New Year's Eve 2009: Parties & Special Events | Calendar | Chicago Reader

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New Year's Eve 2009: Parties & Special Events

Cruises, comedy, theater, and lots of open bars



See our 2011 New Year's Eve Guide.

Plus: Dining | Music

Betty's Blue Star Lounge An open bar (till 1 AM) and top 40, house, and hip-hop from DJ Jam Master C. VIP seating ($75) includes one bottle of champagne.  9 PM-4 AM, Betty's Blue Star Lounge, 1600 W. Grand, 312-243-1699,, $50 in advance, $65 at the door.

Big Star Chicago No cover, no reservations needed, and a free bourbon toast at midnight.  4 PM-2 AM, Big Star Chicago, 1531 N. Damen, 773-235-4039.

Black Ensemble Theater A performance of "the best of the best" of Black Ensemble Theater follows a champagne and hors d'oeuvres reception. After the show there's an open mike and dancing.  8 PM-1 AM, Black Ensemble Theater, 4520 N. Beacon, 773-769-5541,, $100.

Cabaret New Year's Celebration Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre members perform songs from Man of La Mancha at 10 PM and their favorite pop and show tunes at 11 PM. The party also includes an open bar, snacks, and a champagne toast at midnight.  8:30 PM, No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood, 773-347-1109,, $50.

Celtic Crown: "Celtic Countdown 2010" This party features an open bar till midnight, party favors, a balloon drop, and champagne toast.  8 PM-2 AM, Celtic Crown, 4301 N. Western, 773-248-3330,, $40.

Chemically Imbalanced Comedy The company will perform its original holiday show, It Came Upon a Midnight Queen; budding improv artists can hone their skills in interactive performances. Party favors, a midnight champagne toast, food (the actors will prepare their favorite dishes), drinks, dancing, and an after-party with the cast are included. 13+.  8 PM-2 AM, Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 1420 W. Irving Park, 773-865-7731,, $40.

ComedySportz Theatre Three shows: two family-friendly ones with an early countdown and cider toast (5 and 7 PM, $21) and a late one with party favors, drink specials, a champagne toast, and a dance party afterward (10 PM, $30).  ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont, 773-549-8080 or 312-559-1212,

Crobar Includes an open bar (till midnight), champagne toast, party favors, and balloon drop.  12/31, 8 PM-4 AM, Crobar, 1543 N. Kingsbury, 312-226-9633, $50.

Debonair Social Club Party packages include a four-hour open bar, champagne toast, party favors, and two floors of music.  8 PM, Debonair Social Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee, 773-227-7990,, $65 and up.

Division Ale House Includes an open bar (till 1 AM), buffet (till 11 PM), midnight champagne toast, party favors, and DJs.  8 PM-2 AM, Division Ale House, 1942 W. Division, 773-384-6886,, $75.

The Drake Hosted by Chicago Scene, this event boasts four ballrooms of entertainment, an open bar (till 1 AM), hors d'oeuvres, DJs and a live band, a balloon drop, and coffee and dessert served after midnight. The VIP package includes a special bar and servers, private seating in the Gold Coast and Drake ballrooms, and access to the VIP lounge hosted by Genuine Entertainment.  9 PM-2 AM, Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton, 312-787-2200, $135-$195, VIP $200-$275.

Elbo Room Live music by Dan Tedesco and the Long Haul and Model Stranger, a DJ spinning in the lounge, an open bar (till 1 AM), party favors, and champagne.  8 PM-2 AM, Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln, 773-549-5549,, $60 in advance, $75 at the door.

Empire Liquors Includes an open bar (till 1:30 AM) and champagne toast at midnight.  9 PM-2 AM, Empire Liquors, 1566 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-1600,, $75.

Excalibur: "Prices Rolled Back to 1999" Five dance floors, light shows, confetti, balloon drops, and a multimedia countdown. The $125 "penthouse" admission includes a premium open bar (8 PM-midnight), dinner buffet (8-11 PM), and access to the VIP penthouse; the $99 "platinum" admission offers the same minus penthouse access; the $59 "gold" admission includes an open bar (7-11 PM) and dinner buffet (7-9:30 PM). General admission is $40 and guarantees admission after 9 PM; general admission after 10 PM and reduced admission after 1 AM may be available.  7 PM-4 AM, Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn, 312-266-1944.

