All Articles Food Restaurants get ready to ring in the new year

Restaurants get ready to ring in the new year

3 min read


Perennially popular Racines restaurant in Denver will close before midnight on New Year’s Eve, serving dinner and wrapping things up in plenty of time for patrons and workers to head downtown to see the annual midnight fireworks, owner Lee Goodfriend said.

Meanwhile, 2,000 miles east, TGI Friday’s in New York City’s Times Square will be offering a “Couples Champagne VIP Package” for $1,095, catering to revelers looking to get as close as possible to the ball drop, as the Wall Street Journal reported.

More than a million people are expected to crowd Times Square tonight, while there are only about 60,000 restaurant and bar seats, making the night a big celebration for eateries that can charge hundreds per head for meals including a $100 unlimited-pizza-and-beer party at Artichoke Basille’s and a $595 spaghetti dinner at Buca di Beppo, the Journal reports.

Eateries in the square aren’t the only Manhattan spots going all out on the eve, although those farther from the center of the action may have to try a little harder. The recently-opened Empire Steak House is touting a $10,000, five-course dinner for two,  which starts with two pounds of Osetra caviar and features Kobe steak and a South African lobster tail with black truffle, according to UPI. “The economy is improving. People come ready to spend the money,” said owner Jack Sinanaj.

Other high-profile eateries around the city also expect people to spend  big tonight, including the Russian Tea Room, where a six-course dinner runs $500 per person, with an after-party that goes until 1:30 a.m. available for an additional $190.

Restaurants that know their markets are taking care not to price themselves out of the game, though. By midday Monday, eateries in New York and other cities across the country were still listed on OpenTable as looking for New Year’s Eve revelers, many touting more affordable packages that still bring something special to the table.

For many, fine-dining will be the high-point of the evening. For others, it will be eating pricey potato skins in Times Square before the ball drops. And for others still, a quiet night accompanied by beef teriyaki and fried rice will be the best way to ring in 2014, Chinese restaurant operators told The Herald News in Fall River, Mass. The town’s Chinese restaurants do a booming New Year’s Eve business, among revelers looking for a low-key, low-priced last meal of the year.

“We have a regular clientele. Generation after generation, they come in here,” said Mee Sum co-owner Regina Mark.

Will tonight be a big night or an early one for your eatery? Tell us about it in the comments.

Image credit: iStockphoto