Whether you're popping open bottles of champagne at a club or having a nice dinner with friends and family, New Years Eve is a time to bring in the new year with friends, with no regrets, well maybe some, and above all with a refreshed outlook for the new year. From black-tie affairs at The Drake to the more down-to-earth of $2 bar deals, we've gathered the top ten city-wide New Year's Eve parties that will surely send you into the new year in good company and spirits.
And for a complete list of the best LGBT events happening on New Year's Eve, visit ChicagoPride.com's CalendarQ.
Who's hosting: The Drake Hotel Address: 140 E. Walton Street
The Hood: Gold Coast
Time: 9:30pm – 1:30am
Converses and jeans or black slacks and dress shoes? Leave the converses at home and opt for a black tie look instead.
What To Expect: The Drake is synonymous with old-time luxury. The hotel tends to attract an older set and even royalty since a certain famous princess lives at the historic five-star. The annual black tie New Years Eve gala will whisk guests away to the famous Palm Court room for a three -course dinner. If you're flying solo, expect to pay $165 or $330 for a couple; a good way to bring in the New Year with ease and sophistication.
Where Do I RSVP: http://www.thedrakehotel.com
Who's hosting: TZAR Ultra Lounge Address: 215 W Ontario
The Hood: River North
Time: 10:00pm – 3:00am
Converses and jeans or black slack and dress shoes? There's no need to go out and buy/rent a tux for the party, but definitely come looking stylish and that you gave your outfit some sort of thought.
What To Expect: TZAR is one of River North's newest nightlife imports. So, the lines could potentially form pretty quickly. Not to mention River North tends to be Chicago's mecca for nightlife entertainment. I'd suggest arriving earlier rather then later. “A decadent evening full of champagne wishes and caviar dreams” billed and promoted by the club. TZAR is handing out the luxe treatment with champagne and caviar prepared tables for guests. General admission is $60 while tables of up to four patrons will cost you $700 and tables for up to eight people will cost $1300. If you throw in an extra four of your friends, expect to pay 1,800. There are deals for tables up to 20, but at that point, you guys might as well stay home and have your own party! TZAR attracts a fun and social crowd that just likes to have fun, so you'd be in good company with the other scenesters.
Where Do I RSVP: http://tzarchicago.com/
Who's hosting: Bridge Bar Address: 315 N. Lasalle St
The Hood: River North
Time: 5pm – 12am
Converses and jeans or black slack and dress shoes? Wear what you like!
What To Expect: Known as a cocktail kitchen where cocktails meets food, Bridge Bar is located inside Fulton's on The River. Bridge bar elicits a very comfortable, no-fuss vibe with an atmosphere to match. This pick certainly is the winner for best deal and perhaps best go-to destination for a little pregame action before the big night! Don't worry about any entry fees and enjoy the bar's $2-dollar deals with $2 Vodka cocktails, $2 Weller drinks, and $2 domestic beers. Not to mention, it's just a cab ride away from the rest of the action!
Where Do I RSVP: http://www.bridgebarchicago.com/
Who's hosting: J Bar Address: 610 N. Rush Street
The Hood: River North
Time: 9:00pm – 3:00am
Converses and jeans or black slack and dress shoes? There's no dress code here but J Bar's laxed swanky environment will just inspire you to pull out the blazers and fine shirts.
What To Expect: Attached to the posh boutique James hotel, J Bar draws a very chill, down-to-earth let live type of crowd. The intimate space fills fast, so get there early. For $80, guests will enjoy a premium open bar and if you throw in $30 extra bucks, you'll be treated to table service in addition to the premium open bar. This is certainly a deal that won't have you feeling ashamed, angry, or annoyed the morning
after when you look at your account balance. Not to mention, if you find that special NYE buddy that you made out with at stroke of midnight, the James Hotel is right next door!
Where do I RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/126722757442733/
Converses and jeans or black slack and dress shoes? Wear something that shows those biceps off.
What To Expect: Don't act brand new. We all know what to expect from one of Halsted Street's most popular nightlife destinations. Top 40 remixes, tasty libations and even tastier men, but this time expect to take those delights into the New Year. Mini bar is offering $99 food and drink package complete with dancers to the backdrop of a live DJ set. There is no table fee as it is on a first come first-serve basis.
