The 2020 presidential election sees Georgia considered a battleground state for the first time in decades. For the better part of the last 50 years, Georgia has been reliably red and Republican. In fact, the last time Georgia went for a Democratic president was in 1992, when then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton won the state. Before that, it was Jimmy Carter in 1976, and again in 1980. This year, 16 electoral votes are up for grabs, and recent polls indicate President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden are neck-and-neck in Georgia. Nearly four million people have already cast their votes in person during Georgia’s early voting period or by absentee ballot ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, November 3.
As the country experiences monumental social and economic shifts in ethos, the nation’s restaurant industry has turned its attention to the November election and the impact its 15 million workers could have on the outcome. A growing number of Atlanta restaurants and food businesses are committing to providing employees paid time off this year to vote, work the polls, or closing for business on Election Day to give staff ample time to vote or to volunteer. Some restaurants, coffee shops, and bars are even stepping up to serve as pick-up locations for rides to polls or delivering coffee, pizza, doughnuts, and other snacks to people waiting in line to vote or working the polls on Election Day.
Eater plans to track these Election Day closures and food initiatives around Atlanta through November 3.
Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops Offering Election Day Deals
It should be noted offering discounts and food giveaways specifically to voters is illegal when federal candidates are on the ballot. However, many restaurants and food businesses advertise these food freebies and deals as being for everyone on Election Day and not just for those people casting their ballots.
Salaryman in East Lake is offering an Election Night survival kit with a bottle of champagne and a choice of two whiskey cocktails.
East Pole Coffee is offering free oat milk drinks throughout Election Day until 5 p.m.
Hero Doughnuts The first 50 people to present an “I Voted” sticker on Election Day at the Summerhill doughnut shop receive a free “Voter Doughnut”.
Little Tart Bake Shop Present an “I Voted” sticker at the Krog Street Market, Grant Park, or Summerhill locations for a free 12-ounce cup of regular coffee.
Sippn at Home cocktail kit service, run by Atlanta bartender Mercedes O’Brien, is offering two ready-to-pour cocktails serving four to eight people during election week. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to voting rights organization Fair Fight Action. Click here to learn more about how to order. First come, first served. Pick-up instructions provided upon payment.
King of Pops will offer 20 percent off all online orders using the promo code “IVOTED” on Election Day. Comment on the popsicle purveyor’s Instagram status here with “I voted!” to enter to win a Patriot Pop 12-pack. Present an “I Voted” sticker at the Harvest Bar at Ponce City Market for 20 percent off orders on Election Day.
Xander Coffee in Buckhead is offering 50 percent off handcrafted coffee and tea drinks or a free drip coffee when a voter sticker is presented through Election Day.
Cultured South is offering 50 percent off draft kombucha and pan cheese with a voter sticker on Election Day.
Bhojanic Indian Food is offering a 20-percent discount on Election Day with promo code VOTE2020.
Sweet Auburn BBQ is offering 10 percent off any order when presented with a voter sticker.
Botiwalla Grab free chai on Election Day until 9 p.m.
Feedel Bistro The Briarcliff Ethiopian restaurant is offering 10 percent off the total check on Election Day when presented with a voter sticker.
The Nook at Piedmont Park is offering 10 percent off lunch with a voter sticker or Facebook voter confirmation on Election Day.
Nina and Rafi The Old Fourth Ward pizzeria will offer $5 off checks totaling $10 or more on Election Day for those wearing or presenting an “I Voted” sticker.
SweetWater Brewing Present a voter sticker to receive one free beer on Election Day.
Forza Storico at Westside Provisions District is offering half-off bottles of wine on Election Day evening.
Bennett’s Market both locations in Grant Park and Old Fourth Ward are offering a buy two bottles get a third bottle of wine for half price on Election Day. Online orders receive 10 percent off with promo code VIP on Election Day.
