In Da Club

Our Quick Picks For A No-Hassle New Year's Eve

Laura Marrich
15 min read
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It’s the ultimate holiday irony. We’ve spent an entire month eating without abandon, sampling everything from Aunt Joanne’s legendary walnut fudge to gooey, red chile-soaked enchiladas, right down to the last heavenly crumb of cream pie, shaggy with coconut. Our clothes no longer fit comfortably and we’re just a little sluggish—which explains how we still have no idea what the hell we’re doing for New Year’s Eve. Well, wake up! The 11th hour is upon us and we’ve got some work to do. There’s no need to panic, though. We’ve divvied up the labor to make this as painless as possible. All you’ve got to do is tuck this publication into your gym bag and hop on a stationary bike. That way you can scope out a hefty roundup of Albuquerque clubs while simultaneously liquidating your stubborn holiday flab.

You see, we here at the Alibi have been hard at work on a different kind of legwork; namely, calling clubs, harassing hostesses, comparing prices and generally sniffing out the really good parties. We want you have fun in the big '05, and we want you to look fabulous while doing it. Why? Because we want you to get laid. That said, we weren’t able to get in contact with every club, and the one’s we’ve listed are mostly limited to the greater Albuquerque area. If you’re favorite beer hole in, say, Corralles isn’t mentioned, give 'em a call anyway to see what they’re up to. Otherwise, if you’re clueless about how to ring in the New Year, this is a pretty good place to start looking. Now start peddling!

Assets Grille & Brewing Company
6910 Montgomery NE • 889-6400
Cost: Free

Assets will be open late tonight with a bevy of food and drink specials to top off their already lip-smackin’ selection of microbrews. Get there by 8 p.m. for electric blues by The Chris Dracup Band. Call ahead to reserve a table, or just show up and hope for the best.

Atomic Cantina
315 Gold SW • 242-2200 •
Cost: Free

Ring in the New Year with DJ Mark Muthafuckin Churchill plus live music by Alex Rose, Slick 50 and Rakes of Mallow. A good bet with a little something for every taste at the Atomic, where you’re always in your element.

Backstreet Bar & Grill
5210 San Mateo NE • 888-3688
Cost: $10

Backstreet’s promising a huge party with casino favorites Midnite Fire, who’ll help you get down with country, salsa and a touch of rock ‘n’ roll at 8 p.m. Enjoy rib eye and shrimp dinner specials, or take advantage of a special overnight package at the Wyndham Garden hotel, which includes shuttle service to and from the festivities until 2 a.m. Call Backstreet for more details.

Barley Room Bar & Grill, The
5200 Eubank NE • 332-0800 •
Cost: Free to get in, $15 for the buffet

Harvey and the Prowlers energize your evening with classic rock and blues starting at 8 p.m. Get your eat on with a sumptuous buffet spread that features a square Manhattan roast, salad, baked potato and choice of dessert.

Bubble Lounge Dance Hall, The
506 Central SW • 241-5434
Cost: $15

Albuquerque’s first and only hookah lounge/oxygen bar/coffeehouse opens its doors with an all ages New Year’s Eve bash from 8 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., and then continues with an 18 and over after-party from 1 to 4 p.m. Caleb Crump will at the Bubble Lounge filming for his show and a fully loaded nonalcoholic coffee, tea, oxygen and hookah bar will be available.

Burt’s Tiki Lounge
313 Gold SW • 247-2878 •
Cost: Free

Burt’s New Year’s Eve Bash is sure to be a rousing eve of live entertainment mayhem and intoxicating island beverages. Call or log on to their website for more details.

Casino Hollywood
I-25, Exit 252 • (505) 867-6700 •
Cost: Free to Casino Hollywood Studio Pass Players Card members

Sha Na Na will ring in 2005 at Casino Hollywood with a free concert at 10:30 p.m., doors open at 9 p.m. Studio Pass sign up is also free and all tickets to the show are available to Studio Pass members on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets for Sha Na Na are available at the Casino Hollywood, limit two per card member.

