July 11th, 2016
03:03 PM ET


Network to Transform Harry Buffalo (RNC) and Victory Beer Hall (DNC)

Into Event & Broadcast Hubs

It’s back and better than ever!  For four nights only the CNN Grill will open its doors in Cleveland, OH and Philadelphia, PA for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  In cooperation with an all-star lineup of vendors and partners, CNN will offer select convention-goers access to the most tricked out hospitality venues and live broadcast studios in each city.  The ultimate convention destination, the CNN Grill is where lawmakers, celebrities, reporters and politicos meet to make news and make merry. 

This year, the CNN Grill has chosen STARR Catering Group to create custom menus for both cities, giving guests a truly unique and unparalleled experience. The CNN Grill will also give visitors a special taste of Cleveland and Philadelphia and shine a spotlight on several top-notch local businesses by incorporating their products into the Grill’s menu.

The CNN Grill at the Republican National Convention

Situated just steps from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, the CNN Grill will be located at the site of Harry Buffalo.  With the help of experiential marketing & PR agency CIVIC, CNN completely reimagined the restaurant – a two-story warehouse space located on East 4th Street. The Grill will serve as home base for the network with a newsroom and live broadcasts daily, a fully operational restaurant and multiple bars. The Grill will play host to a variety of special events throughout the day and will open to invited guests nightly at 5pm from Monday, July 18th – Thursday, July 21st.  

To highlight local businesses on the Grill’s menu in Cleveland, STARR has tapped a variety of hometown favorites:

  • Pierogies of Cleveland, a family-operated business that first opened in 2009 that offers handmade pierogies from locally-sourced ingredients, will provide pierogis for the CNN Grill lunch and dinner menus. 
  • Mitchell’s Ice Cream, founded in 1999 by Mike and Pete Mitchell – brothers and long-time Cleveland natives will supply ice cream for the CNN Grill ice cream bar.
  • Humble Pie Baking Company, started by Diane Sikorski from her home in 2008 and known for its small-batch jams, jellies and preserves, will be featured on the Grill’s breakfast menu.
  • Rising Star Coffee Roaster’s philosophy about coffee is simple: “Buy dang good coffee and pay the farmer and the producer enough money to live and maybe even enjoy life. That’s it.”  Their coffee will be featured throughout the day at the CNN Grill in Cleveland.  

The CNN Grill at the Democratic National Convention

A prime location in Philadelphia, the CNN Grill will take up residence at Victory Beer Hall at XFINITY Live!.  CNN worked with CIVIC to transform the sprawling space into an unrivaled convention venue for food, fun, festivities, and of course – a broadcast studio for live daily programming. The site boasts soaring ceilings, several bars and a 2,000 square-foot patio complete with a fire pit and a unique panoramic view of the Philadelphia skyline. A variety of private events will be hosted throughout the day and the Grill will open to invited guests daily at 5pm from Monday July 25th — Thursday July 28th.

To introduce visitors to some local flavor, STARR Catering Group has identified several businesses whose products will be featured on the CNN Grill menu:

  • Federal Donuts first opened in 2011, but has since expanded to five locations. Vanilla spice donuts from this iconic Philadelphia business will be featured on the CNN Grill’s breakfast menu in Philadelphia.
  • Little Baby’s Ice Cream began serving delicious ice cream to the people of Philadelphia from their first tricycle cart (dubbed “Flavor Blaster One”) in the summer of 2012. They will be the featured supplier for the CNN Grill’s ice cream cart in Philly. 
  • La Colombe was founded by Todd Carmichael and JP Iberti in Philadelphia on a simple but profound premise: America Deserves Better Coffee. Their coffee will be featured on the CNN Grill’s menu throughout the day in Philadelphia. 

The CNN Grill first opened its doors across from Madison Square Garden in New York City as the ‘CNN Diner’ in 2004 and has since welcomed convention goers in St. Paul, MN and Denver, CO in 2008 and Charlotte, NC and Tampa, FL in 2012. CNN has also taken the Grill to the SXSW festival in Austin, TX.

September 6th, 2012
10:39 AM ET

David Frum to DNC Chair: 'Pres. Obama does not feel strongly about Jerusalem'

DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) joins Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien to discuss the party platform change on Israel, saying it was a “technical omission.”

O’Brien says, “But It seems like an important issue to have a mess up on. Right, I mean of all the issues, of all of the things that you could have a mistake on, this particular one seems like a really big one to be like ‘Oh, technical issue.’ That’s why I think people are a little cynical about that.”

Rep. Wasserman Schultz explains, “When President Obama realized that an important issue like Jerusalem, which he believes is and should remain the capital of Israel, when he realized that that omission was there, unlike Mitt Romney, who says that he opposes his party’s platform on human life, and that he wants an exception for rape, incest and the life of the mother, never insisted, never did anything about it, didn’t even try to change it, President Obama, when he realized there was this omission, said this platform should reflect my personal view and now it does."

