When it comes to election season, bipartisan issues take precedent over most things. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t capitalize on opinionated Americans. Take the New York establishment Neely’s Barbecue Parlor for example, who are hosting an Election Day promotion.
“We just thought it would be fun,” says Chris Eldridge, GM of Neely’s Barbecue Parlor about hosting their Election Day party. "It’s such a serious thing and people are so impassioned about it. Sometimes you have to laugh—you can’t let (the election) run who you are.”
The idea was born from the first presidential debate on Wednesday, Oct. 3. “This was not a great debate,” Eldridge says, so he and his Neely's team decided “to do something funny.” However, what started out as something debate related quickly evolved into a major election celebration. "We’re going to turn this into a huge party because I’ll be so stressed out watching the results,” he says. I’m politically active on my own time, so I get stressed out."
Photo by Noah Fecks
On Election Day—Nov. 6—campaign headquarters are at Neely’s, which will be showcasing election coverage on its five flat screen TVs as well as a projector TV. Additionally, happy hour prices will be available the entire day for patrons who are witnessing history in the making, which includes $4 beers and sangria and the Bi-Partisan Margarita ($5).
The Bi-Partisan Margarita, which is equal parts red and blue is for patrons who “don’t want to make a [political] statement. [The margarita is] a joke. You don’t have to choose—you don’t have to make a decision,” he says. Customers can do both.
When it comes to anything political, things can get heated, but “you have to be respectful of other people’s beliefs. We wanted to be whimsical.”
But it’s not just drink specials to gear people up for the election. Neely’s is also hosting its own election with its Vote With Your Stomach promotion. From Tuesday, Oct. 30 through Election Day, the restaurant will offer patrons Barack’s Bowl of Chili or the Mitt’s Mini Meatloaf. Patrons will vote on their favorite, and Neely’s will announce the winning food after the polls close at 9 p.m.
“Whoever your candidate is, you order their appetizer,” Eldridge says. And even though the winner will be announced, there’s no grand prize—no Oval Office at the end of the contest. “We more want to see if their stomachs agree with their minds.”
“I may need a Bi-Partisan Margarita after this is all over,” he quips.