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Where to Eat, Drink, and Watch Detroit’s Democratic Presidential Debates

CNN is heading to the Fox Theatre and you probably don’t have a ticket

Candidates stand on the stage in a line on the second night of NBC’s first round of Democratic presidential primary debates Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Detroit is set to host the second round of Democratic presidential debates this month. The extremely broad field of 20 qualifying candidates will take the stage at the Fox Theatre and make their case to a national audience. CNN’s Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper will be moderating the debate beginning at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30 and Wednesday, July 31.

For Detroiters this will likely mean lots of public appearances by candidates. Expect politicians to show up for photo ops at local businesses including restaurants and bars. There are also expected to be demonstrations near the main event.

Unfortunately, seating is limited at the Fox, meaning most people won’t get to see view the debates in person. Tickets were distributed through a lottery system by the Democratic Party. Curbed Detroit has assembled a guide for watching the Democratic debates, but there’s also a handful of opportunities to catch the political theater from a seat at the bar — preferably with a pint and an appetizer. Drink everytime you don’t recognize the candidate on the screen.

Did we overlook a debate night watch party? Send the details to

Bookies Bar N’ Grille
2208 Cass Ave., Detroit

The Sunrise Movement, Detroit Socialists of America, Metro Detroit For Bernie, and Our Revolution Michigan are hosting a debate watch party at Cass Corridor sports bar Bookies. The doors open at 7 p.m. (More info) From 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31, the Tulsi Gabbard campaign will also be hosting a Detroit debate party at Bookies. (More info)

Briggs Detroit
519 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit

Elizabeth Warren supporters are hosting a watch party at the Briggs Detroit sports bar in Bricktown on Tuesday, July 30. The event is free and open to the public. (More info) Briggs will also be hosting two events with the Human Rights Campaign from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30 and Wednesday, July 31. (More info)

Anchor Bar
450 Fort St. W., Ste. 100, Detroit

Head to Anchor Bar on Fort Street for the an official Democratic National Committee watch party with representatives from organizations across Michigan. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30. (More info)

McShane’s Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar
1460 Michigan Ave., Detroit

Corktown’s Irish pub will host two nights of watch parties organized by CitizenDetroit. The events run from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30 and Wednesday, July 31 and are free and open to the public. (More info)

Northville Sports Den
133 W Main St, Northville

The Northville and Novi Democratic clubs are hosting a watch party at the Northville Spots Den on Wednesday, July 31. The doors open at 7 p.m. with pizza starting at 7:30 p.m. ahead of the debate. (More info)

Mike’s Pizza Bar
2515 Woodward Ave.

The Pete Buttigieg campaign is hosting its official watch party a few blocks from the Fox Theatre at Mike’s Pizza Bar in the Little Caesars Arena. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (More info)

Everything You Need to Know About the Democratic Debates in Detroit [CDET]

Briggs Detroit

519 East Jefferson Avenue, , MI 48226 (313) 656-4820 Visit Website

Anchor Bar

450 West Fort Street, , MI 48226 (313) 964-9127 Visit Website

Fox Theatre

2211 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 471-7000 Visit Website

McShane's Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar

1460 Michigan Avenue, , MI 48216 (313) 961-1960 Visit Website