The A.V. Club’s 2011 Milwaukee New Year’s Eve bar guide
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It’s almost New Year’s Eve, but where to take that cup of kindness for auld lang syne? Being that this is Milwaukee, there’s roughly one bar per man, woman, and child. To save you the trouble of going door to door, here’s a peak at what you’ll find in a good number of our city’s public houses and other establishments.
It’s a New Year’s polka party. The Squeezettes will roll out the barrel at 10 p.m., and a breakfast buffet is offered beginning at 1 a.m.
Bad Genie Rock Lounge
End the year at the East Town Get Down with DJ Flick.
Bay View Brew Haus
Celebrate by rocking and rolling rowdily with live music from Mortgage Freeman and I Am Dragon.
The Belmont Tavern
The party begins at 7 p.m. with music from DJ X-Press. $50 and $100 champagne packages are available.
Welcome Baby New Year by kicking out the jams with DJ Nick Sanborn and a free champagne toast and party favors.
Get your fancy pants on and head to the Pfister’s Blu Bar And Lounge, where Evan Christian will serenade you right into 2012.
Buca Di Beppo
There may not be a party per se, unless you count enormous plates of lasagna as a party, which many do. Reservations on New Year’s are a good idea.
Confetti cannons will be fired and diamonds will be given away. Just $15 gets you a frenzied 7-8 p.m. open bar as well as appetizers and a midnight champagne toast, and $60 snags a premium open bar pass.
Do414.com presents a White Trashed New Year’s with Dude X 2, Rio Turbo, DJ Samsquamch, free cans of Beast at midnight, and free food at 2 a.m.
DJ Kayjay starts spinning at 10 p.m., and you can enjoy a free champagne toast and appetizer buffet at midnight. The surf and turf dinner and unlimited New Belgium Snow Day and Reinhurst cocktails goes for $79.95. Both are also sold separately.
Cafe Hollander (Wauwatosa)
Enjoy a special menu for dinner, music from The Orphans from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., prizes all night long, a balloon drop, and champagne toast at midnight.
Cafe Hollander (Milwaukee)
A New Year’s Eve countdown for the beer aficionado. Every hour, beginning at 8 p.m., Hollander will release a unique or rare beer not currently available on its menu.
The Uptown Savages are ringing in the new year here. With a midnight champagne toast and a late-night snack buffet, you can do the countdown with a champagne glass in one hand and some finger food in the other.
Enjoy a four-hour open bar package from 8 p.m. until midnight, free pizza buffet, party favors, and champagne at midnight.
Enjoy music from Matt Meyer, Roger Randal, and Marcell, as well as a midnight champagne toast and some free pizza and other snacks.
WMSE’s Dori Zori conducts her annual New Year’s Eve Spin from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.
End 2011 with a little funny-bone tickling. Moshe Kasher, Karl Hess, and Jackson Jones will perform at 8 and 10 p.m.
Ian Gould will ring in the Irish New Year at 6 p.m. Frogwater will keep things going later in the night. With the $60 package, there will also be an open bar, regular dinner, a buffet, live music, and a bottle of champagne all to yourself.
The New Year’s Eve Groovepocalypse will go until dawn with a fleet of live musicians and DJ sets. Party packages include pizza, bottles, and reserved booths.
Franks Power Plant
Stop by at 9:30 p.m. for an art show from Ben Lyon and a release party for The Onions’ new EP. The night also featuring Dumpster Babies, The Hemingers, The Jones Island Flood, and The Meatcurtains.
Horny Goat Hideaway
Expect a balloon drop, open bar, appetizers, a photo booth, party favors, and live music from The Toys.
It’s a Carnival In Rio New Year’s with samba dancers and lessons, as well as free food and a champagne toast at midnight.
Revel in the New Year with a masquerade featuring lasers, confetti, DJs Asher Diamond and Why B, and a set from Richard Richard. Champagne toast at midnight.
Hubbard Park Lodge
Here’s some wholesome fun for a change. A kids’ New Year’s party with piñatas, games, party favors, and a 7 p.m. countdown so you can go into 2012 with plenty of rest.
Iron Horse Hotel
Have a champagne jam with a dance party, balloon drop, midnight toast, and reserved VIP seating with bottle service.
Open bar. Call to reserve a booth or table.
Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden
Sold out. Live music from The Dirty Boogie, midnight sandwiches, and a champagne toast.
Boogie into 2012 with the NYE Bash Retro Dance Party and free food, champagne, and party favors until 4 a.m.
Milwaukee Ale House
$10 cover for cover band Shag.
Mo’s Irish Pub
Two levels of live entertainment and two castes of enjoyment, the silver and gold packages. The gold one includes, among many other things, a chocolate fondue fountain.
Jim Gaffigan comes to town yet again for his New Year’s show to congratulate Milwaukee on another great year.
Celebrate the yew year with Skrillex and more than 50 DJs.
Rio West Cantina
Chow down on the dinner specials and enjoy an open bar from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Riverwest Public House
The Keep It Dirty Queer Dance Party, will feature, among other things, “DJ Trash Talk and DJ Delete, sweaty queermosdancing, tater tots, free champagne, kissing booths, massage parlors, lots of safer sex supplies and lube, confessional glory holes ... ”
The essentials: party favors, free food, champagne, and music.
Have a ball with a champagne toast, party favors, and a balloon drop at midnight. Tattoo and Dory Drive will rock and roll all night.
The Safe House
Celebrate 11 time zones’ worth of New Year’s countdowns until you can’t take it anymore. There will also be international hors d’oeuvres, champagne toasts every hour, and roving magic acts.
Silk will be open 24 hours straight on New Year’s Eve, and will feature a free breakfast buffet from 4 to 6 a.m. and a very happy hour from 6 to 9 a.m.
Enjoy free ping-pong all night and ring in the New Year with complimentary Stoli bombs at midnight. Also featuring $100 bottles of Stolichnaya.
A “winter wonderland” theme includes ice angel go-go dancers, body painted models, and free LED ice sticks. White attire is encouraged, but not required.
Trinity Three Irish Pubs
Kick out the jams with live music from Hoi Polloi.
All you can drink from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., music from DJ Erika Jean, a midnight champagne toast, and a late-night buffet.
Up And Under Pub
Eat, drink, be merry, and listen to Conniption play.
Upper 90 Sport’s Pub
Celebrate New Year’s in every time zone with corresponding—and discounted—beer selections.
Victor’s (1230 North Van Buren St.)
Victor’s is open for a 31-hour marathon on New Year’s. A $20 package includes an 8:30-10:30 p.m. open bar, appetizers, and party favors. There’ll also be dancing and $10 champagne bottles.
Whoop it up at Vitucci’s with a champagne toast, party favors, food, and free vacation giveaways.
Swanky New Year’s Eve packages include bottle service, party favors, and a complimentary coat check.