It’s here: The one time of year when it’s perfectly okay to wear something super-sparkly, dance on tables, and kiss a stranger. Okay, maybe you did that last weekend, too, but at least now you’re in good company. New Year’s Eve is a night to remember (or forget, as the case may be), and with […]
It’s here: The one time of year when it’s perfectly okay to wear something super-sparkly, dance on tables, and kiss a stranger. Okay, maybe you did that last weekend, too, but at least now you’re in good company. New Year’s Eve is a night to remember (or forget, as the case may be), and with so many options for where to go and what to do, it’s best to plan ahead. From high-end, V.I.P. treatment packages to low-key (and light on the wallet) spots for boozing, dancing and toasting, here’s a taste of what lies in store for you this New Year’s.
If you want to ring in 2007 in celebrity-style, Zen Den at the recently revamped Wyndham Milwaukee Center Hotel (139 E. Kilbourn Ave.) is the place to do it. For $80 a person ($90 at the door), enjoy an open bar from 9 p.m. to close, decadent hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast, access to specialty chocolate, Ketel One and Press Cocktail Soda bars, and music straight from the turntables of DJ Sheldon Knight. To totally treat yourself, purchase bottle service to reserve a table for your group (space is limited). As for ambience, Zen Den’s name speaks for itself; the space is sleek, modern and sexy. If this sounds like the destination for you, make sure you dress the part. You can also make a night (and morning) of it, with hotel room deals starting at $199 with your NYE package. The only thing missing is the red carpet.
But if the red carpet is a necessity for you, thank goodness for The Wicked Hop (345 N. Broadway St.). This Third Ward bar/restaurant’s $80 per-person-package starts with a red-carpet entrance, and includes select premium liquors, draft beers, snacks, desserts, the standard champagne toast at midnight, and most importantly, live music. Milwaukee’s own Rusty P’s and their energetic DJ Madhatter take turns giving the masses something to move to. The party’s open to the public after 1 a.m., when another local hip-hop group, Black Elephant, joins the P’s for an encore performance.
Transportation can be a total pain on New Year’s Eve, so why not start out and end up in the same spot? Trocadero (1758 N. Water St.)conveniently houses the ultra-sexy Red Light bar (directly upstairs from the restaurant), and the two venues have gotten together to fulfill all your NYE needs in one fell swoop. Start by dining at Trocadero, which offers a three-course menu with a bottle of wine for $70. Dinner guests can cruise up to the Amsterdam-inspired Red Light for no cover charge (others pay $10). Within the dim, trendy bar, celebrate Hawaiian-style with $5 tropical martinis and free food. At 2 a.m., DJ Anacron takes over the decks until sunrise. Red Light makes the Hawaiian theme complete by toasting the New Year again at 4 a.m. (midnight in Hawaii). Can you make it that long?
Somehow, the party always ends up at Victor’s (1230 N. Van Buren St.)on New Year’s Eve. A classic NYE spot in Milwaukee, Victor’s gives patrons 24 full hours of party time. There’s dancing, drink specials and plenty of favors. But let’s face it: you go there for the free pizza at 6:30 a.m. Victor’s sweetens the deal this year by adding a tent-and-laser show. Plus, Victor’s is the perfect place to run into “that one girl” and “the guy from that place.” I can’t wait.
“Bar Time” runs every other week on the Milwaukee Magazine Web site. Look for the next column Wednesday, Jan. 10.