HOLIDAYS! SO, NOW that you've fretted over a last-minute costume for Halloween, what size turkey to get for Thanksgiving and what in the hell to get crazy Aunt Martha for Christmas, the last order of holiday business is to decide where in the Pueblo to spend New Year's Eve--let's not mention those nasty little thorns in the side called New Year's resolutions. The following is the low down on hoe downs all over town:
Top Fab Variety Five, in alphabetical order:CLUB CONGRESS. 311 E. Congress St. 622-8848. Lifestyles: A Masquerade Ball. A wild fete, set to rival Mardi in Rio, the Hotel Congress boasts a host of entertainment, featuring the Zsa Zsa's, Chick Cashman, Siegfreid and Roy and much more. Plan to play in the Gaming Room, peer into the Peep Shows, ready your lips for a sultry stranger and visit the Custom Kissing Booths. There will be a light show in the lobby provided by the Brothers Dupree, and fashions by ultramod Ultravivid and the lascivious Mr. Lulu's. Keep you eyes peeled for appearances by Darren Lipgloss Clark, Milos Sucros, Spider Rhodes, H-Bomb, and the KFMA crew. The balloons drop at midnight, and free champagne and party favors are included with your ticket. Advance tickets are $10 per person and $25 per couple, and sell out every year.
LAFF'S COMEDY CAFE. 2900 E. Broadway. 323-8669. There will be so many streamers and balloons you won't know where the party ends. Not just dinner and a show, Laff's offers, for $59.95 per couple, a champagne dinner of roast beef, chicken or fish served from 7:30 to 10:30, party favors, complementary champagne, a barrel of laughs, and a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles. Prepare for tons of giveaways and door prizes, and best of all, the featured entertainment for the evening is Brian Bradley from Broadway's Grease, as well as Tucson's own Gary Hood. For a mere $10 more, enjoy all of the above and a late-night breakfast buffet after the midnight balloon drop.
THE REX RANCH. 131 Amado Montosa Road. 547-2696. Have dinner, have a ball, then spend the night, provided you have reservations. Celebrate in desert elegance, the historic Rex Ranch offers a variety of options. A cash bar, dancing with country & western band Rimfire, and champagne for $15 per couple cover charge. Scrumptious dinner packages are also available, which include, count 'em, four complimentary drinks, hors d'oeuvres, champagne and party favors, for $165 per couple or $125 per couple in groups of 10 or more. The real deal is this, though. For a relatively nominal $205 per couple, get all of the above and spend the night away from city lights in a private casita with elegant bedside snacks, and rise to brunch the following morning. All you could possibly want! Hell, they might even tuck you in and give you a kiss goodnight...
TUCSON CONVENTION CENTER. 260 S. Church Ave. 791-4223. Want to dance your ass off with four thousand people? Here's your chance. It's the New Year's Eve Superdance, a Latin dance extravaganza with loads of live music in the New Exhibition Hall. Seven hours of sensational dancing begin at 6 p.m. Advance tickets are $20, $25 at the door. If you'd rather swing than macarena, then head towards the Grand Ballroom at 8:30 p.m. for the '40s, '50s and '60s music of Big Band Express. No freebies are included, save a midnight balloon drop, but champagne and other spirits will be available for purchase. Tickets are $10 per person in advance and $12 at the door. Also, the City of Tucson, Pima County Parks and Recreation Department, the Tucson Police Department and Full Court Press host the Third Annual Midnight Jam for teens ages 13 to 19. Held in the North Exhibition Hall, the Jam happens between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. and includes music, dancing, video games, and basketball. Tickets are $2 and concessions will be sold. The one catch--please no hats, colors, bandannas, or torn jeans.
WESTWARD LOOK RESORT. 245 E. Ina Road. 297-1151. For those refined individuals who desire to celebrate in the finest of style and elegance, the Westward Look offers two dining options: first, an impeccable five-course meal served in the Ballroom in grand style, beginning at 7 p.m. Chuck Wagon and the Wheels are the featured musical entertainment. There will be fireworks from 11:45 p.m. until 12:15 a.m., and champagne at midnight awaits. Ballroom dinner tickets are $185 per couple, and include access to the Lounge. Option number two is dinner in the Gold Room, with seating from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., including a delectable four-course meal, party favors, a champagne toast, and access to the Lounge, but no live entertainment. Tickets for dinner in the Gold Room are $110 per couple. Should you wish to forgo dinner and just swank around the lounge, admission is $25 per person and includes live music by Katy & Company, party favors, champagne toast and a good view of the fireworks, although not quite as good a view as from upstairs.