Whiskey Bird in Morningside is offering a steak and fajita takeout special on Election Night that includes spinach dip and wonton chips, Caesar salad, queso mac and cheese, and chocolate chip cookies for $48. Happy Hour specials at the restaurant of $4 cocktails and bites is extended until closing on November 3.
Storico Fresco in Buckhead is offering half-priced cocktails on Election Day.
Little Spirit in Inman Park will offer a free snaquiri (bite sized daiquiri) on Election Day evening for those who present an “I Voted” sticker.
Krab Queenz Although the restaurant is typically closed Tuesday through Thursday, people can still partake in an Election Day discount on Friday, November 6, with 50 percent off daiquiris or a small or large shrimp plate with proof of voting.
Grassroots Initiatives and Restaurants Providing Food at the Polls
The Georgia 55 Project started out as #ProtestPizzaATL during the 2018 midterm elections. Now it’s a full-blown grassroots coalition with hundreds of volunteers providing snacks, water, and other food stuffs to people at the polls throughout metro Atlanta. Georgia 55 Project owes its name to the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the 55,000-vote difference between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race. The initiative is partnering with several Atlanta-area restaurants for this year’s election efforts. People can still donate funds and snacks. After November 3, leftover food and supplies will be donated to Atlanta community fridge project Free99Fridge, Covenant House youth shelter, Nicolas House (unhoused support,) and local schools for children in need of free lunch. Click here for the full list of participating restaurants.
Atlanta-based writer, podcaster, and documentary filmmaker King Williams is leading a pizza to the polls and snack initiative in portions of DeKalb and Clayton counties on Election Day. He also hopes to distribute masks. Those wishing to donate can send funds to $IAmKingWilliams via CashApp or IAmKingWilliams via Venmo. Any funds left over after November 3 will be donated to Hosea Feed the Hungry program, part of Hosea Helps. Leftover food and supplies will be donated to the Atlanta Union Mission.
Chef Hugh Acheson (Empire State South, By George, Five & Ten), along with chefs Andy Gonzales of Steinbeck’s Ale House and the Companion, Chris Wilkins of Root Baking Co., and Rob Birdsong of Glide Pizza, plan to provide 2,000 meals to eight polling locations throughout Georgia on November 3. A GoFundMe campaign is currently underway to help support the Election Day meals initiative. Click here to donate.
Georgia’s Own Credit Union partnered with Insomnia Cookies to deliver 2,020 free cookies to the polls on Election Day. The giveaway begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Central Park Recreation Center polling precinct in Old Fourth Ward. The volunteer initiative will then monitor local news and social media coverage for polling locations experiencing long lines to deliver cookies. People waiting in lines at the polls can also tag #GeorgiasOwnVote on Twitter and Instagram.
Moonbird Coffee plans to distribute coffee and snacks at the polls on Election Day. Those wishing to donate snacks can drop them off at the Chamblee-based coffee shop before November 3.
Victory Brand restaurants is delivering 1,000 sandwiches to poll locations throughout Atlanta on Election Day.
Election Day Closures
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
Spiller Park Coffee in Toco Hills and at Ponce City Market
Ben & Jerry’s in Inman Park
Empire State South
Victory Sandwich Shop in Inman Park and Decatur
Victory Coffee and Calamity
Socks Love Barbecue
Hodgepodge Coffee House
Cooks & Soldiers
The Iberian Pig in Decatur and Buckhead
Oz Pizza locations closing at 4 p.m. on Election Day
Ticonderoga Club closing at 5 p.m. on Election Day
*this list will continue to be updated
If your restaurant, bar, bakery, or food business plans to close on Election Day, act as a pick-up location for rides to the polls, or provide meals or other supplies to the polls during the November election cycle, email Eater Atlanta with the details.
Eater is part of Vox Media. Find more coverage of the 2020 election across its other 13 networks: how to vote, in-depth analysis, and how policies will affect you, your state and the country over the next four years and beyond.
- These Atlanta Restaurants Want to Help Get Out the Vote This November [EATL]
- Georgia Early Voting Statistics [Elections Division, Georgia Secretary of State]