As the holidays are fast approaching, some of us look forward to one festive night in particular — New Year’s Eve. The night for sending out the old year with a bang and welcoming the new one with a headache offers many ways to celebrate. With that in mind, we’ve scoured our favorite neighborhoods for the best of all the ball-dropping fun. In Uptown you can choose to party like it’s 1929, dine on gourmet, full-course dinners or settle into your favorite haunt and wait for a champagne toast.
A regular destination for events and staycations, the historical Lafayette Hotel (2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park) is hosting “On With The Show” for New Year’s Eve. This party is themed around the roaring ’20s with three different areas to visit. “The City Within A City” will take over the main hotel building, greeting guests with carnival entertainment by Circus Mafia. The Mississippi Ballroom will become “The Cotton Club” for dancing and music. And the “Speakeasy” — if you can find it — will feature a four-course dinner and Prohibition-era cocktails along with some swanky lounge singers. (Reservations are required for dinner and start at 6 p.m.) The live music offerings for the event will run the gamut from rock ‘n’ roll-blues favorites Lady Dottie and the Diamonds to gypsy jazz artists Trio Gadjo to genre-bending DJ Man Cat. Tickets start at $50 for general admission with various packages available for those interested in dinner or a hotel stay. We recommend doing it big: stay, play, eat and drink. The party’s official hours are 7 p.m. – 2 a.m. Visit lafayettehotelsd.com for more info.
Another area hotel that celebrates days past, The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant (2660 Calhoun St., Old Town), also has a night of merriment planned. One of the oldest surviving buildings in San Diego has a party planned to include a welcome cocktail, a buffet dinner with dessert bar and, of course, a champagne toast at midnight. The event will also feature live music and drink specials. Tickets are $30 per person. Visit oldtowncosmopolitan.com. Note: the hotel has sold out of rooms but there are other accommodations in walking distance including the Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel (4041 Harney St.).
For the second year, cocktail mainstay Polite Provisions (4696 30th St., Normal Heights) will host their “Bourbon and Blues Ball.” Now there’s two “B”s we can get behind. The former will come in the form of a special holiday drink menu and the latter will be provided live by the Fred Heath Trio. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets include two drink vouchers good for beer, wine and cocktails plus a champagne toast a midnight. General admission starts at $50 and does not include seating (there will be first-come first-serve seating on the patio and bar-top). Table reservations are available for an additional charge. Visit bourbonandbluesball.bpt.me. For other area bars offering libation-laced NYE parties see our side bar.
One of our favorite North Park eateries will host an NYE dinner celebration plus a “hungover brunch” so the party doesn’t have to end at midnight. West Coast Tavern (2895 University Ave.) will serve up dinner starting at 9 p.m. (reservations required) with all tables receiving a champagne toast and party favors. On New Year’s Day, their brunch will start at 11 a.m. with specials on mimosa pitchers — which you’ll need if you do NYE right. Visit westcoasttavern.com. Many other Uptown restaurants will also have festive NYE dinners — see our side bar for a few highlights.
If you’re looking for more than just a meal to ring in the new year, you’re also in luck. The North Park Theatre (2891 University Ave.), conveniently located adjacent to West Coast Tavern, will host two great live acts. Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers are no strangers to San Diego, playing here several times over the last few years. Nicki’s timeless rock/soul/country vocals are met with groovy guitars — some courtesy of husband Tim — for a vintage style that conjures up memories of Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks and even a little Janis Joplin. Tim Bluhm will pull double-duty, as he is also the front man for psychedelic-folk rockers The Mother Hips. Tickets for the show are $37.50 plus fees. Visit thenorthparktheatre.com. Of course, for music-lovers there are ample choices in addition to this stellar show. See our side bar for a few more selections in and around Uptown.
Whatever way you choose to celebrate, get a jump on 2015’s resolution to not procrastinate and scoop up tickets and reservations before it’s too late!
Eating your way to 2015
Surf and turf dinner at The Patio on Goldfinch
Starting at 5 p.m. $75 for prix fixe menu, $99 with added wine pairing (regular menu available). 4020 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. thepatioongoldfinch.com.
Three-course dinner at Bleu Boheme
5 – 10 p.m. $65 plus tax and gratuity. 4090 Adams Ave., Kensington. bleuboheme.com.
Three-course dinner at Urban Solace
Reservations begin at 5:30 p.m. $60 plus tax and gratuity includes champagne toast at midnight. 3823 30th St., North Park. urbansolace.net.
Drinking and dancing your way to 2015
Booty Bassment with DJ Dimitri, DJ Rob at Whistle Stop Bar
9 p.m. Free. 2236 Fern St., South Park. whistlestopbar.com.
DJ Junior, DJ Vaughn Avakian at Bar Pink
9 p.m. Free. 3829 30th St., North Park. barpink.com.
Hollywood Nights with DJ Junior at The Air Conditioned Lounge
9 p.m. $35 includes choice of shooter from select menu, drink specials and champagne toast at minute with party favors. 4673 30th St., Normal Heights. airconditionedlounge.com/NYE2015.
Joy, Wild Honey, Plant Tribe at Til-Two Club
9 p.m. $8. 4746 El Cajon Blvd., City Heights. tiltwoclub.com.
Plastik Deer, The Slashes, The Kooties at Tin Can Alehouse
9 p.m. $8. 1863 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. thetincan1.wordpress.com.
Mrs. Magician, Heavy Hawaii, Teenage Burritos at Soda Bar
8:30 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 at the door includes party favors and champagne toast. 3615 El Cajon Blvd., Normal Heights. sodabarmusic.com.
Robert Dove with Ed Kornhauser at Turf Supper Club
11 p.m. Free. 1116 25th St., Golden Hill. turfsupperclub.com.
Go all out for NYE
Celebration packages with dinner and music at Martinis Above Fourth
“East Coast”: 5 p.m., $60; “West Coast”: 7:30 p.m., $125 for a five-course dinner, live entertainment from Andy and Nathan, and Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen, and champagne toast. 3940 Fourth Ave. (Second Floor), Hillcrest. martinisabovefourth.com/nye.
One-year anniversary party with dinner and music at Croce’s Park West
Early Dinner: 5 – 6 p.m., Dinner: 6 – 8:30 p.m., Late Night Dinner: 9 p.m – close. $50 – $95 for three-course meal and entertainment by Irving Flores and Gilbert Castellanos and The Park West Ensemble. 2760 Fifth Ave., #100, Bankers Hill. crocesparkwest.com.
New Year’s Eve Comedy Spectacular at National Comedy Theatre
8:30 p.m. $79 for buffet dinner, comedy show and champagne toast at midnight. 3717 India St., Mission Hills. nationalcomedy.com.
—Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem