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Reader's Guide to New Year's Eve 2003

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Over the past few years, local New Year's Eve celebrations have become less opulent and more creative, but there's still something for everyone, from expensive multicourse dinners, downtown fireworks, and all manner of musical offerings to events tailored for children, teetotalers, spiritual seekers, and others who party to the beat of a different drummer. Some things that haven't changed are the traditional transportation deals--it's still just a penny to ride the CTA from 8 PM New Year's Eve to 6 AM New Year's Day, a free trolley runs from Navy Pier to the Grand Avenue Red Line stop from 10 PM until 2 AM, and certain Metra trains will run late (call 312-836-7000). For those driving, there's free coffee at some Illinois Tollway oases. Listings are based on information available at press time; see our Web site, chicagoreader.com, for updates.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Listings compiled By Cara Jepsen.

CHICAGO

AIKIDO CENTER OF CHICAGO

3717 N. Ravenswood #113

773-472-3290

The Aikido Center kicks off New Year's Eve with a dojo purification ceremony, in which they'll clean the dojo, at 7 PM. At 11, priests from Chozenji Illinois Betsuin will ring the temple bell 108 times to mark the beginning of the New Year and the center will offer free aikido training. A party follows.

ATHLETES UNITED FOR PEACE LAST RUN OF THE YEAR

Heartland Cafe

7000 N. Glenwood, 773-465-8005

Last year this annual 5K walk and run was moved to the evening, but sponsors say it's still "competitive at the front of the pack, relaxed and joyous at the back." It starts at 8 PM at the Heartland, moves east on Lunt through Loyola Park along Lake Michigan, and then loops back to the restaurant for a party with food and champagne. Aswah Greggori & the Enforcers play again this year at the Heartland; Old No. 8 is at the adjoining Red Line Tap. Los Dinamicos perform down the street at the No Exit Cafe (6970 N. Glenwood). The $25 race fee ($20 in advance, $10 for kids under 12) includes a shirt and admission to all three venues; admission is the same price for nonracers. See www.heartlandcafe.com.

BUCKINGHAM FOUNTAIN FIREWORKS

Grant Park

Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive

312-744-3315

"We'd like to do a tribute if we can," says a city spokesperson, hinting that the recorded sound track of pop, rock, and classical music accompanying this year's free Monroe Harbor fireworks display will include songs by Johnny Cash and Warren Zevon--both of whom passed away in 2003. As always, the city suggests that people assemble a half hour before midnight; the pyrotechnics will be preceded by a lighted fountain countdown to the New Year. The free display will be programmed in sync with the Navy Pier fireworks a mile or so north.

CHICAGO SCENE NEW YEAR'S EVE Gala

Drake Hotel

140 E. Walton

312-587-3474 or 800-955-5566

The Paramours and DJ Jernell Geronimo headline the annual party cosponsored by Chicago-Scene.com and Scene magazine, which usually draws over 2,000 people and sells out each year. The $155 admission includes three rooms of music, a premium open bar from 9 PM to 1 AM, hors d'oeuvres, a champagne toast, a balloon drop, dessert, and party favors. A VIP dinner ticket ($215) includes all that plus a three-course meal and access to private restrooms and bars. A portion of the profits benefit the American Red Cross. Go to www.chicago-scene.com for more.

CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD/HOLIDAYS OF LIGHT

Museum of Science

and Industry

57th and Lake Shore Drive

773-684-1414

The tradition of inviting local ethnic organizations to decorate holiday trees for the Museum of Science and Industry's "Christmas Around the World" celebration began during World War II as a "salute to the American allies"; the first year the display consisted of a single tree. Now it features more than 51 trees and creches, including a Polish tree hung with blown-glass eggshells (representing birth) and a Lebanese "peace" tree decked out in white doves, pinecones, and ribbons; new this year are trees representing Russia, Ukraine, and Bosnia. There are also displays honoring the Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Diwali, Visakha Puja Day, Saint Lucia Day, and the winter solstice. The museum is open New Year's Eve from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM; admission is $9 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, and $5 for children ages 3 to 11, with discounts available for Chicago residents. Also on display at the museum is "Cultures of Creativity: The Centennial Exhibition of the Nobel Prize." See www.msichicago.org.

FUTURE FORWARD.04

Marriott Hotel

540 N. Michigan, 800-955-5566

This UR Chicago and PURE co-promotion event features underground dance and techno DJs Teri Bristol and Psycho Bitch, John Curley, and Johnny Chaos in one ballroom, while the other will feature hip-hop, dance hits, and "energy" spun by DJs Danny Boy and Martin "Boogie-man" Luna. There are also three VIP areas--everything's connected by a central atrium--plus light shows, a premium open bar, hors d'oeuvres, dinner, party favors, hats, and a champagne toast. VIP tickets are $125; general admission is $90, tax and tip included. Rooms for the night are $139; call 312-836-0100. See www.purefuture.com for more information.

IMPROVOLYMPIC

3541 N. Clark, 773-880-9979

The ImprovOlympic offers three New Year's Eve options: A 10:30 performance by resident troupe Baby Wants Candy will be preceded by a sit-down dinner at 9:30. Cupid Is as Cupid Does, a musical revue about relationships, plays in the Del Close Theater upstairs at 10:30, with hors d'oeuvres served an hour before curtain. Both shows cost $65 and include a toast and postshow party. There's also an early $15 performance by Baby Wants Candy at 8 for those who want to ring in the New Year elsewhere. For more see www.improvolympic.com.

MYSTIC BLUE NEW

YEAR'S EVE CRUISE

Navy Pier

600 E. Grand, 877-299-7854

Casual attire is suggested for this year's cruise on the Mystic Blue, which is owned by Premier Yachts (the company behind Odyssey Cruises and the Ugly Duck boats). The theme of the evening is "Brazilian Carnival," and the $150 ticket includes hors d'oeuvres, a premium open bar, a DJ, party favors, food stations, a champagne toast, and an unobstructed view of the Navy Pier pyrotechnics. The ship boards at 8 PM, sails at 9:30, and docks at 12:30 AM. See www.mysticbluecruises.com for more.

NAVY PIER FIREWORKS & WINTER WONDERFEST

Navy Pier

600 E. Grand, 312-595-5225

This year's Winter Wonderfest features a wide range of family-oriented entertainment, including a mechanical reindeer ride, a bungee jump, an ice skating rink, an in-line skating track, a rock climbing wall, a train ride, a carousel, and a model train display, plus games, storytellers, puppet shows, and lavishly decorated trees. It's open New Year's Eve from 10 AM to 11:45 PM (and reopens New Year's Day at 10 AM). Admission is free, as is access to the outdoor skating rink, Smith Museum of Stained Glass, and the Ferris wheel countdown and midnight fireworks--which are coordinated with those over Monroe Harbor. Wristbands allowing access to the other attractions are $12.

NEIGHBOR'S EVE 2004

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

773-268-1356

This annual Hyde Park-Kenwood event is the city's largest SAFE Night program, featuring live music at five venues plus food, soda, and transportation between sites--all for just $5. The family stage runs from 5 PM to 1 AM at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (5480 S. Kenwood). There's also a blues stage at Saint James Church (4611 S. Ellis), world music at the Rodfei Zedek synagogue (5200 S. Hyde Park), jazz at the United Church of Hyde Park (1448 E. 53rd), and dance music at the First Unitarian Church (5850 S. Woodlawn). Like other SAFE Night programs, it's alcohol- and smoke-free.

NEW YEAR'S EVE AT THE BATON SHOW LOUNGE

436 N. Clark, 312-644-5269

The Baton unveils brand-new drag shows a few nights a year, and one of those nights is New Year's Eve. There are only two performances (at 10 PM and 1 AM) instead of the usual three, and patrons must buy tickets in advance in person at the box office--it's the only time you can choose your seats, which will remain open until you arrive. The $40 ticket for the early show includes splits of champagne; at midnight the lights go down and everyone sings "Auld Lang Syne." "It's relaxing and not overly done," says a spokesperson. The 1 AM show is $15.

NEW YEAR'S EVE gala

Crystal Garden at Navy pier

600 E. Grand, 312-371-7872

This deluxe party features hip-hop, house, trance, bhangra, and hindi music spun by DJ Aladdin and DJ Sunny Singh. The $125 ticket price also gets guests a four-hour premium open bar, hors d'oeuvres, dessert, champagne at midnight, front-row seats for the Navy Pier fireworks display, and a discounted rate of $119 at the Fairmont Hotel. Formal attire is requested, and you must be over 23 to attend. For more information see www.chicagodesiscene.com.

NEW YEAR'S EVE

AT THE HYATT

151 E. Wacker, 312-552-2000

Cosponsored by Q101, this year's "Hot Steel" New Year's Eve party runs from 9 PM to 2 AM and features music by DJ Energy Brad and cover bands Libido Funk Circus and the Retro Rockets. Tickets are $99 before December 15, $120 after, and include an open bar, appetizers, party favors, and a champagne toast. A surf 'n' turf champagne dinner at Stetson's Chop House is an additional $75; the prime rib buffet at All Seasons Cafe is $29.95. The cafe also offers breakfast from midnight until 4 AM for $12.95--a buck less than last year. Rooms start at $147; for an extra $50 you can sleep late and check out by 5.

NEW YEAR'S EVE

AT THE HYATT

2233 S. Martin Luther King

312-528-4137

This "Hot Rock and Smooth Jazz" party features six specialty rooms: a cigar lounge, a martini and jazz club with the Tuey Connel Jazz Trio, a billiards club, and three rock clubs with live bands. The $99 ticket ($119 at the door) also gets you group dance lessons from 3 to 5 PM, a balloon drop, confetti cannons, a champagne toast, hors d'oeuvres, and a dessert bar. Add an overnight stay with early check-in and late checkout and it's one of the best deals around--$130 per person. The dinner package ($192.50 per person) includes all the above plus a four-course meal at the hotel's NetWorks restaurant. The restaurant's New Year's Day buffet is $13.95, $7.95 for children ages 5 to 12.

NEW YEAR'S EVE POWWOW

American Indian Center

1630 W. Wilson, 773-275-5871

This event marks the conclusion of the AIC's 50th year. The family- and teetotaler-friendly event is $4 a head ($2 for children over five) and starts at 8 PM with a potluck dinner featuring traditional foods such as fry bread. The dancing and drumming start at 9, with many opportunities for audience participation. At midnight there's a "sobriety special" honoring people who have stayed straight all year. Doors open at 7.

NEW YEAR'S EVE

ROCK 'N' ROLL BALL

Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier

600 E. Grand, 312-836-4299

WXRT's finally giving the BoDeans a rest; this year the B-52's and Poi Dog Pondering headline the annual bash, which will also be broadcast live on Channel 7. There's also dancing in the Tom Tom Lounge plus party favors, a midnight confetti shower, and a primo view of the Navy Pier fireworks. The $98 admission includes ten tickets redeemable at multiple food stations and martini and champagne bars. See www.bigcreekevents.com for more.

ODYSSEY NEW YEAR'S

EVE CRUISE

Navy Pier

600 E. Grand, 888-957-2322

The Odyssey has traditionally offered Chicago's poshest New Year's Eve cruise, and dressing to the nines is encouraged (though black tie is optional). This year the ticket price is $225 per person and includes a three-hour Lake Michigan cruise, a four-course surf 'n' turf dinner, live entertainment, party favors, a premium open bar, a champagne toast, and a great view of the midnight sky show at Navy Pier. The boat boards at 8:30 PM, sails at 9:30, and docks at 12:30 AM. Go to www.odysseycruises.com for more information.

QUEER EYES WIDE SHUT

Sofitel Chicago

water Tower Hotel

20 E. Chestnut, 312-421-7672, ext. 30

Only 450 tickets will be sold for this Chicago Social-sponsored party, and attendees are encouraged to wear either "creative" black tie or masquerade. The $175 ticket includes a premium open bar, hors d'oeuvres, a gift bag, a champagne toast, and live entertainment, including "exotic human installations" and DJ Matt Warren. Cosponsored by All Terrain Productions, it runs from 9 PM to 2 AM; a portion of the proceeds benefits the Hearts Foundation (www.heartsfoundation.org). Partygoers get a special room rate of $200 at the hotel; call 312-324-4000.

SAFE NIGHT IN CHICAGO

Multiple locations

Now in its ninth year, the all-ages SAFE nights ("safe, alcohol-free, family events") take place at numerous churches, YMCAs, parks, and community centers around town. Activities and times vary by location, but all venues will offer entertainment, food, soft drinks, party favors, raffle items, and a midnight countdown. Call 311 for information on events in your police district.

SECOND CITY

1616 N. Wells, 312-337-3992

SECOND CITY E.T.C.

1608 N. Wells, 312-337-3992

Second City's main stage features its 90th comedy revue, Doors Open on the Right, directed by Joshua Funk, while the smaller Second City E.T.C. presents its 25th, Pants on Fire (also directed by Funk). Each show has two performances, at 7 and 10 PM. Admission is $30 and includes a coffee-table book and a bounceback pass (good for a show at the other venue). Audiences at the late shows are invited to stick around for complimentary champagne.

SPIRIT OF CHICAGO NEW YEAR'S EVE CRUISE

Navy Pier

600 E. Grand, 866-211-3804

More than 10,000 revelers have taken the Spirit of Chicago New Year's Eve cruise over the past 15 years. This year's $159 ticket includes a premium open bar, hors d'oeuvres, dinner, dancing, a DJ, cabaret-style performers, party favors, a balloon drop, a champagne toast, and a view of the fireworks. Plus you can have your photo taken as you embark. It boards at 8 PM, cruises the lakefront at 9, and returns to the dock at 12:30 AM. See www.spirit cruises.com for more information.

TRANCE ZEN DANCE TRIBE HARMONIoUS NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATION

Holmes Place

355 E. Grand, 312-440-1866

"You can go barefoot, but you don't have to," says Trance Zen Dance organizer Travis Robb. One of the goals of the holistic club event is to "increase global enlightenment through conscious dance and community building"; the first-ever TZD NYE party will include trance DJs, kirtan (devotional call and response chanting), yoga, wall projections, contact improvisation, belly dancing, bodywork, a vegetarian buffet, and access to a pool, coed sauna, and steam room. What it won't have is smoking or drinking. Festivities begin with meditation at 8 PM (doors open at 7:30), and there'll be another meditation session at midnight. Admission is $65 in advance and $80 at the door; parking is $8. See www.tzdtribe.com for more.

WORLD PEACE MEDITATION

Unity in Chicago

1925 W. Thome, 773-973-0007

This annual tradition dates back to 1986. At noon Greenwich mean time on the last day of the year peaceniks worldwide will gather for free service of prayers and invocations from a variety of spiritual traditions, including Native American, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and Christian. It starts at 6 AM and will be followed by a continental breakfast. See www.unitychicago.org for more.

ZEN BUDDHIST

NEW YEAR'S EVE

Zen Buddhist Temple

1710 W. Cornelia, 773-528-8685

The Zen Buddhist Temple's New Year's Eve service ushers out the year with a short meditation, chanting, and a candle-lighting ceremony. Participants also can write down events of the past 365 days on slips of paper that are then burned by the temple in order to clear the mind for the year ahead. It starts at 8 PM and there's a requested donation of $10. They'll usher in the New Year tomorrow at 11:30 AM. For more go to www.zenbuddhisttemple.org.

ZOOLIGHTS

Lincoln Park Zoo

Cannon Drive at Fullerton

312-742-2000

ZooLights is a holiday spectacle that includes animated light displays, a laser show, ice carving, and family crafts, and this holiday season it's free for the first time in its nine-year history. The light show usually runs Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 9 PM through January 4, but there'll be a special celebration at 8:30 on New Year's Eve. See www.lpzoo.com.

SUBURBS

BIG BOI '00 ENTERTAINMENT NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY

Days Inn

1900 N. Mannheim, Melrose Park

630-336-1470

Patrick Lovelace started hosting events three years ago under the Big Boi '00 Entertainment moniker with the goal of glorifying "big, beautiful women." This year's NYE event has a black-and-silver theme. "You can go semiformal or formal--however you feel," he says. All sizes are invited to the party, which runs from 8 PM to 3 AM. The $30 admission ($45 for couples) includes music by DJ James E., party favors, a buffet, and a champagne toast. See www.bigboi00entertainment.com.

DAMON WILLIAMS'S NEW YEAR'S EVE COMEDY BASH

Star Plaza Theatre

I-65 and U.S. 30, Merrillville, IN

219-769-6600

At 25, south-side native Damon Williams opened a Subway franchise. Then a friend dared him to take the stage at a comedy open mike, and he realized his true calling. He went on to open for the "Original Kings of Comedy" tour and has made appearances on Showtime at the Apollo and BET's Comic View. This will be the fifth annual NYE show for the clean-talking comedian; it starts at 8 PM, and tickets are $40. Also on the bill are Katt Williams, B. Phlat, Deon Cole, Juan Villareal, and Tony Roberts.

FIRST NIGHT EVANSTON

Downtown Evanston

847-328-5864

"Under the Silvery Moon" is this year's theme for Evanston's annual family-friendly celebration. The ever-expanding festival features 17 indoor stages and 250 performers, including Marc Smith's Uptown Poetry Slam Experience, Las Guitarras de Espana, Dave Herzog's Marionettes, Balkan dance with Orchestra Izgrev, the Hard Times Bluegrass Band, the Jazmer Klezmer Band, and many others. There'll also be silent films accompanied by live piano--new this year--plus free parking and shuttle bus service. It starts at 6 PM and concludes with a countdown to midnight and a sparkling-cider toast. Admission buttons good for entry into all the venues are $12, $8 for kids 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and under. For more information go to www.firstnightevanston.org.

FIRST NIGHT HIGHLAND PARK

Highland Park, 847-831-2265

Highland Park's five First Night venues are expected to draw as many as 3,000 people this year. Entertainment includes the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, the Midnight Circus, Choral Thunder, and an audience-participation drum circle led by John Yost; there will also be an art exhibit and ice skating, plus free shuttle buses. All-access buttons are $10 in advance ($5 for seniors and children aged six to ten) and $12 at the door ($6 for seniors and children). It runs from 6 PM to just past midnight. See www.firstnighthighlandpark.org.

NEW YEAR'S EVE FIREWORKS

Century Park

Lakeview and Hawthorn Parkways

Vernon Hills, 847-367-3700

This free kid-friendly fireworks display starts at 7:30 PM. Go to www.vernonhills.org and click on the dancing penguins for details.

NEW YEAR'S EVE

SINGLES PARTY

Oak Meadows Country Club

900 Wood Dale Road, Addison

847-604-3446

Seven hundred people showed up for last year's Chicago Singles Dances-sponsored event, which takes place in the club's five ballrooms and features two DJs. The dinner buffet starts at 6 PM; dancing starts at 9. Tickets are $42, or $15 for just the dance. There's a special room rate of $59 at the Wood Dale Courtyard Marriott (630-766-7775), which offers free shuttle bus service to and from the party. See www.thunderbirdsingles.com for more.

SECOND CITY'S DYSFUNCTIONAL

HOLIDAY REVUE

Metropolis Performing

Arts Centre

111 Campbell, Arlington Heights

847-577-2121

Tickets to this annual parody of holiday traditions are $40 and $45 and include champagne, party hats, and noisemakers. Performances are at 6:30 and 10 PM; cabaret seating and beverage service are available. See www.metropolisarts.com for more information.

VOODOO NIGHTCLUB NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY

VOODOO NIGHTCLUB

601 Mall Drive, Schaumburg

847-969-1602

This year Voodoo is offering two NYE packages: $40 gets you a buffet, premium open bar, party favors, reserved seating from 7 to 9 PM, and guaranteed seating until closing time at 3 AM. Or you can show up at 9, pay $15, and take your chances with seating. Both include party favors and the midnight countdown with confetti. Visit www.voodooclub.com for more.

RESTAURANTS

Listings compiled by Laura Levy Shatkin.

Prices cited are per person and exclude tax, tip, and drinks; in most cases, reservations are required.

AMBRIA

2300 N. Lincoln Park West

773-472-5959

Chef Gabino Sotelino will offer two degustation menus. The first seating, from 5:30 to 6 PM, is a five-course meal for $95; the menu for the 8:30 to 9 PM seating is a seven-course meal for $125. There will be live music in the classic French dining room for the second seating.

ATWOOD CAFE

1 W. Washington, 312-368-1900

Chef Heather Terhune will serve a Parisian-themed four-course dinner for $48 ($70 with wine pairings). The meal includes an appetizer, entree, cheese course, and one of Terhune's decadent desserts. The regular menu will also be offered. Reservations are available throughout the evening.

AVENUES AND THE LOBBY AT THE PENINSULA CHICAGO

108 E. Superior, 312-337-2888

A multicourse seafood dinner will be offered in two seatings at Avenues. The first, at 5:30 PM, is a four-course menu ($95, or $149 with wine); the second a six-course menu ($205, or $265 with wine) beginning at 8 PM. Black tie required. The Lobby will serve five courses at 8 ($205, or $265 with wine), followed by dancing to music by the Brian Patti Orchestra. There will be a champagne reception for guests of both restaurants at the Lobby at 7:30 with music by the Irish Pipers.

BIGGS STEAKHOUSE, SEAFOOD AND WINE CELLAR

1150 N. Dearborn, 312-787-0900

A five-course meal by chef Frederic Boyer will be served between 8 and 10:30 PM at this newly rehabbed mansion ($135). Every couple will get a bottle of Perrier Jouet champagne, and there's a balloon drop at midnight. Items from Biggs's a la carte menu will be available before 8.

BIN 36

339 N. Dearborn, 312-755-9463

Bin 36 will offer three seatings: 5:30 PM for three courses ($48), 7:15 and 9:30 PM for four courses ($65 and $95 respectively). Prices are for food only; wine pairings cost extra. The late seating includes a complimentary champagne toast. The Jazz Standard will play from 9:30 on.

CAFE BA-BA-REEBA

2024 N. Halsted, 773-935-5000

This tapas bar's dance party will feature Afro-Cuban, mambo, salsa, and Latin jazz music from DJ Sergio. The bash goes from 9 PM to 1 AM, and for a $10 cover you get a glass of cava sangria and party favors. You can also order tapas and paella. The first seating begins at 5 PM and the second after 9.

CAFE MATOU

1846 N. Milwaukee, 773-384-8911

Arrive between 5 and 6 PM for chef Charlie Socher's four-course prix fixe menu ($65). Beginning at 9, he'll offer a five-course menu for $80. Vegetarian entrees will be prepared on request.