Club Rhythm & Blues
3523 Central NE • 256-0849
Cost: $50 per couple. Reservations only, please

Doors open at 8 p.m. with John Patrick Nieto and the Blues Kings to follow at 9 or 9:30 p.m. Party favors, hors d’oeuvres and champagne will be available for your boozy, bluesy consumption.

7220 Lomas NE • 255-1657
Cost: $5 with dinner, $10 without

Party with the salsa stylings of Pretto y Parranda from 9:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. You’ll also get party favors, a midnight champagne toast and, of course, lots of meat offerings off of the menu.

9800 Montgomery NE • 299-4559 •
Cost: $20

Redneck plays rowdy country tunes at 9:30 p.m., as an impressive dinner buffet tempts you to graze like a blissed-out Holstein. Midnight brings complimentary champagne and breakfast burritos for all. A hotel package is available through Howard Johnson, with special room rates and shuttle service between locations.

District Bar & Grill, The
115 Fourth Street NW • 243-0003
Cost: $5; first come, first served by 7 p.m.

The District is pulling out all the stops for this very unique, very affordable New Year’s soirée. They’re offering you and your crew a five story mirrored ball drop above their fabulous patio, a rooftop DJ, party favors and hors d’oeuvres. Dinner from their regular menu will be available between 7 and 10 p.m. Get there early if you want to secure a seat.

Exhale Nightclub
6132 Fourth Street NW • 343-1554 •
Cost: $10

Albuquerque’s premiere nightclub for the ladies brings you DJ Mike T and enough country, old school and R&B hits to keep you on the dance floor all night long. Stock up on chocolate dipped strawberries for your sweetie, party favors, a champagne toast and posole and chile at midnight.

Foxes Booze ‘n’ Cruise
8521 Central NE • 255-3060
Cost: $5

You’ll get plenty of food, a midnight champagne toast and an inspired DJ who’ll spin everything from Donna Summer to George Michael—you get the idea.

Foxes Lounge
8521 Central NE • 255-3060
Cost: $5

A mere $5 dollars is your all-access pass to DJs, a dinner buffet and champagne at the stroke of midnight. Share it with someone you love, or just pick one up while you’re there!

Graham Central Station
4770 Montgomery NE • 883-3041
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

There are 3,500 square feet of pure New Year’s party over at Graham Central Station tonight. This megaplex of a dancehall will feature four—count 'em—four balloon drops in each of their specially-themed rooms; that’s country and western, '70s and '80s, techno/dance and the Alley Cats Karaoke Show Bar. If that’s not enough to subdue your Ritalin-addled group of friends, be sure to tell them about the dinner buffet from 5 to 7 p.m., prizes, confetti, party favors and complimentary champagne at midnight.

Holiday Bowl
7515 Lomas NE • 268-3308
Cost: $25, $10 for kids 10 and under

One of the few kid-friendly events in town, you and your family can drop a few balls of your own at Holiday Bowl’s New Year’s Eve Bash. Check-in time begins at 8:30 p.m., with festivities going strong from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. There’ll be glow-in-the-dark Galactic Bowling, DJs, a buffet, huge prizes and midnight toast with champagne or nonalcoholic bubbly for the kids. Call the folks over at Holiday Bowl to reserve your place and let the good times roll!

Isleta Casino
11000 Broadway SE • 244-8188
Cost: $30 for the Showroom performance

The Isleta Casino Showroom will feature the very talented and immensely popular Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane Jr. in an 8:30 p.m. performance. Or trot over to TIWA Steakhouse for cocktails and a porterhouse as Rita Newport & Savoy play big band, swing and jazz standards from 7 to 10 p.m.

Jockey Club
The Downs at Albuquerque • State Fair Grounds • 266-5555
Cost: Free

Take advantage of the one time this year you’ll see a complete prime rib dinner for $8.95. Meanwhile, Spinning Wheel will perform live from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., with plenty of party favors and champagne to go around at midnight.

Joker’s Pub
2509 San Mateo NE • 884-4151
Cost: Call for details

Rock long into the night with Mr. Scary, dinner specials, party favors and a midnight toast. As of press time, Joker’s Pub was trying to work on a package deal with an area hotel—call to find out if anything ever came of it.

