Bar Novo A buffet, balloon drop, Champagne toast, premium open bar and DJ Adrie Marie make for a classic end-of-the-year bash. But be sure to buy your tickets online; otherwise you’ll start 2011 $220 poorer. 1 W Wacker Dr, Loop (312-372-7200). El: Brown, Orange, Green, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to State/Lake; Blue to Clark/Lake; Red to Lake. 9pm–2am. $90 in advance, $220 at the door. novonye.eventbrite.com for tickets.
Cans If you are going to get as much beer in as possible before 2011, you can’t be waiting around. Three Headed Productions (which owns Cans) touts “no waiting for drinks” as a priority for its NYE. Ticket price includes a five-hour open bar, dinner buffet and Champagne toast at midnight. 1640 N Damen Ave, Bucktown (773-227-2277). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72. 9pm–2am. $60 and up at threeheaded.com.
Casey Moran’s Bathed in dark woods and brimming with beer, this friendly bar is throwing an all-out NYE bash. A buffet and table reservations are available, and you might want one—not only to have a place to sit while you eat and reminisce about good ol’ 2010, but to give your feet a break from dancing. 3660 N Clark St, Wrigleyville (773-755-4444). El: Red to Addison. Bus: 8, 22, 152. 8pm–2am. $100 at chicagobareevents.com.
Division Ale House Celebrate NYE in Emerald-Isle style at this Irish pub. The five-hour party includes draft beers, so you can drink like an Irishman, plus cocktails and a midnight Champagne toast. The bar’s menu of Irish specialties, like fish and chips and black-and-tan mac and cheese, is on offer all night, just in case you want some grub to go down with your Guinness. 1942 W Division St, Wicker Park (773-384-6886). El: Blue to Division or Damen. Bus: 50, 70. 8pm–1am. $85.
Encore Tourists and theater fans love Encore. But its strong, neon martinis should make you consider giving its “Martini Lounge Party” a shot. Head up to the spiral bar or take a booth and try out some (or all, it’s New Year’s, after all) of the signature cocktails. There will be a free buffet, $5 draft beers and live music. 171 W Randolph St, Loop (312-338-3788). El: Blue to Washington. 9:30pm–1am. No cover, two cocktails for $10.
Evil Olive This sparkly, bi-level bar in Wicker Park is featuring a four-hour open bar, dinner buffet and midnight balloon drop with Champagne. 1551 W Division St, Ukrainian Village (773-235-9100). El: Blue to Division. Bus: 9, 56, 70. 9pm–1am. $60 and up at threeheaded.com.
Faith & Whiskey Faith & Whiskey, the Lincoln Park “hipster moose lodge” with motorcycles parked on top of the bathrooms, is having a full-out New Year’s party. The night will feature a KISS FM DJ, catered food buffet, party favors and midnight Champagne toast. But what you really care about is the five-and-a-half hour bar package with beer, premium alcohol and wine. 1365 W Fullerton Ave, Lincoln Park (773-248-9119). El: Red, Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Fullerton. Bus: 9, 73, 74. 8pm–1am. $75 at brownpapertickets.com/event/138149.
The Hangge-Uppe With the first floor catering to the hip-hop/Top-40 crowd, the lower level here gives you sing-along ’80’s rock. Either way, this place always delivers a good time. For New Year’s, The Hangge-Uppe will offer a four-hour package that includes all beer, wine and top-shelf cocktails. 14 W Elm St, Gold Coast (312-337-0561). El: Red to Clark/Division, Bus: 22, 36, 70, 156. 8:30pm–12:30am. $60 at rushanddivision.com/nye.html.
In Fine SpiritsPut on your finest mask and head to this wine bar for dinner and a Masquerade party. A four-course menu with wine pairings includes handmade ravioli and wine-braised short ribs: Choose from the early seating ($100 for 6pm) or the late one ($150 ), which includes admission to the after-party ($75 for just party with open bar), where your costume could win you a prize. 5420 N Clark St, Andersonville (773-334-9463). Bus: 22, 92. Party 10pm–2am.
John Barleycorn For a NYE packed full of the sports fanatics who keep Wrigleyville alive, head here. In true sports-bar fashion, the place is supplementing its all-you-can-eat buffet with beer and, um, energy-drink mixers. Dance to DJ-spun tunes while you look for your dream-date for the year—or more likely, just for the night. 3524 N Clark St, Wrigleyville (773-549-6000). El: Red to Addison. Bus: 22, 152. 9pm–1:30am. $100.
Kit Kat Lounge Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest are probably much less entertaining than female impersonators Traci Ross and Madam X will be at this slick, campy nightclub. The “Glitter and Glam” celebration features cocktails, entertainment and a five-course dinner menu with dishes like seared sea scallops. 3700 N Halsted St, Lakeview (773-525-1111). El: Red to Addison. Bus: 8, 36, 152. Seatings: 6pm, $50; 8pm, $60; 10pm, $70.
Lottie’s You want NYE under the stars, but you want to stay warm. Head to Lottie’s, where the ceiling is decked in twinkling lights and the frat-party mentality means plenty of hard-core drinking. The appetizer buffet includes thin-crust pizza, the open bar will keep you happy, and the Champagne toast will remind you why you’re there in the first place. 1925 W Cortland St, Bucktown (773-489-0738). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 9, 50, 73. 8pm–1am. $50.