Where Do I RSVP?: http://www.minibarchicago.com
Who's hosting: Prasino Address: La Grange (93 South La Grange)
Prasino St. Charlies (51 South First Street)
Prasino Wicker Park (1846 West Division)
The Hood: From the three different locations, hopefully near your hood. However, if you are in the city for New Years, then the Wicker Park location would be best for you.
Time: Plan accordingly since dinner reservations will be taken every 15 minutes during two seatings from 5:30-7:00 p.m. and again at 8:00-10:00 p.m (this seating information is only for Wicker Park ). A late night bar package is available 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (Late night package only offered at Wicker Park ).
Converses and jeans or black slack and dress shoes? If you're going to the Wicker Park location, you might want to actually stick with jeans and converses.
What To Expect: This option is great for a couple with kids or for a more relaxed, nice dinner with good friends. Prasino is a very open environment that is great for conversation. Prasino Wicker Park will be offering an exclusive evening that will offer guests a five course meal with wine/spirit paring per course and a champagne toast all for $110. And if you are feeling frisky and get the itch to go out, then you can hit up any of Wicker Park's clubs or bars.
Where Do I RSVP: http://www.prasino.com/home.php
Who's hosting: Horseshoe Casino Address: 777 Casino Center Dr.
The Hood: Hammond, IN
Time: 6:00pm – 1:00am
Converses and jeans or black slack and dress shoes? It's a casino... I don't think they care.
What To Expect: Okay, so Horseshoe Casino may not be in the city's limits, but a quick getaway just 20 minutes south of downtown Chicago could be just what's in order for bringing in the new year. The casino's concert venue, The Venue, attracts big acts such as Kelly Clarkson and other headliners. Horseshoe is offering two New Year's Eve packages for patrons to choose from for their evening plans. At $175 per a person, the VIP package includes a pre-fixe menu dinner at Jack Binnon's Steakhouse (a personal fave of mine) with cocktails included followed by the midnight celebration in the Venue with live entertainment, complimentary cocktails, and party favors. The $95 New Year's Eve Package includes at the Village Square Buffet (cocktails included) followed by the midnight celebration in the Venue with complimentary cocktails, live entertainment, and party favors.
Where Do I RSVP: http://www.chicagohorseshoe.com
Who's hosting: David Burke's Primehouse Address: 616 N. Rush St.
The Hood: River North
Time: 10:00am – 2:30pm (January 1, 2012/ the morning after)
Converses and jeans or black slack and dress shoes? It's the morning after, I really don't think people will turn their noses up at converses or sweats, let alone notice the difference.
What To Expect: Probably A LOT of people with bad hangovers brunching in one of Chicago's top restaurants. This would be a great way to swap crazy stories of the night before and for some puzzle over the first name of that guy or girl across the table from you. Executive chef Rick Gresh will be cooking up some comfort food to nurse that hangover such as chocolate chip French toast with screwed fruit, triple mac and cheese, and of course the usual breakfast suspects of scrambled eggs, home potato fries, and bacon; and all this for $20 per a person.
Where Do I RSVP: http://www.jameshotels.com/davidburkesprimehouse
Who's hosting: Pops For Champagne Address: 601 N. State St.
The Hood: River North
Time: 9:00pm 1:00am
Converses and jeans or black slack and dress shoes? No need to be over the top dressed up but certainly don't roll in with adidas and an ill-fitting T-shirt.
What To Expect: How applicable is it to bring in the new year with a nice glass of bubbly at a place named after the chosen libation for New Years Eve! Pops For Champagne definitely has a chill sophisticated vibe that pulls in a crowd that knows and has experienced the best of the city but has opted for Pops. You don't have to be a champagne connoisseur since there will be experts on hand to guide you. $65 for table reservations, $50 for bar seats and back tasting room seating and all to the backdrop of a Jason Ellis Quartet.
Where Do I RSVP: http://popsforchampagne.com/
Converses and jeans or black slack and dress shoes? Put on those converses and jeans and get ready to party!
What To Expect: Parlour is sticking to their roots and offering a simple, no table service, no open bar, no fancy noshes, and overall fun no-fuss New Years
Eve experience; but also no cover too! However, you will enjoy a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. The venue will be featuring Nicole Garneau's farewell performance, DJ Erik Roan, Northern Lights Go-Go gothic dancers, and Honey Bunz and [X]P. There's something to be said about a venue that keeps it straight to the point and basic, even for New Years.
Where Do I RSVP: No fancy RSVP, guest list, or whatever. Just show up!