hour. Downtown should be busier than normal for a Thursday night (which is to say mildly simmering), as many restaurants will be offering specials as part of the Downtown STL Neighborhood Nights. Roberts Orpheum Theatre.

Contemporary Art Museum, 3750 Washington Boulevard
The CAM STL is hosting Sina Najafi, Editor-in-Chief of Cabinet magazine, who will discuss his book, Presidential Doodles at 7 p.m. And at 8 p.m., the art museum will televise the VP debate. Najafi's appearance is part of the Emerson Visiting Critics and Curators program. While doodling caricatures of Biden or Palin during the debate is not explicitly suggested on the CAM Web site, I'm sure it's encouraged, so bring a pen, paper and some imagination. Contemporary Art Museum.

Moolah Theatre & Lounge, 3821 Lindell Boulevard
Sink into the Moolah's buttery-soft leather couches and watch the debate in its cavernous theater on the Saint Louis University campus. The theater rates this debate "PE" (for Political Excitement!). There is a $10 cover, which gets you $10 in booze or snacks from the bar or concession stand. I suppose the Moolah is getting in the bureaucratic spirit of red tape with that move. Anyone who was at the Missouri Primary there back in February (ancient political history), can vouch that it's a great venue for such events. Moolah Theatre & Lounge.

Van Goghz, 3200 Shenandoah Avenue
The cafe on the corner of Shenandoah and Compton is showing the VP Debate -- and giving customers a half-price deal on appetizers if they mention this very publication, the RFT's STLOG, says Ginger Austin of Van Goghz. For more information, call 865-3345 or check out vangoghz.com.

Tips / info on other watch parties? Send 'em our way and get more people to your party!

-Nick Lucchesi


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