Favorite

New Year's Eve 

DENS OF INIQUITY

Wee Went Wongs.4844 E. 22nd St. 748-7570. Go right with Wee Went Wongs' New Years Eve Bash, featuring the heart-pumping sounds of Sangre Caliente. "Wee will also have a succulent oyster, shrimp and seafood menu available," Wong reports. Tickets are $25 per couple or $15 per person, and include party favors and champagne at midnight.

Velvet Tea Garden.450 N. Sixth Ave. 388-9922. Ring in what people who don't grasp the concept of zero consider to be the true millennium at the smoothest bash the Velvet has ever rubbed up against. It's an indoor-outdoor celebration featuring a live remote with KFMA's John Michael and Freaky Frank, and bands Nevershine, Fate and the Apocalyptics playing until 1 a.m. The dancing continues until dawn with DJs Soma, Tek and Hug E. Bear. Party favors include champagne and Martinelli's at midnight. The festivities on this all-ages night begin at 9 p.m., and the cover is $10 before 10 p.m.

Plush.340 E. Sixth St. 798-1298. Tucson's newest addition to the real live music scene, Plush rings in 2001 with Panic Over Trainwreck and Greyhound Soul. Admission is $10. Space is tight, so show up early. A champagne toast bubbles at midnight and party favors are included with your admission.

Maverick King of Clubs.4702 E. 22nd St. 748-0456. Gussy up and party down at what's been Tucson's live country music headquarters for 38 years. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and a night of cowtown, two-steppin' tunes will be supplied by Vince Moreno and Sundown. Admission is $10 in advance, and $12 at the door. Party favors are included. Call for reservations.

Tucson Lifestyle Club.881-8846. This group, which bills itself as "the premiere social club for swingers," plans to start swinging in the new year at 7:30 p.m. with a prime rib dinner, dance, party favors and a midnight champagne toast. It's all tucked away in the rear building of the Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 E. Speedway Blvd. The shindig costs $75 per couple, $20 for single women and $75 for single men accompanied by a couple. There's an additional $3 charge for credit card transactions.

Guido's.424 N. Fourth Ave. 628-8664. Since opening 10 months ago, Guido's has brought in acts like Carvin Jones and Leanne Savage. With the quality of bands, it's safe to assume the bar is very groovy, too. Live music with no cover, and champagne at midnight. Dig the rotating shot specials every half hour.

Peppers Cantina.950 S. Wilmot Road. 745-0100. This spicy outpost yanks in the New Year with Kickin & Screamin. And that's on only one side of the newly expanded bar. The other side queues up with pool tables, dartboards and, yep, karaoke. Two separate experiences in the same club--can't beat that. No cover for a blow-out culminating in a midnight blast of bubbly.

O'Malleys on Fourth.247 N. Fourth Ave. 623-8600. Downtown's rollicking pub kicks off the New Year with Tongue Dried Sun. Get a hefty dose of live tunes, party favors and champagne for a mere $10. Hanker for more pedestrian pleasures? Catch day-after New Year's bowl games on a bunch of big screens.

Chicago Bar.5954 E. Speedway Blvd. 748-8169. Paint the town red, green and gold at this dance hall reunion with local "horsemen of the apocalypse," Neon Prophet. What better guide into the New Year than this six-piece ensemble with its quick wit? Regulars know the Prophet never misses a beat. Good crowd, good vibe, and a good start on 2001. Admission is $10. Champagne at midnight, three rooms, pool tables and a heated patio make this a one-stop place to bop.

The Mint Cocktails.3540 E. Grant Road. 881-9169. Asimetrix vs. Sic rocks the night away. The cover is a slim $2, and includes champagne and pretty swell favors.

Buggy Wheel Bar and Grill.3156 E. Drexel Road. 573-0035. Crawl off your rock and roll with The Slic Lizzerds. These slithering desert crooners crank it up for the true New Millennium.

The Boondocks Lounge.3306 N. First Ave. 690-0991. The Emerald Isle comes home--via rangy borderland rhythms--with hometown faves The Mollys. The full line-up tears it up at the lil' old bar with the big wine bottle. Not a show to miss--at least according to those in Lotus Land. "This band from Arizona creates beautifully eerie roots music that's complex in its traditional simplicity," says The Santa Cruz Metro. What, do those navel-gazers think we're just a bunch of chicken-pluckers here in the Snorin' Desert? Advance tickets are $15 (call the bar), or $18 at the door.

New West and Gotham.4385 W. Ina Road. 744-7744. The north side's biggest, baddest bar blows out the year with a major blast. Revelers can get their bad selves down with Arizona's top DJs, and wrench their cajones--or cajonettes--on the world's last surviving mechanical bull. Call for a limo package, and belly up for a midnight toast. Admission is $10.

Laffs Comedy Caffé.2900 E. Broadway Blvd. Yuk your way into the New Year with Chris "Zooman" Clobber and Tucson's own Robert Mac. Three big shows tackle those seasonal blues, along with dinner and even a breakfast bash.

Club Congress.311 E. Congress St. 622-8848. Blow your hedonistic noodle in downtown's oasis of sublime. The New Year's Eve party explodes in south-of-the-border rhythm with Latino Solido, Luz de Luna, Grupo Oye! and La Paloma.

DV8.5851 E. Speedway Blvd. 885-3030. The Eve falls gently with a balloon drop, champagne and midnight party goodies.

It's 'Bout Time.616 N. Fourth Ave. 882-3053. Strut into the New Year's wild side with a special 8 p.m. drag show, party favors and the obligatory bubbly guzzle. Admission is free.