Kelly’s Brew Pub
3200 Central SE • 262-2739
Cost: Free

Once Misguided kicks out the jams beginning at 8:30 p.m., with a 12 a.m. champagne toast and 2 a.m. closing time to follow.

Laff’s Comedy Club
San Mateo at Osuna • 296-5653 •
Cost: Early show is $10.95 in advance and $14.95 the day of the show; late show is $16.95 in advance and $21.95 the day of the show

The evening’s entertainment comes from high-energy comic recording artist Darryll Rhoades from Nashville, Tenn. With nine hit CDs that have been heard coast to coast on the Dr. Demento and Bob and Tom shows, Darryll has been described as knee slappin’, cranium rappin’ fine tuned fun. If you’ve started your New Year’s resolutions a little early, take note that the 8 p.m. show is nonsmoking only. At the 10:30 p.m. show, you'll enjoy fresh fruit, chips and salsa all night long, party favors and a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Both shows will have bar service, a munchie menu and a complimentary champagne toast. Sorry kids—you’ve got to be at least 21 with a valid ID to get in.

618 Central SW • 764-8887 •
Cost: $5

Abominate Race gets heavy at Launchpad’s Metal New Year’s. Drink specials, cute bartenders and at least a few sloppily drunk Alibi employees will be on hand to rock your world into 2005.

25 Hotel NE • 323-9380
Cost: $10; reservations only, please

Spend the most magical night of your year with a tall glass of champagne and the sweet sounds of Booger, who’ll hit the stage at 9 p.m. Hotel packages are available, so call Malarky’s for details ASAP.

Martini Grille
4200 Central SE • 255-4111 •
Cost: $5 after 10 p.m.

It’s a Winter Wonderball with dreamy DJs spinning oh-so-danceable house music and Sophia Blanc de Blancs champagne at a very nice price. If this were any cooler, it’d be frozen solid.

Misty’s Hideaway
1522 Eubank NE • 271-9839
Cost: $5

Misty’s New Year’s Eve Bash features the ever-rocking Traveler in Pain at 9 p.m., a midnight champagne toast and lots of noisy little party favors to toot at the girl you fancy.

Mr. K’s Chinese Restaurant
5002 Central NE • 265-8859 •
Cost: $15

The Duke City Comedy Cabaret presents a special New Year’s Eve Show featuring headlining comedian Bobby Bedard, piano man Doug Terbusg, the incomparable songstress Lena Horne as portrayed by Brenda Hollingsworth Picket and the comedic talent of Goldie Garcia. All that plus the Red Heade

Ned’s On the Rio Grande
1100 Rio Grande NW • 243-5100
Cost: Call for details

No details were available at press time, but there’ll probably be a live band and some bubbly to pass around at midnight. Call or stop by the club to see what’s going on.

Ned’s Downtown
407 Central NW • 243-0364
Cost: Call for details

The Peak radio station will be on hand with DJs and plenty of freebies to give away. Not much more was known at press time, so give them a ring to find out more.

O’Niell’s Uptown
6601 Uptown NE • 884-4714 o
Cost: $10

The patty party kicks off with a 5 p.m. Dublin New Year’s champagne toast, and what’s sure to become a marathon of Irish-American pub sing-a-longs until about 5:45 p.m. Stick around for the wild oscillations of Farfesha Belly Dance Troupe at 7 p.m., followed by the internationally acclaimed High Desert Pipes and Drums from 8:30 to 9 p.m. Felonious Groove Foundation bids you a very funky New Year from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. O’Niell’s is also offering a complimentary appetizer buffet at 7:30 p.m. and glasses of champagne at midnight in addition to their very popular menu and on-tap offerings.

211 Gold SW • 243-0955 •
Cost: $150 per couple; reservations only, please

This very special package secures you a room at the Hilton Garden Inn (there are two locations to chose from), limo service, VIP entrance to the club and a bottle of champagne to split between you and your special date. Chris de Jesus from Las Vegas will spin soulful, sexy dance music alongside DJs Kique and Devin. There will be no general admission, so call OPM right now to reserve your place for this exclusive evening.

