Brooklyn bars that will be showing the 2012 Obama vs. Romney presidential debate

These Brooklyn bars will air the 2012 Obama vs. Romney presidential debates

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklynites hail from diverse places and backgrounds, but a few common traits bind nearly all of us together: the lack of a television and a desire to enjoy most major events at a bar.

And for the borough’s politicos, the upcoming presidential debates are the Superbowl of the election season — must-see match-ups that are the prime showcases of politics as sport.

They’re also great events to watch with a drink.

Even though 79 percent of Brooklyn voters cast their ballots for Barack Obama in 2008, there’s still room for debate — at least about where to watch the debates themselves.

That’s why we compiled this handy and entirely non-partisan guide to the Obama-vs.-Romney slugfests of 2012:

1. Mo’s

The quintessential Fort Greene neighborhood pub is sure to attract a lively mix of neighbors from a community that went all out in the streets for Obama after his 2008 victory. [80 Lafayette Ave. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene (718) 797–2849,]

2. Commonwealth

A stand-up beer bar in the heartland of Brooklyn’s liberal intelligentsia is sure to draw an Obama-heavy crowd — especially considering that it’s the place where local Democrats such as Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) celebrate their election wins.

[497 Fifth Ave. at 12th Street in Park Slope. (718) 768–2040,].

3. Galapagos Art Space

This hip DUMBO performance space will host a panel on the relationship between education and poverty before the domestic policy-themed debate, and offer some special cocktails for the actual event.

[16 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO. (718) 222–8500,].

4. Ceol

The wood-panelled pub, with its long and stolid bar, cultivates an air of traditionalism. Perhaps that’s what’s made it a recent meeting spot for the Young Brooklyn Republicans — and a potential draw for the borough’s rare Mitt Romney fans.

[191 Smith St. between Baltic and Warren streets in Cobble Hill, (347) 643–9911].

5. Building on Bond

This architect and designer-centric drinking hole, cafe, and restaurant on a leafy Boerum Hill street will add debate nights to its roster of brainy events that already includes a tough trivia night and meet-ups for the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

[112 Bond St. at Pacific Street in Boerum Hill, (347) 853–8687,].

6. Pacific Standard

Berkeley grads and other Bay Area ex-pats congregate at this bookish bar, which will broadcast the debate on a big screen to what will most certainly be a pro-Obama crowd. GOP fans are welcome however, the bar’s owners promise.

[82 Fourth Ave. between Bergen Street and St. Marks Place in Boerum Hill, (718) 858–1951,].

7. Spike Hill

Pabst tallboys for $4 and well drinks for $5 are sure to loosen up the political atmosphere at this Bedford Avenue bar.

[186 Bedford Ave. at N. Seventh Street in Williamsburg. (718) 218–9737,].

8. Cranberry’s

For those who believe politics really happens in smoke-filled rooms, there’s this Bay Ridge hookah bar, which will show the debates while patrons enjoy the shisha and Middle Eastern fare.

[9013 Fourth Ave. between 90th and 91st streets in Bay Ridge. (718) 833–8816].

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at
Updated 5:36 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Rob from Greenpoint says:
The writer is suggesting that the majority of people from
Brooklyn don't have a television? Seriously?
Oct. 1, 2012, 9:36 am
Hugh from Utrecht says:
Yes, better to watch with others of the same ilk in order to be able to form some sort of opinion about something other than what's the best place in Williamsburg for micro greens.
Oct. 1, 2012, 9:51 am
John Wasserman from Winsor Terrace says:
As a rule of thumb (and pardon me for saying this), I generally won't go out to a bar and spend money, when I can't even afford a television. Now, I do own quite a few "TV"s. But I hope you will understand the point I'm trying to make:
Fred, a customer of mine (a very nice fellow by the way) went out to a bar in Brooklyn to watch the debate, meet a friend, and share his opinions with strangers. 4 years ago. He has two of these "TV"s at home. Or should I say, HAD? Fred had a beer, so perhaps he wasn't of sound mind when he engaged in a conversation in which the topic was "I aint got a TV at home so I came here". Good natured Fred chimed in with "Well I have 2 big TV's, and I live just around the corner!" Now, if you don't mind my saying so, it is here where the story begins to boil.
Sorry for the interuption.
Oct. 1, 2012, 11:08 am
mg from williamsburg says:
Yeah....I know a lot of people in Brooklyn (myself included) who don't own tvs. This is not because they can't afford them. It is because they are young, single, active people that spend their time out and about- not sitting at home watching the real housewives.

I don't understand people that live in this amazing city with all the music, museums, events of all sorts and they spend their time sitting at home watching tv? Why not move to Idaho or something?
Oct. 1, 2012, 4:10 pm
mg from williamsburg says:
Yeah.....I know a lot of people (myself included) who live in Brooklyn and don't own tvs. This is not because they can't afford them. It is because as young, single, active people they are spending their time out and about, not sitting at home watching the real housewives.

Seriously I don't understand how you can live in this amazing city with all the music, museums, events of all kinds and have any time or interest to sit at home and watch tv. Why not just move to Idaho or something?

And I do believe in quiet, mellow time alone at home. Time for reading books.
Oct. 1, 2012, 4:14 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Hello, mg from williamsburg. My name is John Wasserman.
While I do agree with much of what you say and respect your opinion, I do sense some kind of condescendence in your words shown above.
That aside, just because somebody owns a television, doesn't mean he or she and their childhood friend deserve to be robbed and beaten, when they were just trying to be friendly and meet new people and perhaps help them save money by not staying at the bar and paying those outlandish prices.
But if you believe otherwise, then you certainly would agree that that nobody deserves to be defecated on by 5-6 people AFTER being beaten and robbed.
And if you don't agree with that, then I feel bad for you. Pardon the interruption. Again, this is just my opinion. I'm not trying to start any trouble here. I do appreciate the opportunity to voice my opinion here. Thank you.
John Wasserman
Oct. 1, 2012, 5:56 pm
ty from pps says:
John Wasserman... your schtick needs some work. You should workshop your ideas, try some focus groups first. Then post.
Oct. 1, 2012, 6:33 pm
barjot from park slope says:
yep, most young folks in bk i know don't have tvs... same reason as mg says. you guys are probably from different crowd. assume the inviter to this event just knows people like us who like to gather to watch important events, but otherwise pretty much ignore tv. i mean, have you SEEN what is on tv these days?
Oct. 2, 2012, 12:47 pm
ty from pps says:
I don't want to feed the trolls, but I have to call B.S. on the not owning a TV thing. OK, you don't have a stand-alone television set... but I bet the vast majority of the no-TV folks have a laptop and a well-used Netflix account and websites you watch various other video-based entertainment.

You're not watching How I Met Your Mother... fine. Who cares. But don't tell me you don't watch "TV" in various other forms at least a little each week. (OK, there are probably a couple thousand in all of NYC, so maybe that's who we're talking about here)
Oct. 2, 2012, 5:41 pm
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
I won't be watching. I plan to listen to Sonny Rollins with Bunny while sharing a bottle of fine champagne.
Oct. 2, 2012, 8:21 pm
old time brooklyn from SLOPE says:
ty - your bs meter is on spot
Oct. 6, 2012, 4:37 pm

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