Thank your lucky stars that another year of Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations is behind you. It’s always great seeing kooky Uncle Mike, nosy Aunt Gloria, and their wacky offspring, but now it’s all about what you want to do and where you want to go. Begin the celebrations this weekend, when you can attend one of the coolest underground parties to hit Chicago in recent months. There’s also a string of red-hot New Year’s Eve events for next week that you’ll want to consider if you’re in the mood for a night of unconventional fun. We promise that you won’t find a better list anywhere else. But wherever you end up, have fun and party safely. Happy New Year!
Who knew the little West Loop block at Green and Randolph streets was going to end the year with such hot action? It’s like party central every weekend ever since Green Street Smoked Meats, Five Star Ramen, Parlor Pizza Bar and Soho House Chicago joined Nellcote and Sushi Dokku (823 W. Randolph St.) earlier this year. What’s really setting off the block right now are the under-the-radar events in Sushi Dokku’s new basement bar called Booze Box (enter through alley). On Dec. 26, get ready for “The Big Getaway” as talented turntablist Shon Dervis hosts an after-Christmas special, featuring reggae, hip-hop, and soul. It happens 9pm-2am and the kitchen will be open for your late-night appetite.
New Year’s Events With Attitude
The summer brunch soiree at the South Side’s Currency Exchange Cafe (305 E. Garfield Blvd.) was the talk of the town, and many were bummed that they missed out. Here’s another chance to check out what was the grooviest scene of the year with the most eclectic crowd we’ve seen in years. Hosted by The Silver Room‘s Eric Williams, the dinner party offers two seatings at 6pm ($72 per person) and 9pm ($96 per person includes champagne toast). Guests will indulge in a four-course feast, which includes dishes such as butter milk garlic honey glazed chicken and short ribs over garlic mashed potatoes. It’s BYOB, and deejays will spin house, funk, soul and more to keep you entertained. Tickets are available right here and reservations are required.
Redmoon Theater (2120 S. Jefferson St.) wants to do everything in its power to blow your mind on New Year’s Eve. The annual Revolution party returns, and it’s more outrageous than ever, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering these are theater folks. High-drama entertainment includes roving animal characters and wilderness creatures serving drinks and bites, wine bikers (you’ll understand when you see them) pedaling through the crowd pouring red or white vino, and an offbeat cocktail experience with bubbly champagne-based beverages, sloshy slushies, and potent potable fountains. Other spectacles throughout the evening include tarot card readers, fortune tellers, foot massagers, and more in a secret room. Of course there will be live music and an explosive midnight countdown. The party happens 9pm-2am. It’s priced at $100 per person (after Dec. 28 it’s $150 per person) and $150 for VIP tickets person ($175 after Dec. 28). The ticket includes free shuttle service, running from 9pm to 3am between Redmoon and 77 W. Wacker Dr.
Locallective‘s New Year’s affair at 1257 N. Milwaukee Ave. plans to be one for the books, featuring local star chefs whipping up a five-course meal, art installations, and more. There’s even a late-night ramen tasting after the midnight champagne toast, but that’s up to you whether you indulge following all those great dishes from chefs Michael Sheerin and Sarah Jordan. Doors open at 7pm for the dinner, which includes live music, an open bar, wine and cocktail pairings. It’s $200 per person, or $100 for those who attend the party only for the open bar and midnight champagne toast. That starts at 10:30pm. A portion of the proceeds benefit Aspire Chicago, which supports those with developmental disabilities. Purchase tickets right here. Reservations are required for entry.
What’s not to love about the lineup at Public Hotel‘s bash? It’s a Halston-themed event–so bring on the fashions–plus Lady Gaga’s deejay Starlight is at the turntables. That means, of course, you never know who will show up. The disco-themed night will also showcase a four-course, prix-fixe dinner by the award-winning chef duo of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Chef Moosah Reaume. It’s $65 per person for the early seating (5-6:30pm) and $215 per person for the late seating (9-9:30pm), which includes a premium open bar, light buffet and midnight champagne toast. Those who just come to party will pay $150 person for an open bar, light appetizers and midnight champagne toast. The party, which happens at 1301 N. State Pkwy., occurs 9pm-2am. Reservations are required.
The blow-out West Loop bash at TÊTE Charcuterie (1114 W. Randolph St.) includes, of course, chartcuterie, a lavish buffet, an open bar, midnight champagne toast and party favors. The best part will be the late-night snacks as some of the city’s top food trucks will be on-premises after midnight. The party begins at 7pm. Tickets are $150 per person.
The same team behind the world’s most celebrated old school house music picnic throws a New Year’s Eve bash. The Chosen Few‘s event takes place in Matteson, Ill., but it’s worth the hike because it’s held at the Bar Louie in the Holiday Inn. They’re encouraging guests to rent rooms for the night (special rate is $159 and includes a complimentary breakfast on New Year’s Day), so they can party until 2am. Chosen Few deejays expected to perform: Wayne Williams, Alan King, Tony Hatchett, Terry Hunter and Mike Dunn. General admission tickets are $40 per person. Click here for more info.
A New Year, New You
And if you’re planning to kick off the New Year in healthy style, there’s no better way to start than by signing up for the 30th annual New Year’s Day 5K Run/Walk. It kicks off at 11am Jan. 1 in Lincoln Park (Stockton Drive & LaSalle Street), and you’ll be able to walk, jog, or run. The course route winds north along the lakefront bike path to Diversey Harbor before returning to the North Avenue Field House. A post-party celebration takes place noon to 2:30pm at Select Cut Steakhouse (2808 N. Halsted St.) with complimentary beverages and $15 breakfast buffet. Register for the event right here.