THE 3RD STONE BAR & GRILL. 500 N. Fourth Ave. 628-8844. The ceiling will be covered with balloons and streamers, and a plethora of party favors, hats and horns will be provided to whoop it up and ring in the New Year here. An expected crowd of 250 will join Latin Jazz band Manteca and guests in a champagne toast at midnight. Buffet munchies will be served. Tickets are $10 per person for an evening that begins at 8 p.m. and lasts until 1 a.m.
AIRPORT LOUNGE. 20 E. Pennington St. 882-0400. New Year's Eve at the new downtown venue, with entertainment from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. provided by Mary Katherine and Whistlin' Jack Randall, the Medieval Knievals, not to mention the smooth lounge sounds of Mr. Bobby Myhre scheduled to be on for the countdown. Tickets are $5.
ANNIE'S BAR & GRILL. 7415 E. 22nd St. 290-8977. For no cover Annie's provides party favors, friendly neighborhood atmosphere and live music. Open all day with drink specials. Expected crowd size is 100.
B-52 BAR & GRILL. 210 W. Drachman St. 620-0949. Get there early and you might get lucky. Party favors, hors d'oeuvres, free champagne at midnight, and condoms are just some of the attractions for New Year's at the B-52. There's no cover charge, 200-300 people are expected and the celebration runs continuously through the day until 1 a.m.
BERKY'S BAR. 5769 E. Speedway. 296-1981. Berky's sells out every year, so if Berky's is your ticket, get your tickets early. A crowd of over 225 is expected to ring in the New Year, celebrating from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. with the '70s and '80s sounds of Social Machine. Tickets are $7 and include party favors and champagne at midnight.
BERKY'S ON FOURTH. 424 N. Fourth Ave. 622-0376. Berky's west side celebration is sure to be a sell-out as well, with an anticipated crowd of more than 200. Tickets for rocking the year away with the Bad News Blues Band from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. are cheap--$5, and that includes party favors and champagne at midnight.
BOX SEATS GRILL. 8848 E. Tanque Verde Road. 760-6699. Variety is the spice of life, and that's just what's available at Box Seats Grill. For $40 per person enjoy, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., a gourmet meal, a full stage production including the comedy of Norm Marini and Tom Potter and the magic moments of Gene Collins, as well as party favors and complementary champagne. There are only 100 tickets available for this event, so be sure to get 'em early.
BRANDO'S. 1310 S. Alvernon Way. 325-4401. Brando's continues its annual tradition this year with a buffet, prize drawing, party favors and champagne, not to mention the country and classic rock tunes of Larry Allen and the Borderline Band. A crowd in excess of 75 people is expected for the party, which runs from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. Tickets are $10 per person at the door.
BUSHWACKER SALOON & DANCE HALL. 3102 N. Flowing Wells Road. 887-9027. Party hats, champagne at midnight and a whole lot of hoopla accompany the country pleasure of the Coyote Band. Break out the cowboy boots and get ready to dance all night, or at least until 1 a.m., with an anticipated crowd of 250 people. Tickets are $5 at the door and usually sell out early in the evening.
CAFE MAGRITTE. 254 W. Congress St. 884-8004. It's a mystery evening at Magritte, with special secret surprises promised. Call for details and see if they'll tell you.
CHICAGO BAR. 5954 E. Speedway. 748-8169. Veggie platters and hors d'oeuvres, champagne at midnight, party favors and the reggae melee of Neon Prophet are the toast of the evening at the Chicago Bar. A crowd of 200 is expected, the party runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and tickets are $8 at the door.
COTTONWOOD CAFE. 60 N. Alvernon Way. 326-6000. Dancing in the Great Room, a special New Year's Eve menu in addition to their regular menu, music with the Tony Frank Jazz Trio are the ample attractions here. Dinner seating will continue through midnight, with no cover at the door.
DAISY MAE'S AT THE BARON'S. 2401 S. Wilmot Ave. 745-9250. Come for dinner or just for the party. Expected crowd size is 125. Prime rib or your choice of entree, champagne and party favors are all included for $49.95 per couple. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., dinner is served until 10 p.m., and the party rocks until 1 a.m. If the party without the meal is what you're after, Red Line provides a variety of musical entertainment for a nominal cover of $5 at the door.