CHARLIE TROTTER'S

816 W. Armitage, 773-248-6228

Two seatings are available for Trotter's New Year's Eve celebration. Arrivals from 6 to 7 PM will be served a seven-course meal ($175); the 7:30 to 9:30 PM seating has nine courses ($250) and includes a champagne toast. Each meal will last about three hours. Diners who linger till midnight are told to expect a "surprise."

COOBAH

3423 N. Southport, 773-528-2220

There will be three seatings at this Nuevo Latin hangout: the 5 PM seating costs $50 and the 7:30 and 10:30 seatings are $75 (including a champagne toast and party favors). Each seating gets a five-course meal including dessert. Beginning at 10:30 PM, a DJ will spin Latin music and drum 'n' bass.

THE DINING ROOM AT THE RITZ CARLTON

160 E. Pearson, 312-573-5223

Seatings will be scattered from 6:30 to 8:30 PM for chef Sarah Stegner's $250 seven-course degustation menu. The six-piece Bill Porter Orchestra will alternate with a live pianist from 9 PM to 12:30 AM on the terrace, where party favors will be passed out and a champagne toast held at midnight. Black tie required.

ERAWAN

729 N. Clark, 312-642-6888

Chef Art Lee will prepare an eight-course Thai tasting menu for $95 ($150 with wine pairings). Reservations will be taken for two-hour seatings between 5 and 10:30 PM. There will be a champagne toast and celebration at midnight.

FLY ME TO THE MOON

3400 N. Clark, 773-528-4033

A five-course meal will be served, accompanied by champagne and live music, for $75.

GEJA'S CAFE

340 W. Armitage, 773-281-9101

Expect fondue, champagne, and classical flamenco guitar music at Geja's holiday dinner. There'll be three seatings for the four-course fondue meal: 5 PM ($55, including a glass of champagne), 7:30 ($75, including half a bottle of champagne), and 10 ($95, including a whole bottle). Party favors will be passed out and a countdown held at midnight.

green ginger

2050 W. Division, 773-486-6700

This family-owned pan-Asian Wicker Park restaurant will offer a special menu with four courses and all the pop, coffee, and tea you can drink for $45. There will be a balloon drop at midnight. Reservations available throughout the evening. BYOB.

HARRY CARAY'S

33 W. Kinzie, 312-828-0966

Harry Caray's will offer a four-course prix fixe menu for $60 ($85 with wine pairings) along with the regular menu. Reservations will be accepted on the half hour from 5 to 11 PM. Party favors and champagne will be passed out at midnight.

HEY SUSHI

2630 N. Clark, 773-248-3900

From 8 PM to 2 AM, Hey Sushi will offer all the sushi (and some cooked dishes) you can eat, an open bar, and music by DJ MIG. There will be a champagne toast at midnight, and party favors and noisemakers will be distributed. It's $85 in advance, $95 at the door.

JAPONAIS

600 W. Chicago, 312-822-9600

This pan-Asian newcomer will ring in the New Year with a three-course meal served at two seatings--5:30 to 7:30 PM ($65) and 8:30 to 11:30 PM ($100 if you reserve before December 15, $125 after). Each meal includes an amuse-gueule (small appetizer) and a glass of champagne or sake.

MARCHe

833 W. Randolph, 312-226-8399

This year's "Naughty & Not So Nice" party (hosted by Derek and Veronika from House of Narcisse and Echo Gallery) has two seatings--the 6 PM seating offers a four-course set menu ($65), and the later one, starting at about 8, includes a five-course meal, a midnight champagne toast, and performances by the Lavender Cabaret and performance artist Trinity Hamilton ($125).

MERITAGE CAFE

AND WINE BAR

2118 N. Damen, 773-235-6434

Chef Dirk Flanigan will create a seven-course meal offered in two seatings. The first is from 5:30 to 7:30 PM ($86) and the second is from 7:30 to 10 PM ($95). The late seating includes party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.

MK

868 N. Franklin, 312-482-9179

There's only one seating at Michael Kornick's new-American restaurant. At 9 PM, guests will have cocktails and hors d'oeuvres; chef de cuisine Stephen Dunne's four-course menu, which includes tuna-and-caviar parfait and rack of lamb, will be served at 9:30. Pastry chef Mindy Segal will serve her "cake and shake," a slice of chocolate cake accompanied by a chocolate milk shake, for dessert. Live music will be performed by the Alexander Rea Jazz Quartet, and a midnight champagne toast is included in the $100 price tag, which must be prepaid.

MOLIVE

107 E. Delaware, 312-573-6300

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of this space, which used to house the Whitehall Club, a retro menu will be served, inspired by favorite dishes of the stars who used to hang out there in the 50s and 60s. The $75 charge covers a five-course meal of classics like veal Oscar, lobster thermidor, crepes Suzette, and strawberries Romanoff. Menu items can also be ordered a la carte. Each dish has a suggested sparkling wine or champagne pairing, available for an additional charge.

LA MORA

2132 W. Roscoe, 773-404-4555

Chef Sean Gordon has created a five-course menu that begins with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries and is followed by your choice of two appetizers, salad, a choice of three entrees, and dessert. The mahimahi and filet mignon entrees are $50 and the ravioli is $40. The three seatings are at 5:30, 7:30, and 9:30 PM.

NOLA'S 32ND WARD SEAFOOD HOUSE

1856 W. North, 773-395-4300

Two surf 'n' turf dinners will be served. The 6 to 8 PM seating has five courses and costs $30. The 8 to midnight seating, which costs $80, has six courses, each paired with wine.

NOMI

800 N. Michigan, 312-239-4030

Chef Sandro Gamba will prepare a three-course, $100 prix fixe menu for a 5:30 PM seating. The later crowd can enjoy a more extravagant five-course degustation menu ($180) at 9:30 PM. Capping off the second seating is a champagne toast and dancing to music spun by a DJ.