Mahoney’s This spacious sports bar will have a buffet, midnight Champagne toast and party favors in addition to its alcohol package, which includes beer, wine, top-shelf cocktails and soft drinks. 551 N Ogden Ave, West Loop (312-733-2121). El: Blue to Grand. Bus: 8, 56, 65. 9pm–2am. $50 at rushanddivision.com/nye.html.
Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar Ring in the New Year at Ed Marszewski’s arty, comfortable Bridgeport bar with DJ Joy Bryl, discounted cocktails and draft craft beer, complimentary food and Champagne and most important—no cover. 960 W 31st St, Bridgeport (773-837-0145). Bus: 8, 62. 6pm–2am. Average beer: $4.
Market Bring friends to this West Loop spot: there is a free bottle of Champagne for every four people booked. What’s in store: three different NYE packages based on your penchant for eating or drinking. 1113 W Randolph St, West Loop (312-929-4787). Bus: 8, 20. Dinner seatings at 7:30pm and 9pm. $110, four-course dinner with premium open bar; $65, four-course dinner with cash bar; $85 drink-only package.
The Original Mother’s Legend has it that the Velvet Underground once rocked the stage here. But nowadays Mother’s is all about pleasing the sweat-drenched, booze-soaked Division Street masses who pack the dance floor into the early morning. Three different packages are being offered, so you can choose just exactly how much you want to forget the last decade and welcome in the new. 26 W Division St, Gold Coast (312-642-7251). El: Red to Clark/Division. Bus: 22, 36, 70. 9pm–4am. $50–$100 at rushanddivision.com/nye.html.
The Pony They provide the five-hour open bar, appetizer buffet, champagne toast at midnight, party favors and DJ. You throw down $60. Everyone is happy. 1638 W Belmont Ave, Lakeview (773-828-5055). Bus: 9, 11, 77. 8pm–1am. $60.
Public House Get a sneak peek at this soon-to-open beer and barbecue–focused spot in River North. Tickets to the NYE party get you into the bar before opening day, plus top-shelf booze, a Champagne toast and samples from the forthcoming menu, such as beef brisket sliders and kobe corn dogs. The owners are banking on the hopes that you’ll have so much fun, you’ll return when they open for real in January. For $150, you’d better. 400 N State St, River North (no phone yet). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 22, 29, 36. 8:30pm–1am. $150 at publichousenewyears.com.
Red Canary The Red Canary’s annual “Bootlegger’s Ball” New Year’s Eve bash is adding a Las Vegas spin to the already-rowdy lounge scene. Guests automatically get $5,000 of play money to gamble with on two floors of casino games. If you end up with the most at the end, you win a 42´´ HD TV, which wouldn’t be a bad way to start the year. Plus, there is an optional pre-party prix fixe menu so you can prep yourself for heavy-duty competition. 695 N Milwaukee Ave, West Town (312-846-1475). El: Blue to Chicago. Bus: 56, 66. Dinner 7–8pm ($25), party 9pm–2am. $75, couples $125.
Rock Bottom Brewery Want a NYE party that’s more than just an open bar and a DJ? Well this River North brew-bar has just what you need: live-band karaoke. Toss back a few from the open bar, then choose your favorite tune, whether it’s Madonna, Gaga, or Rihanna. Don’t worry, tickets also get you the dinner buffet, Champagne toast and DJ dance party, so every NYE dream can be fulfilled. 1 W Grand Ave, River North (312-755-9339). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 22, 29, 36, 65. 9pm–1am. $90.
ROOF Why be stuck indoors all night when the real party is rooftop? Head to this swanky lounge atop theWit Hotel for a NYE party with a true view. D-JR will spin tunes, while you drink from the open bar and nibble on passed hors d’oeuvres, until the Champagne toast at midnight. 201 N State St, 27th floor, Loop (312-239-9501). El: Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to State. 9pm–1am. $150.
Rootstock Wine & Beer BarIf you’re looking for a low-key NYE destination with plenty of bubbles to choose from, toast the new year at this unpretentious wine bar. No cover. 954 N California Ave, Humboldt Park (773-292-1616). Bus: 53, 66, 70. 5pm–2am. Average glass of wine: $8.
Salud Tequila Lounge This clubby, Mexican-themed lounge is having a five-hour open bar which includes tequila cocktails, Red Bull and Grey Goose. Hors d’oeurves and Champagne at midnight are also included. 1471 N Milwaukee Ave, Wicker Park (773-235-5577). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72. 9pm–2am. $80 and up at threeheaded.com.
The Violet Hour Head to this cocktail lounge for a NYE party full of decadence, delicious drinks, and exclusivity. The single seating at 10pm includes an open bar full of the hand-crafted cocktails and a special holiday punch. An à la carte menu will help you soldier through past midnight. 1520 N Damen Ave, Wicker Park (773-252-1500). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72. 10pm–2am. $75.
Weegee’s Lounge “We do a kind of anti-New Year’s Eve,” says this old-school bar, where folks from the neighborhood are sure to be kicking back with classic cocktails and a measure of dignity. 3659 W Armitage Ave, Logan Square (773-384-0707). Bus: 53, 73, 82. 5pm–2am. Average cocktail: $8.