Puccini’s Golden West Saloon
620 Central SW • 243-9792
Cost: $5

It’s a Metal New Years Mega-Bash with live music from I.D.K., Broken Cuffs, End 2 End, plus The Minister of Strange featuring Darker Vision spinning industrial gothic music throughout the evening. There’ll be party favors, a midnight toast and—oh yeah—go-go dancers.

4100 Central SE • 255-3334 •
Cost: Call for details

Don your most shimmering sequined frock and sashay over to Pulse and Blu, where they’re ringing in the new year with a lavish Studio 54 theme. Shake your booty with balloons, confetti, party favors and champagne, plus $2,000 in cash and prizes for the best disco costume.

Sheraton Old Town • 800 Rio Grande NW • 22-8714
Cost: Free

The always-gracious and enormously talented Larry Freedman plays piano from 6 to 9 p.m., followed by Franc Chewiwie’s smooth Latin jazz from 9 p.m. to midnight. Champagne at midnight, party favors and lots of delectable tapas will be available as well.

Ranch, The
8900 Central NE • 275-1616
Cost: $10

Make 2005 the year of brotherly love at The Ranch’s New Year’s Costume Party. Come as you want, drink champagne and kick up your heels to boot scootin’ country and western music all night.

Retro’s Bar
1410 B Wyoming NE • 292-2038
Cost: Free

Twice Shy plays their blend of acoustic rock at 9 p.m. Should you start feeling peckish, a champagne brunch with complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served at midnight. Show up early to lay claim to a good seat.

Route 66 Casino
Exit 140 off I-40 • 352-7887
Cost: $15 each or $20 per couple for the Dance Party; $10 in advance or $15 at the door for the Men of Playgirl performances

Route 66 Casino is packed to the gills with not one, but two great New Year’s offerings. The first is Bobby Box New Year's Eve Dance Party, held in Legends Theater from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. New Year's Eve revelers will be able to enjoy Elvis, Ritchie Valens, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly brought to life by a stunning cast of tribute artists. Or if you’re in the mood for something steamier, you won’t want to miss the Men of Playgirl Magazine, who’ll hold two performances at 7 and 11 p.m. in the 66 Conference Center. The Men of Playgirl Magazine is one of the nation's top all-male burlesque revues, mixing musical styles, choreography and costumes into an elaborate 90-minute performance. Sure beats the six-pack you usually get for New Year’s Eve, doesn’t it?

Sauce/Raw/Liquid Lounge
405 Central NW • 242-5839 •
Cost: Call for details

We have no idea what these guys have planned, but we think it’s safe to assume that it’ll go ’til 2 a.m. and booze will somehow be involved. Call them, and reserve a damn table while you’re at it.

Sidelines Sports Grille
9211 Coors NW • 897-4633
Cost: $10

Sidelines was still fine-tuning the details as of press time, but either a live band or DJ will be on board for your listening pleasure, plus a dinner buffet, champagne toast at midnight and party favors all included in the cost of admission.

Solo Club
2500 Candelaria NE • 884-0220
Cost: $25; reservations only, please

Sonny’s Bar & Grille
4214 Central SE • 255-5932
Cost: $5

Three live bands plus a midnight drum circle, champagne toast, party favors and breakfast on the house make Sonny’s one of the best New Year’s values in town. Sleestaks, George W. and the Evildoers and Daddy Long Loin will keep you rocking way past your bedtime.

Stella Blue
3001 Central NE • 268-8667 •
Cost: $8

Albuquerque’s number one (and to our knowledge, only) Grateful Dead bar teams up with world beat dance band Wagogo at 10 p.m., with a champagne toast to follow at midnight sharp.

Stone Face Tavern
8201 San Pedro NE • 822-8855
Cost: Free

The Memphis P. Tails help you get your blues on at 8:30 p.m., with kitchen offerings until midnight and drink specials until close.

Townhouse Restaurant
3911 Central NE • 255-0057
Cost: Free

The Townhouse will feature a special New Year’s Eve menu with drink specials, champagne at midnight and performances by the Ohm Belly Dance Troupe from 6 to 9 p.m., and the D.C. Rockers from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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