NORTH POND

2610 N. Cannon, 773-477-5845

Chef Bruce Sherman will serve his refined American fare at seatings from 5:30 to 10 PM. For $110, diners get a five-course prix fixe meal. Wine pairings are available for an additional charge.

ONE SIXTY BLUE

160 N. Loomis, 312 850-0303

Chef Martial Noguier's French-infused American fare will be served in a four-course prix fixe menu for $89 ($99 with champagne). Dishes include Maine lobster salad with shaved fennel, roasted sturgeon with shaved black truffles and celery root puree, and roasted venison medallions with parsnip puree. A vegetarian prix fixe menu is also available. Reservations can be made throughout the evening, beginning at 5 PM.

PIECE

1927 W. North, 773-772-4422

This popular Wicker Park pizza-and-beer joint will host an "anti-black-tie" event in its renovated garage space. For the $50 reservation ($60 at the door), you'll get all the pizza, salad, and dessert you can eat and a bottomless mug of Piece's own microbrew. There will also be a champagne toast at midnight.

THE SALOON STEAKHOUSE

200 E. Chestnut, 312-280-5454

Wagyu, superpremium beef from Japanese cattle, is being flown in from Texas just for this Streeterville steakhouse's "wagyu New Year." For $49.95, you get a four-course meal including wagyu sliders, wagyu strip salad, wagyu rib eye with truffle mashed potatoes, and white chocolate mousse. The three seatings are at 5, 7:30, and 9:30 PM.

SPIAGGIA

980 N. Michigan, 312-280-2750

The first seating at Spiaggia is from 5 to 5:45 PM and includes three courses for $85. The second seating, from 7 to 7:45 PM, is a four-course dinner for $110, and the third seating, 9 to 9:45 PM, is chef Tony Mantuano's grand degustation of up to nine courses (including a Kobe steak entree) for $185. There will be live jazz in the dining room. Cafe Spiaggia will offer two menus--a three-course meal for $35 and four courses for $45.

312 CHICAGO

136 N. LaSalle, 312-696-2420

There will be open seating and a regular menu at this contemporary Italian-American restaurant between 5 and 8 PM. After 8, chef Dean Zanella will offer a five-course prix fixe menu for $100 per couple ($175 with wine pairings).

THYME

464 N. Halsted, 312-226-4300

Chef John Bubala will serve a three-course menu including a glass of champagne ($50) for the 5:30 to 6:30 PM seating. A four-course degustation ($125), seating between 9 and 9:30, includes unlimited champagne. There'll be live jazz starting at 9:30.

VA PENSIERO

1566 Oak, Evanston, 847-475-7779

This subterranean Evanston dining room's festivities, called "Night of a Thousand Bubbles," begin at 6 PM with a glass of champagne and five courses from chef Jeff Muldrow ($65). There's a dance party at 9 PM, including a set by the eight-piece Patti Lupo Band and food stations with regional Italian specialties set up around the room. Sparkling wine from northern Italy is included in the party's $95 price tag.

LA VITA

1359 W. Taylor Street, 312-491-1414

La Vita will have three dinner seatings: The first, from 6 to 8 PM, will be family style; guests are encouraged to bring the kids. The second is from 8 to 10 and the third is from 10 to midnight. There will be party favors and a champagne toast, and a sommelier on hand to help with wine pairings.

ZEALOUS

419 W. Superior, 312-475-9112

There'll be two seatings at chef Michael Taus's new-American restaurant. The first, beginning from 5 to 6:30 PM, costs $65 for a three-course menu (add $30 for wine paired to each course). The 8:30 PM seating offers a choice of two packages: the $85 option (add $50 for wine pairings) includes five courses while the $105 "upgraded" version (add $70 for wine) has seven. Both 8:30 packages include party favors and assorted canapes served in the lounge at 8:15.

ZEST

525 N. Michigan, 312-321-8766

Beginning at 6 PM, chef Joshua Young will offer a five-course prix fixe menu including lobster parfait, crab-stuffed filet mignon, and white chocolate champagne with tapioca bubbles for $95 ($45 for kids 13 and under). There'll also be party favors and a midnight champagne toast.

MUSIC

Listings compiled by Liz Armstrong.

All venues are 21 and over unless otherwise noted; call ahead to verify special admission packages and availability.

Rock, pop, etc.

ALL FOURS, DJ TREW

SUBTERRANEAN

2001 W. North, 773-278-6600

9 PM; $65

American English (Beatles Tribute)

CUBBY BEAR LINCOLNSHIRE

21661 N. Milwaukee, Lincolnshire, 847-541-4700

9:30 PM; $60 for reservations (must be purchased in groups of four),

$20 per person at the door

B-52'S, POI DOG PONDERING

Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier

600 E. Grand,

312-836-4299 or 312-559-1212

PM; $98

bump

WISE FOOLS PUB

2270 N. Lincoln, 773-929-1300

9 PM; $75

Catfight

FAMOUS FREDDIE'S ROADHOUSE

1799 S. Busse, Mount Prospect, 847-593-2200

9 PM; $10

Cavern Beat

(Beatles tribute)

ESCAPE

310 Northwest Hwy., Fox River Grove, 847-516-0300

9:30 PM; $10

Centaur, Helen Money

GUNTHER MURPHY'S

1638 W. Belmont, 773-472-5139

10 PM; $40 in advance,

$50 at the door

Cowboy mouth, bleu

HOUSE OF BLUES

BACK PORCH STAGE

329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000

10 PM; $85

Elizabeth Doyle

DAVENPORT'S PIANO BAR

& CABARET

1383 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-1830

6 PM; $18

khris francis

gentry on halsted

3320 N. Halsted, 773-348-1053

9:30 PM; $10

ARETHA FRANKLIN

Chicago Theatre

175 N. State, 312-263-1138 or

312-902-1500

9 PM; $32-$152

Aswah Greggori

& the Enforcers

HEARTLAND CAFE

7000 N. Glenwood, 773-465-8005

9 PM; $25

Guster, Sister Hazel, Thorns

HOUSE OF BLUES

329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000

9 PM; $125

Har Mar Superstar, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, No doctors; with DJs Champagne James, Friar Tuck, and Jordan Zawideh