THE DEPOT. 3501 E. Ft. Lowell Road. 795-8110. It's first come, first served, for a dinner of ribs, steak or baked cod for $6.95 available until 10 p.m., after which there will be a $3 cover. Country & western tunes compliments of Zo Carrol accompany the champagne toast at midnight.
EL MARIACHI. 106 W. Drachman St. 791-7793. Two options are available for an expected crowd of 200 partygoers here: Advance tickets of $30 each include a dinner of tequila shrimp and steak, tequila shrimp and fried shrimp. Plus there's party favors, champagne at midnight, and the festive and entertaining Mariachi America Cumbinchero. Or, from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., for $20 per person at the door, you can have all of the above sans meal. The band will play an early show at 7 p.m., and the regular menu will be available until 9 p.m.
EMPIRE CAFE & LOUNGE. 61 E. Congress St. 884-9779. Delicious food and mondo grooves with L.A.'s DJ Maus, with an expected crowd of over 300. The Empire offers a special menu with four yummy entree options: prime rib, lobster, Sonoran salmon pesto, or wild mushroom ravioli. You'll also get your choice of champagne, and the price includes cover for the club and after party. Tickets are $35, reservations are recommended. Admission to the club without dinner is $10, and champagne is offered at half price.
FAMOUS SAM'S. 7129 E. Golf Links Road. 296-1245. Two hundred people are expected, for no cover, mind you, to indulge in party favors and champagne at midnight, rocking out with the Bloolyte Band from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.
FINELINE. 101 W. Drachman St. 882-4953. A call to all ages. The Fineline offers to those both over and under 21 a neat-o alternative dance mix, party favors and free champagne at midnight (for those over 21). The cover is $5 for any age.
GRAN GUADALAJARA. 2527 S. Fourth Ave. 620-1321. A sellout crowd of 100 is expected for a choice meal of shrimp, fish, or T-bone steak entrees, with complimentary champagne and party favors, and the music of the Perez Brothers, from 8 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. Advance tickets are $40 per couple, and going quickly.
GRUB STEAK RESTAURANT & BAR. 2851 W. Valencia Road. 578-9009. Join Johnny And The Night Train from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a buffet, party favors, and complimentary champagne. The expected crowd is 125 and tickets are sold in advance as well as at the door for $18 per couple or $10 per person.
HEC & WINKS. 51 S. Pantano Road. 885-3350. A crowd of 155 is expected for party favors and finger food, a bottle of champagne and dancing to the variety of Highrise. Reservations/advance tickets are available for $25 per couple or $15 per person. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10, with no guarantee of seating (or that bottle of champagne).
HIDEOUT SALOON. 1110 S. Sherwood Village Drive. 885-6443. Get there early--100 people are expected to turn out for hats and party favors, a buffet and hors d'oeuvres, champagne at midnight and the John Hawk Band playing a variety of country and rock. The buffet will open shortly after 10 p.m. And there's no cover!
JAIME'S. 536 N. Fourth Ave. 624-0233. Expect a festive evening with balloons, party hats and favors, champagne at midnight, with live music by the Class Dismissed Band. It's first come, first served, with an expected crowd of 30. Tickets are $5 per couple, (boys, girls, or boys and girls) or $3 per person at the door.
JAMAICA BAY. 6350 E. Speedway. 296-6111. Dinner--game ham or prime rib, your choice--is served from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. for couples with reservations. A crowd of 250 is expected, advance dinner tickets are $60 per couple and include the cover to the party in the lounge. A DJ will be spinning the music of the '70s, '80s and '90s in the lounge. Tickets for the lounge are $10 at the door.
LA FUENTE. 1749 N. Miracle Mile. 623-8659. It's Mariachi music on the house, with the usual menu available. Dinner hours are 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., and crowd capacity is 250.
LI'L ABNER'S STEAKHOUSE. 8501 N. Silverbell Road. 744-2800. It's dinner as usual at Li'l Abner's, no cover and no frills. Dean Armstrong and the Arizona Dance Hands will be the country band at hand from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m.
LITTLE ANTHONY'S DINER. 7010 E. Broadway. 296-0456. Fabulous Fifties rock-a-billy with the Billy Shears Band, dancing, party favors and champagne at midnight await the first 100 or so through the door. The ball gets rolling at 9 p.m., admission is $8, and dinner will be available (at additional cost).
