This New Year‘s in New Haven

This New Year‘s in New Haven

Believe it or not, New Year’s Eve is Tuesday. Here are 19 ways to part ways with 2019, distilled into five handy categories.

Theme Parties
If you ever wanted to order a drink “shaken, not stirred,” Olives & Oil (124 Temple St, New Haven; 203-891-5870; 8 p.m.; reservations encouraged) is making it socially acceptable with a Casino Royale-themed New Year’s Eve party at 8 p.m. While enjoying “a special a la carte menu, specialty cocktails and prizes for best-dressed Bond character,” you can earn chips and possibly “win prizes on our roulette wheel”—including a trip to a place Mr. Bond himself visited in A View to a Kill: San Francisco.

Tavern on State (969 State St, New Haven; 475-202-6883; 9 p.m.; reservations recommended) is ringing in the 2020s with the 1920s. “A Gatsby NYE” promises “a dope spread of food and drink and great tunes playing all night long” and encourages partiers to dress up as flappers, gangsters and “ballers.” “Come for dinner, stay for the party!”

sponsored by

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Three Sheets (372 Elm St, New Haven; 475-202-6909; 8 p.m.; no cover) is going half as retro with a “Groovy 1970s Party.” The gastrodive invites you to “get far out” with “your sparkliest sequins and wide bell bottoms” at this “funky disco party,” promising drink specials and, of course, a ’70s soundtrack.

Overlapping with the tail end of a trio of three-course prix fixe dinner seatings (at 5 p.m. for $30, 7 p.m. for $45 and 9 p.m. for $60), Oak Haven Table & Bar (932 State St, New Haven; 203-915-9413) is throwing a masquerade party with masks for all comers (or bring your own), live and DJed music (starting at 10 p.m.), a comedy set (starting at 11) and a champagne toast at midnight.

Meanwhile, Elm City Social (266 College St, New Haven; 475-441-7436; 8 p.m.; $89) is offering a “Moulin Rouge New Year’s Eve,” where “tickets include a live burlesque show, raw bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, champagne” and a DJ, plus a “French desserts station.”

Happy New Beers
East Rock Brewing (285 Nicoll St, New Haven; 475-234-6176; no cover) is starting early (3 p.m.) and finishing early (10 p.m.) with a “New Year’s Eve Pre-Game.” Along with $5 beers and $4 pretzels “all day long,” the brewery is debuting its new line of kellerbier (German for “cellar beer”)—“super fresh, unfiltered variations of your favorite East Rock beers packaged straight from our fermentation cellar.”

Barcade (56 Orange St, New Haven; 203-889-2966) is partying both earlier and later, from noon to 1 a.m., with a special tap list ranging from a maple imperial stout to a wild ale aged with raspberries in oak barrels. There’s no cover, officially, but there are increasingly plush premium packages offering perks like reserved seating, a top shelf open bar, complimentary snacks (also “bites” and “munchies”), complimentary tokens to use on any of the vintage arcade games/pinball machines and even gift cards to use on a return visit.

At The Beer Collective (130 Court St, New Haven; 203-507-2602; 7 p.m.; $70), a “Countdown to 2020” party promises an “evening of finely crafted food and drink,” including four drink tickets to spend on “an excellent tap list,” with “a rare and delicious treat for the New Year’s toast” as well as live music and board games.

Care to Dance?
“Dress and plan for excess,” The State House (310 State St, New Haven; 9 p.m.; $5) recommends for its “end of decade celebration” tonight. That celebration is fundamentally a dance party, with DJs Mordecai and Billy Other spinning a mix of ’80s, rock, post-punk, darkwave and glam.

The annual New Year’s Eve Ball at Club Vandome (102 Hamilton St, New Haven; 203-789-2066; 10 p.m.; $10) is offering a main room full of bachata, salsa, merengue and reggaeton thanks to DJs Studderz and El Niño and a “warehouse” room full of R&B, hip hop and dance music courtesy of DJs Sincero and Jroc. At midnight—the party here goes until 3 a.m., by the way—the club promises hats, noise makers and a champagne toast.

If you like to dine and dance, Pacifico (220 College St, New Haven; 203-772-4002; no cover) might be the ticket, with a four-course Nuevo Latino prix fixe menu served alongside “signature mojitos” and a DJ to “keep you dancing all night long.” Reservations recommended.

Down on Long Wharf, dance club Terminal 110 (240 Sargent Dr, New Haven; 203-624-6200; 9 p.m.; $25) is inviting attendees to don gowns and suits across two floors of dancing during its “2020 NYE Extravaganza” sponsored by Moët Hennessy, which is supplying the complementary midnight champagne toast to go with a late-night food buffet.

Let Them Entertain You
Drag queen Robin Banks is hosting a “Fully Loaded New Year’s Eve Cabaret” at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281; 9 p.m.; $20), where burlesque, live music, comedy and, of course, drag performances feature Vivienne LaFlamme, Sinthea Sinatra, Ava Cado, Giganta Smalls and Klits Jenner.

Calmer vibes round out ROÌA (261 College St, New Haven; 203-200-7045; $85), where the Gil Hawkins Jazz Collective and its “cool straight-ahead sounds” serenade diners enjoying a four-course prix fixe meal.

Right next door, the Shubert Theatre (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666; 8 p.m.; $35, or $40 day of) is putting on its annual “First Night of Funny,” “showcas four professional comedians”—Ross Bennett, Ray Harrington, Jay Lafarr and Isabel Hagen—“with unique and hilarious perspectives on the world that provide non-stop laughter.”

And around the corner at Pacific Standard Tavern (212 Crown St, New Haven; 9 p.m.; $20 or $25 day of), occasionally revived “legendary jam band” The Breakfast reunites for a standing room-only “intimate NYE performance.”

As it tends to do, Anthony’s Ocean View (450 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven; 203-469-9010; 7 p.m.; $159) is pulling out all the stops, opening its “New Year’s Eve Bash” with an hour of “deluxe hot and cold hors d’oeuvres;” Asian, pizzette, bruschetta and gourmet cheese stations; a pasta course, surf-and-turf entree and “array of fine desserts” along with fresh fruit; and additional “late-night eats,” all accompanying a six-hour open bar. Extra enticements include a DJ, photo booth and party props as well as a midnight toast.

Always-swimming Barracuda (1180 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-691-5696; 9 p.m.) isn’t charging a cover for its New Year’s party, unless you elect to pay $40 in advance or $50 at the door for an open bar (“well drinks, draft beer and house wines”), three hours of passed apps and a champagne toast at midnight.

But the best open bar deal on New Year’s Eve seems to be at Brother Jimmy’s (196 Crown St, New Haven; 9 p.m.), where “unlimited mix drinks, beer and wine” can be had from 9 to midnight for a mere $25 per person. There’s a caveat, however: “Fashionable attire required.”

After all, you’re about to meet 2020, and it can’t hurt to make a good first impression.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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