EMPTY BOTTLE

1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600

9 PM; $17

HI-FI

FLATLANDER'S

200 Village Green, Lincolnshire,

847-821-1234

10 PM; $5

Insomnia

DUKE O'BRIEN'S

110 N. Main, Crystal Lake,

815-356-9980

10 PM; $65

J. DAVIS TRIO, ELEVATION

PARK WEST

322 W. Armitage, 312-943-7600

PM; $85

king solomon's grave, dave tamkin & the ppc

durty nellie's

190 N. Smith, Palatine,

847-358-9150

9:30 PM; $30

LIBIDO FUNK CIRCUS, RETRO ROCKETS,

DJ ENERGY BRAD

Hyatt Regency

151 E. Wacker,

312-552-2000 or 312-559-1212

9 PM; $120

Local H, Electric Six, Suffrajett

DOUBLE DOOR

1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160

10 PM; $55

PAUL MARINARO &

JOHN PALUCH

GENTRY ON STATE

440 N. State, 312-836-0933

9 PM; no cover

matador down, drive, american motherload, thunderwing; with dj shon dervis

The note

1565 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-0011

10:30 PM; $30 in advance,

$35 at the door

Mike & Joe

CUBBY BEAR

1059 W. Addison, 773-327-1662

9 PM; $45

Mr. blotto

Abbey pub

3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408

10 PM; $20 in advance, $25 at the door

moods, dj dance all night

Hyatt Regency

1800 E. Golf, Schaumburg,

847-605-1234

9 PM; $249, $399 per couple

muck brothers

MARTYRS'

3855 N. Lincoln, 773-404-9494

9 PM; $20

Paul Mullen &

Amy Arbizzani

DAVENPORT'S PIANO BAR

& CABARET

1383 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-1830

PM; $15

Music King, DJ Fook

Hyatt Regency o'Hare

9300 W. Bryn Mawr, Rosemont,

847--696-1234

9 PM; $189 per couple

Paper Chase, Haymarket Riot, Zzzzs, Old canes

FIRESIDE BOWL

2646 W. Fullerton, 773-486-2700

PM; $10

MAURO PICOTTO

CONGRESS THEATER

2135 N. Milwaukee, 312-923-2000

PM, 18 & over; $50 general admission, $100 VIP

polkaholics

Zakopane lounge

1734 W. Division, 773-486-1559

10 PM; $5

ike reilly, jake brennan

SCHUBAS

3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508

10 PM; $25

cathy richardson band, paul cebar & the milwaukeeans

fitzGerald's

6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn,

708-788-2118

10 PM; $70 in advance,

$80 at the door

roCKIN' BILLY & THE WILD COYOTES

CALIFORNIA CLIPPER

1002 N. California, 773-384-2547

9:30 PM; $10

route 66

PORTER'S OYSTER BAR

& NIGHTCLUB

446 Virginia (Rte. 14), Crystal Lake, 815-477-0340

10 PM; $65-$75

STRING CHEESE INCIDENT

Auditorium Theatre

50 E. Congress,

312-922-2110 or 312-902-1500

7 PM, 17 & over; sold-out

SUPER HONCHO ALL-STAR BAND WITH EDDIE CARLSON, MARSHALL DAWSON, BIRDIE LAWSON, JASON BATCHKO, LAURA CARAGHER, DAN POLONSKI, PEARLY SWEETS

Nevin's live

1450 Sherman, Evanston,

847-869-0450

9 PM; $10

then again

JOE'S

940 W. Weed, 312-337-3486

9 PM; $100

tossers, deals gone bad, methadones

Bottom Lounge

3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505

PM; $15

TRAVIS MORRIS & BAND (ELVIS IMPERSONATOR)

FLATLANDER'S

200 Village Green, Lincolnshire,

847-821-1234

PM; $99 dinner package

TRIPPIN' BILLIES,

DJ JAMES LAUER

HOUSE OF BLUES HOTEL

333 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2454

10 PM; $20 in advance,

$25 at the door

umphrey's mcgee

The vic

3145 N. Sheffield,

773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212

PM, 18 & over; $45

Violent Femmes, Siderunners

METRO

3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203

10 PM, 18 & over; $75

WHITE STRIPES,

FLAMING LIPS, BLANCHE

Aragon Ballroom

1106 W. Lawrence,

312-666-6667 or 312-559-1212

9 PM; sold-out

andre williams

& the greasy wheels, Nightcallers, Volcanos

beat kitchen

2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444

9 PM; $20

dance

terri bristol & psychobitch, john curley, johnny chaos, martin "boogieman" luna, dj danny boy

