Election 2000: Election watch parties hit D.C.

It may not be New Year’s Eve in New York City or Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but every election season, Washington, D.C. shows the world that it knows how to party.

Regardless of the outcome, D.C. politicos will be able to watch Tuesday’s election results until the early hours of the morning in style at area bars, restaurants and even GW’s Hippodrome.

You can come drown your sorrows or celebrate – either one, said Pam Finlay, whose husband owns the bar Sign of the Whale.

Finlay said she expects the popular M Street bar will be packed with election night revelers. In addition to their traditional Tuesday night specials, the bar will also feature the favorite hamburgers of candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Gore’s favorite burger?

Jalape?o peppers, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayonnaise, Finlay said.

For Bush, it’s a Texas-style burger with monterey jack cheese and strips of bacon.

At the Red River Grill near Union Station, owner Matt Weiss said he expects about 300 people to fill his restaurant and bar Tuesday night.

We’re having a big party, Weiss said. The grill will be showing continuous election coverage on 10 television sets.

And, of course, there are the special Gore and Bush shooters for $2, Weiss said.

You’ll have to come to find out (what’s in the shooters), Weiss said. We’re going to make one red and one blue.

The restaurant of the Washington establishment, Old Ebbitt Grill, will show election coverage on nine 50-inch big screen televisions, owners said.

And for students looking to celebrate – or commiserate as the case may be – closer to campus, the Program Board is sponsoring an Election Night Gala in the Hippodrome.

The University expects hundreds of students to show up for the event, which begins at 7 p.m. and runs until the final election results are in, said Mike Gargano, vice president of Student and Academic Support Services.

GW College Democrats president Anjan Choudhury and College Republican president Bill Eldridge will serve jointly as masters of ceremony for the Hippodrome event.

To me, the whole election and political environment is one of the major reasons students come to The George Washington University, Gargano said. They’re really going to get to experience it first hand. It’s going to be one hell of an election, I’ll tell you that.

Helen Thomas, a former White House correspondent for United Press International who joined GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs as a Shapiro Fellow, will discuss the election with students at 7:30 p.m.

The GW improv-comedy group Recess will perform political skits, and students can watch election results on a wall of big-screen televisions. The University will also prove free bowling, food, music and give-a-ways.

The Hippodrome5th Floor, Marvin Center7 p.m. until winners are announced. The Program Board is sponsoring the official GW election blowout, with University officials and both the College Republicans and College Democrats participating. Helen Thomas, former White House correspondent and GW professor will speak about the election. Free food, bowling and music. Performances by Recess and other GW groups.

Red River Grill201 Massachusetts Ave, NW(202) 546-7200Party atmosphere with 10 big screen televisions, and raffles. All drafts, $2 and special Bush and Gore shooters are $2. Six p.m. to last call at 2 a.m. in both the bar and the restaurant.

Places to Go on Election Night:

Capital Grille
601 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
(202) 737-6200

The swanky restaurant that usually boasts the presence of several members of Congress and top administration officials will have business as usual. Owners expect to have crowds later in the evening.

Front Page
1333 New Hampshire Ave, NW
(202) 296-6500

Business as usual at the restaurant, but owners expect crowds at the bar.

Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th St., NW
(202) 347-4800

Owners say they’re placing nine big-screen television sets through the restaurant and bar. Expect crowds of politicos throughout the evening.

Hawk and Dove
329 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
(202) 543-3300

Eleven television sets will accommodate an estimated 200 guests at any one time, owners said. It’s 18 to enter and 21 to drink.

Sign of the Whale
1825 M St., NW
(202) 785-1110

Election night is Heinken keg night. Anyone who voted for the candidate who wins gets a complimentary shooter. The restaurant/bar will serve specialty Bush and Gore hamburger platters for $7.95 and will broadcast coverage on five television screens.

Mister Day’s
1111 19th St., NW
(202) 296-7625

Tuesday night is traditionally GW night at the bar. Mister Day’s management doesn’t expect much change in the crowd. Several groups have booked poll-watching parties, and Two for Tuesday drink specials will remain the same.

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