By Albert Samaha
By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
Aces and Eights
Frat boys and the halter tops who love them will find themselves very much at home at this Upper East Side bar, where DJ P-Love spins until 6 a.m. and a free buffet breakfast opens at 4. Open bar from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.; non-ticket-holders gain entry an hour after midnight for $10.
9 p.m., $50; 1683 First Avenue, 212-860-4020
With Anchor Bar's downtown cred, seven-hour open bar, and reasonable ticket prices, we aren't sure why you'd go anywhere else on New Year's Eve (general admission is just $75). The Soho hotspot plans to pull out all the stops with booze, food, and music.
8 p.m., $40-$225; 310 Spring Street
Hope for lucky strikes at Bowlmor this New Year's Eveand if you have less than six in your party, hope also for cute, single lane-mates. The early shift: Bowl from 9 p.m. to midnight for $125 per guest, or reserve a lane for $645; night owls secure their balls from midnight to 3 a.m. for $95 a piece, $495 for the group.
9 p.m., $95$625; 110 University Place, 212-255-8188
Partiers on the prowl at exclusive Chelsea club Cain will feel right at home amid the elephant-trunk door handles, the Capetown-imported beads, and the zebra-skin bar; the DJ spins behind a rock façade to complete the lounge's African theme. Admission guarantees a five-hour open bar, food, and party favors.
9 p.m., $135-275; 544 West 27th Street, 212-947-8000
Canal Room's tall ceilings, billowy drapes, and serious mood lighting provide an ideal setting for anyone seeking the New York New Year's Eve they dreamed of when they moved from Iowa last year. There are four levels of swank to be had: general admission, $95; seated VIP, $175; ultra VIP (seats plus bottle service), $195; and platinum VIP (bottle service with more booze), $250. Or get in after 12:30 a.m. for $60.
9 p.m., $60$250, 285 West Broadway, 212-941-8100
Central Bar is one of the only college bars in the city where we've actually had a pretty good time, so don't rule it out for your New Year's plans based purely on its proximity to NYU. (The students are all on Christmas vacation, anyway.) There's an open bar from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., with food, party favors, and a live DJ.
9 p.m., $100; 109 East 9th Street, 212-529-5333
People dying to dance but not dying to do so with a million other people should anchor their night's plans with a trip to the relatively intimate club Cielo. Willie Graff DJs with special guests and the doors are open from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. If you don't have fun, you have no one to blame but yourself.
10 p.m., $50; 18 Little West 12th Street, 212-645-5700
Cipriani (42nd Street)
Bask in the old-school glamour of Cipriani, with its flawless service, eats, and ambience. A surprise DJ takes over the Grand Room, with its soaring 65-foot ceilings and sparkly chandeliers, and fancy-pants VIP tables are available for those willing to spend the big bucksthe Chapel Platinum VIP package costs $400 per person. Others can get in for $150 ($100 after 12:30 a.m.).
9 p.m., $100$400; 110 East 42nd Street, 212-499-0599
Tri-level mega-club Element was pretty much made for parties like those thrown on New Year's Eve, and if you can swing it, scoring a VIP table in the bar's catacombsa subterranean lounge called Vaultcould make for a special-seeming night. Element caters to the young, hip, Lower East Side crowd. If that's not you, you probably don't belong. General admission is just $75.
9 p.m., $60$225; 225 East Houston Street, 212-254-2200
Formerly known as Au Bar and 58, the Grand boasts the same owners as eatery Phillipe, which boasts the former chef of Mr. Chow'sso the food at the club's New Year's Eve party is arguably half the draw. The other half? The Asian-inspired cocktails. General admission costs $150, which covers the open bar all night long.
9 p.m., $115$225; 41 East 58th Street, 212-308-9455
Home and Guesthouse
Home (the Chelsea hot spot) and Guest- house (Home's little sister) stand to host the ultimate New Year's Eve after-party, but u they're in on the early action, too: Home and Guesthouse are also hosting one mega-shindig with the option for a mega-ticket$400 for an all-access pass to the 22 parties that Velvet Sky is sponsoring.
9 p.m., $85$400; 542 West 27th Street, 212-273-3700
Harlem's Sugar Hill Quartet ring in the new year at Lenox Lounge with three sets: 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 11 p.m. Admission to the first two shows is $30; the later performance runs $45. But you get hats! And horns!
8 p.m., $30$45; 288 Lenox Avenue, 212-427-0253
Expect the ultimate professional party when the posh, 15,000-square-foot basement opens its six-hour all-expenses-paid bar and multiple food stations (not that anyone who goes here actually eats, mind you). No-frills general admission costs $125.
8 p.m., $75$215; 511 Lexington Avenue, 212-593-7575
This gorgeous Tribeca space calls itself the "crown jewel" of Japanese haute cuisine; we love it because we're suckers for wraparound staircases. (Doesn't take much!) With 13,000 square feet and a $6 million interior, it's the ultimate choice for anyone with a hip hankering for sake. The most basic packagefood, drink, party favorscosts $95; platinum VIPticket-holders ($300) score spots in the Kimono Lounge.