Marriott

540 N. Michigan, 800-955-5566

9 PM; $90 general admission,

$125 VIP

Colette, Miles Maeda, Justin Long, Brad Owen

SMART BAR

3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140

9 PM; $25 in advance,

$30 at the door, $75 for open bar

dave dieter

Hyatt Regency

1400 Corporetum, Lisle,

800-233-1234

9 PM; $279, $310 per couple

DJ Aladdin, DJ SUNNY SINGH

Crystal Garden at Navy Pier

600 E. Grand, 312-371-78720

9 PM; $125

DJ Berrens, DJ Fred

Moretti's Ristorante

164 S. Rte. 12, Fox Lake,

847-973-1800

10 PM; no cover

dj danny boy, dj hitman, mach 1

WHITE STAR

225 W. Ontario, 312-337-8080

9 PM; $125 or $150 for VIP reservations, $30 for women and $50 for men at the door

dj dean james

marche

833 W. Randolph, 312-226-8399

PM; $125

dj holland

DEJA VU

2624 N. Lincoln, 773-871-0205

9 PM; $20

dj Julius, dj Felix

zentra

923 W. Weed, 312-787-0400

9 PM; $55 in advance, $75 at the door, $25 after midnight; reserved tables $150-$550

DJ RHYTHM

FAMOUS FREDDIE'S ROADHOUSE

510 S. Park, Fox Lake, 847-587-9677

10 PM; $5

dj slim, dj katfish,

pat mann

EXCALIBUR

632 N. Dearborn, 312-266-1944

7 PM; $75 or $125 for reservations, $35 after 10 at the door

dj SPIN, DJ STIXX

BETTY'S blue star lounge

1600 W. Grand, 312-243-1699

9 PM; $75

DJ Splinter

big wig

1551 W. Division, 773-235-9100

9 PM; $100

dj structure

LION HEAD PUB & THE APARTMENT

2251 N. Lincoln, 773-348-5100

7 PM; $45 for reservations,

$20 after 10 at the door

ryan hagen

ALUMNI CLUB

871 E. Algonquin, Schaumburg,

847-397-3100

10 PM; $15

martin "boogieman" luna

LE PASSAGE

937 N. Rush, 312-255-0022

PM; $125 in advance, $30 after midnight at the door

mike d

leg room

7 W. Division, 312-337-2583

9 PM; $125 for reservations, $20 after 9:30 at the door

mike z, dj spin,

scott margolies

VISION

640 N. Dearborn, 312-266-2114

7 PM; $75 or $125 for reservations, $35 after 10 at the door

mpulse

chandlers

401 N. Roselle, Schaumburg,

847-885-9009

PM; $89

patrick b

ALUMNI CLUB

Rte. 31 south of Rte. 14, Crystal Lake, 815-356-6000

10 PM; $10

scotty mix

FAMOUS FREDDIE'S ROADHOUSE

1799 S. Busse, Mount Prospect, 847-593-2200

9 PM: $10

folk & country

MAN & D.K., SARA BERENDT & DON BEYER, CHRIS McNAMARA & RICK NEELEY, RAY GARDNER

Congregational Unitarian Church

221 Dean, Woodstock, 815-337-0353

:30 PM; $5

darryl perry band

CADILLAC RANCH

1175 W. Lake, Bartlett, 630-830-7200

9:30 PM; $15

studio a

fifth province

Irish American Heritage Center,

4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035

7 PM; $20 in advance, $25 at the door

blues,

gospel, r&b

Big James &

the Chicago Playboys

NICK'S

1516 N. Milwaukee, 773-252-1155

10 PM; no cover

big time sarah &

the bts express

blue chicago

736 N. Clark, 312-642-6261

9 PM; $20

Joanna Connor

SLICE OF CHICAGO

36 S. Northwest Hwy., Palatine,

847-991-2150

10:30 PM; $75

Vance Kelly & the Backstreet Blues Band

ROSA'S LOUNGE

3420 W. Armitage, 773-342-0452

9 PM; $30

willie kent &

patricia scott

blue chicago

536 N. Clark, 312-661-0100

9 PM; $25

Sharon Lewis &

the Mojo Kings

POPS HIGHWOOD

214 Green Bay Rd., Highwood,

847-266-1313

9 PM; $20

Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Quintus McCormick

BUDDY GUY'S LEGENDS

754 S. Wabash, 312-427-0333

9:30 PM; $30

Son Seals, John Primer

KINGSTON MINES

2548 N. Halsted, 773-477-4646

9:30 PM; $35

jazz

john brumbach

ANDY'S

11 E. Hubbard, 312-642-6805

5 PM; $10

Sam Burckhardt Quintet

ANDY'S

11 E. Hubbard, 312-642-6805

9:30 PM; $25

Lesley Byers

& the jazz cats

POPS HIGHWOOD

214 Green Bay Rd., Highwood,

847-266-1313

9 PM; $40

ed coward quartet

chicago prime steakhouse

1370 Bank, Schaumburg,

847-969-9900

9:30 PM; no cover

COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA

Orchestra Hall,

Symphony Center

220 S. Michigan,

312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114

10 PM; $48-$112

Hank Crawford

with Henry Johnson Organ Express

JAZZ SHOWCASE

59 W. Grand, 312-670-2473

9 PM; $40

Kurt Elling Quartet with Edward Petersen

GREEN MILL

4802 N. Broadway, 773-878-5552

9 PM; advance tickets and reserved tables sold-out, $20 at the door

bobby lewis

backroom

1007 N. Rush, 312-751-1767

9 PM; $55

toscanellie "lady t" Marcelain

ciao bella ristorante

538A Crescent, Glen Ellyn, 630-469-1080

PM; no cover

ROBERTA MILES QUARTET

Hyatt Regency

1909 Spring, Oak Brook,

800-233-1234

9 PM; $273, $315 per couple

Typhanie Monique Quartet

POPS FOR CHAMPAGNE

2934 N. Sheffield, 773-472-1000

9 PM; $100, reservations only

Yoko Noge & Jazz Me Blues, Erwin Helfer,

Ari Brown

HOTHOUSE

31 E. Balbo, 312-362-9707

9 PM; $50

Jerry & dave owings

chambers

6881 N. Milwaukee, Niles,

847-647-8282

9 PM; $70

RHYTHM CITY

Hyatt Regency

2233 S. Martin Luther King,

312-528-4137

9 PM; $99 in advance,

$119 at the door

The Tony smith show

chambers

6881 N. Milwaukee, Niles,

847-647-8282

9 PM; $115

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustrations/Laura Park.

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