Double Zero/7 Black Cats.121 and 260 E. Congress St. 670-9332 or 670-9202. Two killer clubs join for a solid roster of bands. Double Zero hosts Fevered Dreams, Family Secret, Mad 7, The Fewel Project, Cloven Hoof and Tribulators. 7 Black Cats rocks with the Amor Belhom Duo, Fez, Zero to Sixty, Pitchfork Nancy, and Jimmy Carr on piano. The cover for both clubs is a measly $5.

Gloria's.6330 E. Speedway Blvd. 296-3292. Heart and Soul breaks in 2001 with hot sounds. And later, snuggle your honey in a well-appointed love-nest at Smuggler's Inn. Admission to the party is $10, or $25 including a prime rib buffet. Call for reservations.

Che's Lounge.350 N. Fourth Ave. 623-2088. Shake it up with Al Foul and the Shakes. Party favors de rigeur, and not even a cover charge.

Heart-Five.61 E. Congress St. 903-0911. Go under cover for a New Year's masquerade ball with complimentary champagne, snacks and major DJs spinning funky house and techno. Advance tickets are $15 (call the club) and include masks, favors and supreme partydom.

Berky's Bar.5796 E. Speedway Blvd. 296-1981. Tucson's old R&B haunt ratchets up the beat with Johnny Supersonic. Catch the midnight champagne and party favors. Advance tickets are $10; call the club.

DENS OF GLUTTONY

French Quarter.3146 E. Grant Road. 318-4767. The New Year goes Cajun with its inaugural "Bonne Année" celebration. That means alligator sauce piquant, Cajun-injected fried turkey, baked ham with red-eye gravy, and crawfish au gratin. Then refresh your enraptured palate with New Orleans bread pudding. Call for reservations.

Presidio Plaza Hotel.181 W. Broadway Blvd. 624-9963. Blast off at Presidio with 2001: A Space Odyssey. The out-of-this-world gala features party packages galore, along with live tunes by Hector on Stilts and The Mockingbirds. That's in addition to amazing dinner selections, midnight surprises, and maybe even a late-night chat with Hal. Call for reservations.

Janos Restaurant and J Bar.3770 E. Sunrise Drive. 615-6100. The New Year goes gourmet for a celebratory chow-fest. Janos will dish up a five-course tasting menu, with texture provided by live music, a champagne toast and party favors. And J Bar adds spice with the flavors of the Caribbean and Latin America, in the form of an exotic four-course menu. Call for reservations.

Wildflower Grill.7037 N. Oracle Road. 319-4230. Five mouth-watering appetizers--from Maryland crab cakes to lobster bisque--set the stage for a full-blown dinner of Maine lobster ravioli, a 16-ounce prime rib, or blackened yellowtail, among other gustatory delights. Call for reservations.

Bistro Zin.1865 E. River Road. 299-7799. Culinary creations rise to the occasion with smoked salmon tartar appetizers and a chilled fennel salad. Warm your lips with lamb chops, Maine lobster or a pan-roasted petit filet. Check out the extensive wine list. Call for reservations.

Café Terra Cotta.3500 E. Sunrise Drive. 577-8100. The venerable foothills eatery shares the spotlight with Tucson Arts Odyssey. This coalition of arts groups--including Arizona Opera, Arizona Theater Company and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra--is sponsoring a string of high-brow events. The New Year's Eve gala dinner-dance is a benefit black-tie gig, with a four-course meal, dancing and music by the TSO. Call for reservations.

Le Mediterranean.4955 N. Sabino Canyon Road. 529-1330. The food of Lebanon is featured at this exotic hideaway. So no need for traveling to the Middle East for the New Year. Enjoy its sights, sounds, smells and, yes, tastes right here in the Old Pueblo. Call for reservations.

Soleil Restaurant.3001 E. Skyline Drive. 298-0390. The eatery flows into the New Year with more than 25 varieties of bubbly and wine. Check out the Grande Dame Vintage Champagne from the house of Veuve Cliquot-Ponsardin, and a prix-fixe menu, party favors and live music. Call for reservations.

Westward Look Resort.245 E. Ina Road. 297-9023. The New Year's dinner gala in the Gold Room includes pan-seared fois gras, wild mushroom bisque, grilled veal, peppercorn-encrusted salmon or a filet and lobster tail. Throw in another $129 and you've got a room for the night. Call for reservations.

OTHER SALVATIONS

Casino of the Sun.7406 South Camino de Oeste. 879-5442. Gamble on the future--and cash in on great sounds--at this high-rolling hub. The New Year's musical line-up includes La Nueva Onda, Sangre Caliente, Pete Astudillo and Shelly Lares. Advance tickets are $15. Call for reservations.

Tucson Greyhound Park.2601 S. Third Ave. 884-7576. Race against time at this long-running south side track. Along with hot dogs, the New Year's extravaganza features a prime rib dinner, complimentary champagne, party favors and, yep, party hats! Call for reservations.

Tucson Friends of Traditional Music. Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theater, 330 S. Scott Ave. 579-2951. Become a gyrating contradiction at the New Year's Gala Contra Dance. This local tradition sallies forth on one of Tucson's best dance floors. It's also smoke- and booze-free. The easy-going fun dance is open to neophytes and old hands, with a slew of local callers and a topnotch smorgasbord of local players. Dress fancy if you wish, or throw on your favorite duds and get down to a wonderfully traditional sound. Admission is $7 for mere mortals, and $6 for TFTM members.

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