Fall Into the Rabbit Hole at Enclave This Alice-in-Wonderland-themed bash includes an open bar (till 1:30 AM), champagne, appetizer buffet, gift bags, and a chance to win a free limo ride home if you find the white rabbit. VIP table reservations are available for $1200-$2750. Semiformal attire encouraged.  9 PM-2 AM, Enclave, 220 W. Chicago, 312-654-0234, $100.

Finn McCool's: "New Year's Free" Finn McCool's offers free admission before 10 PM to its bash with party favors, multimedia countdown, champagne toast, and DJ.  6 PM-4 AM, Finn McCool's Irish Pub, 15 W. Division, 312-337-4349,

Full Shilling: "Irish Eve" Includes an open bar (9 PM-midnight), appetizer buffet (9-11 PM), party favors, and a balloon drop.  7 PM-2 AM, Full Shilling Public House, 3724 N. Clark, 773-248-3330,, $45.

Hard Rock Cafe An open bar, passed appetizers (till 10 PM), dinner buffet, party favors, champagne toast at midnight, and musical performance by Maggie Speaks (10 PM-1 AM).  9 PM-1 AM, Hard Rock Cafe, 63 W. Ontario, 312-943-2252,, $125.

Heartland Cafe After the annual Athletes United for Peace 5K race (7 PM, $25), there's a party at the cafe with a performance from reggae band Roots 101.  9 PM, Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood, 773-465-8005,

Hilton Chicago Outfit Events and Global Adrenaline host the official Playboy New Year's celebration, where general admission gets you an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, a buffet, "casino" gambling (till midnight), a champagne toast and confetti at midnight, and performances by Pitbull and Jump Smokers. An extra $50 adds a premium open bar, extended casino access, and a chance to party with the Playmates in the VIP lounge. Table reservations and packages are available for $1,000-$3,000.  9 PM-2 AM, Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan,, $155.

Hub 51 and Sub 51 General admission gets you an open bar (till 1:30 AM), passed hors d'oeuvres, champagne toast at midnight, and a discount on New Year's Day brunch tickets (11 AM-2 PM). For an extra $15 you can get access to Sub 51 nightclub. VIP tables are available for $1140.  9 PM-2 AM, Hub 51, 51 W. Hubbard, 312-828-0051,, $125.

Hyatt Regency Chicago An open bar, appetizer buffet (till 11 PM), prizes, DJs, and live music by 7th Heaven.  8:30 PM-1:30 AM, Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker, 312-565-1234,, $99 at press time, "price will increase without notice as event approaches."

Hyatt Regency O'Hare Includes an open bar, party favors, champagne toast, casino, and music from the Modern Day Romeos, C Factor, Jaktripper, DJ Spin, and Tony Ocean.  8 PM-1 AM, Hyatt Regency O'Hare, 9300 W. Bryn Mawr, Rosemont,, $39.

The Improvised, Interactive, Musical New Year's Celebration The iO Musical Featuring the Deltones kicks off iO's "New Year's tradition for years to come." Also playing are Bye Bye Liver (10 PM, $25), Cupid Has A Heart On! (10:30 PM, $25), and Dominizuelan Presents: People in the City (8 PM, $20). All shows include a champagne toast and admission to a post-show dance party.  8 PM, iO, 3541 N. Clark, 773-880-0199,, $25.

Irish American Heritage Center Includes hors d'oeuvres, party favors, dancing, a champagne toast at midnight, and entertainment by Joe McShane and Joe Cullen. Mass will be held prior to the party at 7 PM.  8 PM, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035,, $25.

Joe's on Weed Street Includes an open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, and music by the Rum Runners. Doors open at 7:45 PM with a cash bar until 9 PM. Group rates available.  9 PM-2 AM, Joe's, 940 W. Weed, 312-337-3486 or 312-559-1212,, $110.

Jogo de Vida, the Play of Life The National Pastime Theater hosts this masquerade party featuring jazz by the Fred Barr Quintet and Kenyatta Gains, Delta blues by Kent Duchaine and Leadbessie, and performance art by the Living Canvas. The night includes a silent auction, a Brazilian-themed bar, and food.  8 PM, National Pastime Theater, 4139 N. Broadway, 773-327-7077,, $100 (couples $175).

Kirtan on New Year's Eve Musician Dave Stringer leads traditional Indian call-and-response chanting known as kirtan until midnight, followed by a champagne toast and DJ set.  9 PM-midnight, East Bank Storage, 1200 W. 35th,, $35 in advance, $50 at the door.

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