CNN Contributor David Frum says, “The reason what you’re saying is so non-credible is because we all know that President Obama does not feel strongly about Jerusalem. He walked back his APAC speech in 2008. In his Middle - big Middle East final status speech. He made a commitment on borders. He did not make a commitment on Jerusalem. We all know he doesn’t feel stronger about it, that’s why this is explosive.

“I strongly - strongly object and disagree with you,” Wasserman Schultz says. “President Obama as Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said has been a strong friend of Israel.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

September 6th, 2012
09:17 AM ET

Sen. Schumer: I brought platform change to attention of White House; on Clinton speech – 'Teach, baby, teach'

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talks to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on his impression of former President Bill Clinton's speech at the DNC convention and role in the platform party change.

Sen. Schumer says, “He hit it out of the park. Let’s put it like this. If every American watched that speech the election would be over, and he perfectly teed it up for the president with all of this talk. You had Michelle Obama talking about what the president believes in and who he cares about. President Clinton explained the past. Now it is just ready for Barack Obama to explain what he will do in the future. If this convention has a rhythm, it has a direction, it has an excitement. I think it is great and I think I can't predict whether there will be a big bounce after it. But I would bet the predicate for a gradual ascension of the Democratic ticket in November.”

When O’Brien asks if Clinton will take that message on the road, Schumer continues, “I think he will. That's how he works. He will refine it. By October 20th, it will have somewhat slightly different twists and turns but the same basis.”

On the party platform change, Senator Schumer says that he brought the missing elements to the attention of the White House. He says, “Look, on the Jerusalem issue, which I have had some involvement in and did yesterday, it has always been the position of the Democratic Party, of the Democrats overwhelmingly that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Why it wasn't in the platform, who knows, but when I brought it to the White House's attention and others, the president himself intervened and said put it in. It was in the 2008 platform….”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

Topics: CNN • CNN Grill • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
September 6th, 2012
08:10 AM ET

Mayor Booker on platform change: "unfortunate omission"

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) responds to party platform change and former President Bill Clinton’s speech, live from the CNN Grill in Charlotte on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.

Mayor Booker says, “Sometimes as bad as it might seem, [there are] imperfections. [There are] mistakes made.”

He continues, “Let’s not create a partisan issue out of a nonpartisan issue…. Here we have a simple omission that was corrected by the democratic party….”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

September 5th, 2012
05:32 PM ET

2 minutes with Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist

CNN senior vice president and Washington Bureau Sam Feist talks – in a behind-the-scenes video from the CNN Grill – about how CNN covers the national conventions in different cities on back-to-back weekends.  Feist also recaps the take-aways from the RNC and what story lines he think will resonate at the DNC.

Topics: CNN • CNN Grill
September 5th, 2012
01:28 PM ET

Mayor Castro: Latinos will show up for Pres. Obama's substance of policies

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D) and his brother State Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) join Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien to talk about the DNC convention keynote address and the Latino vote in the presidential election.

Mayor Castro says, “The problem for the Republicans and the reason that Latinos are showing up in polls at 70 to 25 for President Obama is not the personalities. It's the substance of the policies on all of those things, healthcare, immigration, tax policy, the economy.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

Topics: CNN • CNN Grill • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
September 5th, 2012
08:51 AM ET

Rahm Emanuel: Same "type of battles" with GOP when Clinton was President

Chicago Mayor and President Obama Campaign Co-Chair Rahm Emanuel talks about his speech last night at the DNC conventinon, President Obama’s first term, the work that still needs to be done, the difference between the two presidential candidates and GOP positions during the Obama and Clinton years.

Mayor Emanuel says, “I was in the Clinton White House…. It was the same type of battles we have today against a recalcitrant party that put ideology over progress.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

Topics: CNN • CNN Grill • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
September 5th, 2012
08:25 AM ET

Gov. Malloy to Rep. Chaffetz: "Where have you been on a jobs bill?"

Governor Dannel Malloy (D-CT) joins Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien at the CNN Grill in Charlotte to talk about President Obama’s record.

Gov. Malloy says to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), “Which president saved the automobile industry? Your candidate wanted the automobile industry to go bankrupt. That’s what he said. He wrote an editorial in the paper. That would have cost another million jobs…. And by the way, when you talk about your desire to create jobs, where have you been on a jobs bill?”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

September 4th, 2012
08:09 PM ET

DNC convention webcast with Peter Hamby

Today at the DNC, CNN political reporter Peter Hamby hosted a live 15-minute web show from the CNN Grill. He discussed the day’s convention buzz and took questions from social media – much like he did last week at the RNC in Tampa.  Hamby was joined by former White House spokesman and GQ contributor Reid Cherlin; “Victory Lab” author and Slate writer Sasha Issenberg; and Erin McPike from Real Clear Politics.

Hamby will host two more live chats from the DNC on Wednesday and Thursday at 2:30pm ET from the CNN Grill. Users can watch on and and tweet questions to @PeterHambyCNN.

Topics: CNN Digital • CNN Grill
September 4th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Frank: When I first came to Congress in 1980 I was afraid to be honest about my sexuality

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux talks with Congressman Barney Frank about the parties official decision to back gay marriage.

« older posts