New Year's Eve: Drinks

Festive libations for you and yours

Empire Hotel Rooftop
In the city that never sleeps, there is rarely a moment to lose. We hustle, dodge, yell, laugh, work, play, sweat, cry, eat, and drink. But sleep? That's for people living somewhere outside of Fort Lauderdale after a big lunch at TGI Friday's. Take a moment this New Year's Eve to have a drink and survey what our forebears accomplished without REM. Located on the 12th floor of the Empire Hotel, this bar features spectacular views of the city and the Hudson. And for New Year's, they're offering a five-hour open bar (from 9 p.m. through 2 a.m.), hors d'oeuvres, party favors, a champagne toast, and a DJ who'll be spinning everything from '80s to hip-hop. Doors open at 8, 44 West 63rd Street, 212-265-7400, $85–$185

Radegast Hall & Biergarten
This Williamsburg favorite is an excellent destination for anyone who loves beer, music, and swing jazz. It takes up an entire corner on North 3rd Street, and you can practically smell the bratwurst cooking from the subway platform. The big room is where the beer and spirits are poured, and in the heated beer garden, meat is grilled and waits to be devoured at long tables. This is a great spot for anyone who wants to drink indoors at the same table with 10 of their closest friends. For a $10 cover, you get your first drink free, a glass of bubbly before midnight, and a bowl of their now-famous Anti-Hangover Garlic Soup. Jessy Carolina & the Hot Mess ring in the New Year with bluesy jazz circa 1932. I’ve even heard that she sings without a microphone. Dress accordingly. Starts at 7:30 p.m., 113 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, 718-963-3973, radegasthall.com, $10

Eight Mile Creek
Hanging out at this downtown locale is a good time no matter what night it is. The kitchen serves up some of the most delicious Aussie cuisine around, and their wine list is well thought-out and tastefully selected. There’s also a luxurious heated garden hidden away at the back of the restaurant, and good conversation is always in abundance. But the party is in the basement: Actors and fashionistas alike have a knack for crowding this spot during the week. This New Year’s Eve, grab a drink and ask the bartender, Brendan, for his thoughts on alien abductions. Late at night, their DJ will drop some serious garage-rock gems from the ’60s and ’70s. Champagne will be poured at midnight. 240 Mulberry Street, 212-431-4635, eightmilecreek.com

Empire Hotel Rooftop: "The world is yours."
Sarah Sellars
Empire Hotel Rooftop: "The world is yours."
Prost!
James Boo
Prost!

Union Pool
It really doesn’t matter what’s going on at Union Pool on New Year’s Eve because chances are you live around the corner from it and you’re meeting friends there anyway. All you need to know is that they’ve got a taco cart parked in the backyard, the photo booth is a lot of fun to make out in, the drinks are always cheap and plentiful, and you’re bound to run into someone you’ve been meaning to call, which makes this a great place for fresh starts. There’s no news yet on who will be playing that night, so try adding a little spontaneity to your life—playing it safe all the time sucks. 484 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-609-0484, unionpool.blogspot.com

Malachy’s
Fuck New Year’s Eve. There’s a ridiculous cover charge wherever you go, your favorite bars are full of people living on their dwindling credit limits, and you can’t catch a cab to save your life. Where can a person go in the Upper West Side to drink in peace and not be reminded of what day it is? Malachy’s, where they are doing absolutely nothing for the holiday. There’s good beer on tap for cheap, a 10,000-song jukebox, and they’re open till 4 a.m., which is when all bars should close. Grab a drink, and get some wings while you’re at it. Cover? I don’t even think they card. 103 West 72nd Street, 212-874-4268

The Stonewall Inn
Though the migration to Hell’s Kitchen has been loud and steady, people need to remember their roots. And there’s nothing like taking a walk down Gay Street to see how far we’ve come as a species in the past 50 years. As everyone should know by now, the public fight for LGBT rights began with a riot between cops and the patrons of this bar in 1969. After the violence, people started taking down one of the last walls against universal human dignity one brick at a time. The fact that the Stonewall is still pouring stiff drinks is a testament to how awesome our town is. And they still know how to throw a New Year’s bash. Go-go girls upstairs and boy trouble downstairs. No cover. 53 Christopher Street, 212-488-2705, thestonewallinnnyc.com

Second Chance Saloon
Picture Road House without Patrick Swayze (God rest his soul), replace the soundtrack with old Cro-Mags songs, throw in a crowd of people you want to buy shots for, and drop that fucker in the middle of Brooklyn. There are no signs of yuppie encroachment anywhere near this fortress of drink that is Second Chance Saloon. And there’s no better place for new beginnings, so pull up a stool and start making some New Year’s resolutions. 659 Grand Street, 718-387-4411

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