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CNN Fires Up Grill For 2008 Conventions

CNN is reviving the “CNN Grill,” providing both Democrats and Republicans with a distinct venue to mix food and political debate for the party conventions, officials said Monday.

CNN is taking its cue from the CNN Diner it offered at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, which was located at the Tick Tock Diner. The campaign was honored in 2005 with PROMO magazine’s PRO Award in the “Best Use of Event Marketing” category.

The 2008 CNN Grills will be open for the duration of both the Democratic National Convention in Denver from Aug. 25 through Aug. 28, and the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., from Sept. 1 through Sept. 4.  In Denver, the CNN Grill will take over Brooklyn’s restaurant located adjacent to the Pepsi Center; in St. Paul, it will open at the Eagle Street Grille next to the Xcel Energy Center.

Situated immediately adjacent to the delegate entrances at both conventions, the CNN Grills will serve as additional broadcast centers that bring newsmakers and the media together to participate in CNN live broadcasts both on-air and online at and mingle with CNN guests.

The brick exterior of the CNN Grill in Denver will display an array of painted quotes about politics. Editors at asked users to submit – in 10 words or less – what “politics” means to them. The political expressions that will appear on the Grill wall were selected from hundreds of submissions from across the country.

For the latest convention eateries, Civic Entertainment Group developed the “CNN Grill” concept, while Union Square Hospitality Group headed by restaurateur Danny Meyer and his team developed the menu. The menu features culinary treats from executive chef Michael Romano and will include a CNN brew created by Breckenridge Brewery.

Also on Monday, CNN announced that platinum-selling recording artist Daughtry has rerecorded Feels Like the First Time, originally made famous by Foreigner in 1977, as the theme song for the network’s 'League of First Time Voters' initiative. The music video will premiere on Campbell Brown: Election Center today, Aug. 18, and will be available on via video on-demand.

The single will appear on Daughtry Deluxe, the band’s upcoming deluxe version of its debut album, due Sept. 9.