Updated 12/27: New Years Eve Happenings in Wicker Park and Bucktown

By at December 14, 2011 | 9:05 pm | Print

When it comes to New Year’s Eve, it’s all about how you like to party!  Maybe you don’t like to stay at home. Maybe you want to go out, but you hate bar hopping. Or maybe you’re like the majority of us, scratching your head with no clue what to do.  Have no fear!  Here’s a list of local bars offering party packages and deals so affordable, that we’ve basically planned your night out for you! (featured outfits: from Kiz Boutique, 2035 W. Division and Scoop NYC.)

People Lounge, 1560 N. Milwaukee, is having a one-stop NYE dinner and party.  Known for their Spanish tapas cuisine, People is offering a $100 per person package, which includes a four course meal for those who REALLY want an all-in-one deal!  For those of you just concerned with your liquid diet, there is also a $50 option from 9pm-1am for open bar only.  If you can round up at least six of your pals for your night on the town, they’ll even throw in a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Champagne to toast with at midnight.  This sounds perfect for a group date night!  So round up your coupled friends, or maybe just a handful of your single buddies, and get 2012 started off right with many other people at People including a few Pipeline people!  For reservations, shoot them an email at peoplechicago@gmail.com or call 773-227-9339. (Note: Dinner is sold out, but tickets for the $50 4-hour bar remain).

If you love filling your plate with exactly what you crave, look no further than Division Ale House.  Arrive around 8pm at 1942 W. Division to feast on their New Years Buffet and drink yourself merry with an open bar until 1am.  Everyone who pays the ticket price of $80 gets to participate in a champagne toast, take home party favors, and dance to the beats of their DJ during a midnight balloon drop!  And if you’re feeling the morning after partying blues, stop back in from 11am-2pm and stuff your face with brunch.  But remember to wear your bunny slippers and pajama pants to receive your free New Years Day shot! Sounds like you have your night and morning booked!

Do you have classy taste, or just hate well liquor open bars?  Good, because The Boundary, over at 1932 W Division, has an all night Premium Open Bar!  Drink in style while enjoying being served finger foods, then make your way to the dance floor to boogie to the beats of a video DJ!  But get your tickets before Christmas!  They’re only $80 ($100 after).  Give them a jingle at 773-278-1919. ((P.S. Headed to The Boundary before NYE? Find a copy of Celebrate! and clip the coupon on the bottom left hand corner of page 22, and you will get $10 off a minimum $30 tab, now through Jan. 31, 2012))

Another Division hot spot to enjoy a premium open bar is The Fifty/50, 2047 W Division St. Party for six hours without breaking the bank ($80 per person), with reasonably priced shots for $5 ea.!  Just make sure you hit the ATM beforehand because it’s cash only!  Included is dinner from their delicious barbecue style menu.  To get all the details, click here.

The Crocodile, home of the free pizza with purchase of booze, is having a shindig as well!  Just off six corners at 1540 N Milwaukee, Crocodile is hosting a New Years Eve Buffet.  For just $25, scoop up THREE drink tickets and then pop the bubbly at midnight!  For more info, give them a call at  773-252-0880

I fell in love with Club Lucky’s martinis and fun decor when the Chicago Pipeline crew had their “Celebrate!” magazine release get together there last Wednesday night (yeah, that’s Philin Phlash and me, Caitlin, at left!).  Fall in love with Club Lucky too this NYE!  All night you can shake your tail feather to the bluesy sounds of Chicago’s own The Downtown Charlie Brown Blues Band.  Enjoy a dinner from their signature menu!  Get completely lost in streamers and balloons at the stroke of midnight….  And most importantly, NO COVER!  But to guarantee seating, call and reserve a spot for $30 per person.  Check out their events page on the Club Lucky website for more info, or pop by 1824 Wabansia to check the place out!  And don’t forget to order my favorite dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives!

Keeping to their eight years of New Years Eve celebrations, Moonshine is having their Bootleggers Ball!  So get out your best flapper dresses and bring in a new year 1920’s style!  Suck down era themed cocktails and house specialty beer while you dine at their dinner buffet, complete with its own carving station!  Costumes are not required, but it certainly adds that old speakeasy charm to this soiree!  Find Moonshine at 1824 W Division.

Would you rather rock your way into a new year?  If you’re into the more sub-dub/dub-step kind of beats, make your way to the Congress Theater, 2135 N Milwaukee.  UK based artists Rusko and Sinden will be spinning all the way from London, as well as Switch.  The party starts at 8pm and goes all night until 3am.  Are you more into unique rock bands?  Ones that sound like their hearts and lyrics come from an dark, old Western film?  Subterranean has Murder By Death playing New Years Eve, at 2011 W North Ave.  In my opinion, they’re a band you just have to experience! (Pictured- Murder by Death’s lovely and talented cellist, Sarah Balliet, performing at Wicker Park Fest this past summer).

