More bash, less cash
Party like it's 1929 at these 20 fetes for $25 or less.
Just your average night at a bar, except with bubbly
2916 N Broadway (773-975-7000). 5pm, $5.
The teeny cover charge gets you $3 Jäger bombs and an unpretentious New Year’s Eve hangout. Televisions abound, so you’ll have no problem catching the Times Square ball drop while toasting with free Champagne at midnight.
2076 N Hoyne Ave (773-489-4757). 3pm–2am, free.
Longtime owner Wendy Pick recently put this tchotchke-ridden corner tap—easily one of Bucktown’s favorites—on the market. She’s looking to go out with a bang, bringing in a mix of country and rock regulars she calls the Charleston All-Stars: musicians Tim Menard, John Keeney, Brian Anderson, Tim Hart, Cathie VanWert and James Wagner among them. We’ll crank a noisemaker to that.
1824 W Augusta St (773-489-0379). 8pm–3am, free.
Hipsters dancing to a DJ’s mix of punk, indie rock and the occasional polka and Ukie Village locals playing pool will join forces for a Champagne toast at midnight.
1951 W Dickens Ave (773-489-6457). 7pm–2am, free.
DJs Miss Frowny and Melissa Grubbs will spin an eclectic mix of dance music in the vein of soul, funk, hip-hop and reggae, and mammoth 375-milliliter bottles of Henriot Blanc Champagne will be available ($25) for those who consider bubbles a NYE necessity.
Finn McCool’s and the Loft
15 W Division St (312-337-4349). 6pm, free.
Celebrate New Year’s on both Dublin and Chicago time at the Loft’s and Finn McCool’s double-decker New Year’s Free party. Toast the New Year at 6pm and again at midnight with noisemakers and a dance-hit–spinning DJ.
600 W Chicago Ave (312-822-2900). 9pm, free.
If you visit the yearbook photo booth at Motel Bar’s Class of ’08 New Year’s Eve, do it early, before the booze really kicks in: Last year’s incriminating photos are still posted at the DJ’s website, thebetatheta.com. Drinks will cost you, but expect a variety of Champagne specials throughout the night.
1233 S Wabash Ave (312-360-9488). 9pm, free.
Load up on mozzarella sticks and other bar-food staples at the free buffet, then start your New Year’s resolution at 10pm by bopping away your binge to dance-rock classics performed by three-piece band Robot Lounge.