THE MAVERICK, KING OF CLUBS. 4702 E. 22nd St. 748-0456. The evening gets started early at 7:30 p.m. and sells out early, with an expected crowd of 320. Country & western band Borrowed Money and party favors are the main attractions. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door.
THE OUTBACK LOUNGE. 296 N. Stone Ave. 622-4700. Tickets are $19.97 for full dinner, split of champagne and party favors, or $14.97 for everything but dinner. Doors open at 7 p.m. and dinner will be served from 7-10 p.m. This New Year's Eve celebration is sponsored in association with KRQ and Miller Genuine Draft.
PLANET PARAGON. 144 W. Lester Road. 622-5560. Power FM live remote with Tex-Mex, Old School and Top Forty Dance, Tucson's largest balloon drop, falling cash and prizes are what awaits. Doors open at 7 p.m., general admission tickets are $10 in advance, or reserve a table and get the VIP treatment. A table for two is $35, a table for four is $65, both include candlelight, linen, table service, party favors and champagne.
POST TIME PUB. 2545 S. Craycroft Road. 748-7253. Champagne at midnight, party favors, a DJ and the band Super Lobo await an anticipated crowd of 250 here. Tickets are $25 per couple and $15 per person.
PRESIDIO GRILL. 3352 E. Speedway. 327-4667. Get some help with those tricky New Year's resolutions. A crowd of 200 is expected for this magical evening with astrologers, palmists and readers of the ancient Tarot, as well as the usual party favors, horns, hats and balloon drops. Included in the price of each $65 ticket is a special prix fixe four-course dinner (no regular menu, folks), complimentary champagne at midnight, and a 20-minute consultation with one of the circulating psychics. The celebration begins at 5 p.m. and lasts until 1 a.m.
THE RIALTO CABARET. 318 E. Congress St. 740-0126. It's over-21 only for the New Year's Eve Extravaganza at the Rialto Cabaret. Headlining the evening is East L.A.'s The Blazers, playing a mix of rock-a-billy, rhythm and blues, rocked-up norteño, blues and country. Festivities, entertainment and crazy surprises are extended to the Fifth Avenue parking lot, where a tent will be set up to encourage outdoor rabble-rousing starting at 9 p.m. and lasting until 1 a.m. Advance tickets are available at Hears for $10; at the door they'll run you $15. Keep in mind that proceeds benefit the Rialto Theater, which we'd all like to see the inside of again some day.
SAN FRAN GRILL. 6548 E. Tanque Verde Road. 886-8391. Gettin' a little bit country with Southwest Boulevard, midnight champagne toast, and a buffet open from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. are the attractions here. Anticipated crowd size is around 100; tickets are $10 per person and $15 per couple.
SAN FRANCISCO BAR AND GRILL. 3922 N. Oracle Road. 292-2233. This year dinner is served, avec la champagne, party favors, and all the extras. Tickets are $25 per person for an anticipated sell-out crowd of around 140.
SHERATON EL CONQUISTADOR. 10000 N. Oracle Road. 544-5000. Four options for your New Year's Eve. The Last Territory offers dinner with two cocktails and champagne at midnight, and a live country band beginning at 9 p.m., all for $75 per person; dinner in the White Dove is served from 6-8:30 p.m. for $85 per person. Partiers from both dining rooms will be led to the lounge to ring in the New Year with The Kings of Pleasure. The Lounge will be open from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., with no cover. At La Vista in the country club, partiers can enjoy dinner from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m., with complementary champagne at midnight, for $55 per person. Featured entertainment is a DJ spinning Big Band, Top 40 and Golden Oldies. Dancing, party favors and champagne at midnight are available for $20 per person in advance or $25 at the door.
SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR MUSIC. 2175 N. Sixth Ave. 887-6942. It's possible that ringing in the New Year could be the final toll of the bell at this facility, which will soon become the home of the Tucson Symphony. A spectacular dance-filled evening with the ever popular Mollys and special guests The Hooligans and Stefan George gets underway at 8 p.m., and lasts until the last person drops, or 1 a.m., whichever comes sooner. Tickets are $15 in advance, available at Hears, Loco Music and Antigone Books, and include not only the fabulous entertainment, but party hats and favors, and a glass of champagne, alcoholic and non, at midnight.
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