For more ringing-in-the-New-Year with music options, explore Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears at Double Door (check out their top song, “Bitch, I Love You)



If music isn’t your thing, but you know you want to be entertained by someone with enough skills to command your fussy  attention and captivate your imagination, consider venturing slightly out of the hood to greet the New Year marveling at the talents of magician Dennis Watkins. Except you won’t find Watkins at his usual Friday night post in the Chopin’s parlor basement on NYE…  Instead, he’ll be at the swanky and historic  Palmer House Hilton downtown, entertaining a maximum of 36 guests in a private suite “for an elegant evening of mind-boggling magic and mentalism,” per a press release. The fun starts at 10:15PM, whereupon guests will convene at the hotel’s Potter’s Lounge before being escorted to the suite and 90-minute performance, which will conclude at midnight with a champagne toast.  Tickets are $100, available here, or by phone at 773.769.3832.  (Photos from a Sept. 2010 show which Alisa attended and reported on for the e-newsletter.)

If you’re not the type to go absolutely wild, celebrate the end of the year several other ways!  You could stop by Life’s a Cabernet, at 1937 W North, for all you wine enthusiasts for a free wine tasting from 3-6PM on NYE Day.  Maybe you’d rather grab a bottle and stay cozy at home, perhaps with a bestselling party game like Spot-It from Cat & Mouse Game Store? Go pick your poison at D&D Liquors! Located at 2006 W Division and open late.  You can drop the name “PIPELINE” at D&D’s register for 10% off your purchases. too!  Or check out Rite Liquors on Division….it is a bar AND a liquor store, so you can buy some booze and hang out to watch the ball drop, too!  And then there’s Crespos Food & Liquor at 2157 W North, another place to find your perfect holiday “spirit””s!

Not sure of what to wear for the big night? We understand and at least one of us in the same boat… Got curves?  The ladies over at vive la femme, in partnership with Style Plus Curves, invite you to a NYE Dazzle Til Dawn: Chic Shopping Party, where you can find “20% off party dresses, shoes, and sparkly things.”

No matter what you’re into, you don’t have to go far to find it!  The neighborhood is full of different destinations to get down and dance the night away! Whether its tapas with your favorite couples, sipping martinis to blues music, or cocktails in your pj’s, there’s plenty of places to get your party started!  Feel free to leave us a comment with you fantastic New Years stories on here or our new Facebook page!  The 100th “like” will get a free gift from one of these local places.

On a final note, while we’re not much on making or proclaiming commitments, we’ve been oddly habitual these past few years, thus barring any unforeseen circumstances we’ll continue reporting on the ‘hood and its people and stories from the streets on up in the coming year. Thanks to all advertisers for making this possible. Subscribe to the newsletter here— and have a great 2012! (Photo of hands on the LaSalle II mural, by Philin Phlash)

Here’s a few more options, some even including food! If we’ve missed your event, add it as a comment.

Private Party at Big Star (photo of tacos by Philin Phlash), 1531 N. Damen. Big Star’s all inclusive- even Tip- $150 event is hosted by three lovely and funny ladies again for their second annual bash. All are welcome. You can buy tickets here: Want a discount? Send an email to fitzgibbons.caitlin((AT sign)))gmail.com and reference ‘pipeline’ to receive a discount.

Flat Iron’s Metropolis Ball, 1565 N Milwaukee Ave.

NYE Dance Party $10 cover, Zakopane, 1734 W. Division

Blue Line Lounge and Grill, 1548 N. Damen. No cover & no package requirement. Dressing up in the style of Mad Men & Casablanca encouraged, though! Details here.

Gunners, 1467 N. Milwaukee, No Cover that we know of, but you can get a gimlet rimmed in powdered sugar here ($5 on Wednesdays), plus enjoy seeing mug shots on the wall of Gunner’s, painted by artist Kristi Posival. At least you’re not in the slammer on NYE, right?

The Southern Kickass New Year’s Eve, 1840 W North Avenue

New Year’s Eve At Lottie’s Pub, 1925 W Cortland

NYE at The Anthem, 1725 W. Division, $75 by for today only (Wed. Dec. 28) you can “USE PROMO CODE:  ANTHEM2012″ for $15 off your ticket.

Taxim’s NYE Dinner (2 Seatings, offering, “prix fixe menu with choices, a champagne toast, vasilopita, LIVE Greek music, pomegranate smashing, and more”), further details Here.  (Photo of Lamb, spotted in the Taxim e-newsletter).

Piece’s annual Anti-Black Tie New Year’s Party, $75, Details Here.

New Year’s Eve at Bangers & Lace, 1670 W. Division St. Ph: 773-252-6499

Evil Olive. 9pm, $50 early bird special (via Time Out Chicago) Featuring Johnny Walker, Phenom and Konsept. Tickets include four-hour premium open bar and admission to after-party until 5am.

Prasino, Salud, and a few other places were featured in the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber’s latest email, so check those parties out, too, along with this fun piece by Redeye blogger Melinda McIntire about how she plans to have a “non-committal” New Year’s this year, bar hopping and exploring free covers.

-By Caitlin ‘CeCe’ Carroll, Alisa

P.S. Songs about the New Year, too!

Akron/Family’s “Last Year”

Death Cab for Cutie “The New Year”  


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One Comment

  1. chicago-pipeline, 3 years ago Reply

    hi! just a few updates…. people lounge just about sold out for NYE – only a few tickets remaining for the $50 4-hr open bar- and Mike of Pint at 1547 N. Milw. would like to add that there is NO COVER, a free champagne toast at midnight along with party favors…. beer of month for Dec. at Pint is $4 pints of Magners, a cider. On Jan. 1st Beer of Month switches to Bell’s Amber Ale for $4 pints

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