Test Your Willpower

The Alibi’s New Year’s Party Guide

Steven Nery
10 min read
Test Your Willpower
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Farewell, 2008. You were a suspenseful one to say the least, and already your Wikipedia timeline is shaping up like a best-selling novel by Michael Crichton (who, coincidentally, passed away this year). There wasn’t a day when some huge and world-shaking event didn’t parade through the headlines: financial turmoil, unprecedented bailouts, the extinction of our biggest corporate brands, lipstick-wearing pit bulls, the ongoing war, Hadron Super Colliders, pirates, Chinese earthquakes, Olympic firsts, and a historic election that awarded us both America’s first Black president and Gov. Richardson’s muy suave beard. You’ve been a real page-turner, 2008, right up to that Great Presidential Shoeing episode in Iraq (which was my favorite, by the way).

But what the hell? It’s time to forget all the above and throw ourselves headlong into 2009. Grab some friends, take a deep breath and designate that driver. As always, the
Alibi’s New Year’s Party Guide is here to steer you through all the chaos happening Dec. 31. Be safe and have fun!


Atomic Cantina

315 Gold SW • 242-2200

live music | no cover

Bring your leather jackets, studded belts and tallest liberty spikes to Atomic Cantina’s Punk Rock Bash! Six punk acts promise to make your new year a little more deaf. 21+.

Blackbird Buvette

509 Central NW • 243-0878

live music | drink specials

Dive deep into the heavy house funk of DJing duo Body Language. There’s a $5 cover at the door and happy hour drink specials from 11 p.m. to midnight. 21+.

The Barley Room

5200 Eubank NE • 332-0800

live music | drink specials | no cover

There weren’t too many details surrounding this party, but it’s definitely happening. Show up around 8 p.m. for live music by Surface and some well-deserved drink specials. 21+.

Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino

30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe • (505) 455-5555

live music | party favors | toast

Sip on a cocktail while Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians’ sweet, sweet big band tunes waft into your ears. Buffalo Thunder’s Tewa Grand Ballroom wants you to celebrate in style with an elegant sit-down dinner, complementary Champagne toast, maybe even a romantic hotel suite. Ballroom doors open at 7:45 p.m. with dinner and the band following at 8:30. Tickets are $125 at the Buffalo Thunder Casino cage. 21+.

Burt’s Tiki Lounge

313 Gold SW • 247-2878

live music | no cover | drink specials

Not sure what international sanctions will say about this one. Burt’s throws its Nuclear Dance Party, featuring cuts by DJ Cherry Lee and recession-friendly drink specials. The party starts at 8 p.m. 21+.

Chama River Brewing Co.

4939 Pan American Freeway NE • 342-1800

live music | toast | ball drop

Pace yourself through a five-course dinner special while the band Iron Chihuahua takes the floor. Champagne and a ball drop commence when the clock strikes midnight. Tickets are $65 per person. 21+.


7220 Lomas NE • 255-1657

live music | toast | ball drop

Maybe those salsa dance classes weren’t such a waste after all. Shimmy while DJs spill more salsa onto the dance floor than your sloshed aunt at a quinceñera. Champagne toast and ball drop broadcast are on the bill. It all starts at 10 p.m. Cost is $10 at the door, $5 if you buy an entrée. 21+.

Hilton, New Mexico Ballroom

1901 University NE • 884-2500

live music | toast

$239 gets you and your date a four-course lesson in fine eatin’. Live music courtesy of Triple Shot. Your shameless dancing courtesy of Margaritas. 7 p.m. and into the night, you beast. 21+.

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, Q Bar

800 Rio Grande NW • 222-8718

live music | toast

In the name of all things parachute-panted and Cindy Lauper-esque, the Q Bar unleashes its ’80s Flashback Party. Mystery DJs spin all those notorious, danceable hits that should have been left in the last century while you freak your way to a complimentary Champagne toast. The party runs 9 p.m. and on. Tickets are available now: $40 per person, $70 per couple. 21+.


3101 Central NE • 255-4200

music | party favors | magic

And now, something different. The upscale cigar bar and Santa Fe Chef Donald Burns bring you this: goat cheese lollipops, seared ahi tuna, mini lamburgers, lobster mac-and-cheese, retro Candyland desserts, take-home Champagne flutes, cigar rollers, magicians, tarot card readers and who knows what else. Basically, it’s like a carnival without all the shifty carnie folk, and it’s all yours for mere $150. Tickets are limited, so call now! The party starts at 7 p.m. 21+.

Isleta Casino

11000 Broadway SE • 724-3800

live music

Relax to the smooth, acquitted R&B of the O’Jays and special guest The James Douglas Show at 8 p.m. Call for pricing. 21+.


618 Central SW • 764-8887

live music

Gyspy-swingin’ Le Chat Lunatique joins forces with Concepto Tambor and Element 37 to summon 2009 right onto the damn stage. According to a Launchpad insider, we can expect "some kind of crazy mishmash of the bands, with alcohol."  Show starts at 8 p.m. $8 at the door. 21+.

Library Bar & Grill

312 Central SW • 242-2992

live music | toast | drink specials

Show up at 9 p.m. and enjoy all the essentials. Drink specials and DJs are par for the course here. There will be a cover charge of some kind, so bring cash. 21+.

The Loretto Chapel

207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe • (505) 988-4640, ext. 1002

live music |  toast

The Trustees of Santa Fe Pro Musica invite you to celebrate in high style with its Carnival in Venice. $250 gets you a night of Italian Baroque music, dinner, dancing and an elegant Champagne toast. Call for reservations by Dec. 26. 21+.


211 Gold SW • 243-0955

live music | toast | party favors

Nab your $10 VIP reservation for Lotus’ Black and White Ball while you can. Assuming that tipsy girl doesn’t get lost in the sub-woofer like last year, it’s going to be a good night. The party starts at 9 p.m. with DJs Devin and Quico spinning until 2 a.m. Champagne toast at, you guessed it, midnight. 21+.


25 Hotel Circle NE • 323-9380

live music | toast | drink specials

Shit Happens graces the stage at 9:30 p.m., while you keep buying drinks for that fine-looking somebody sitting just a few stools away. Hey, if you blow it, at least you got the complementary Champagne, right? Make sure you set $10 aside for the cover charge. 21+.

Maloney’s Tavern

325 Central NW • 242-7422

Come press time, there was no verdict about just what kind of monstrous party these guys want to throw. Call to find out more come New Year’s time. 21+.

Mineshaft Tavern

2846 Hwy 14, Madrid • (505) 473-0743

live music

If you’re up for some old-timey Western salooning, head to Madrid’s Mineshaft Tavern to catch the Alphacats with Joe West and the All-Stars. If you’re worried about getting lost, don’t be. The place is like a freaking electromagnet. You’ll end up there somehow. We all do. The fun starts at 3 p.m. and runs until midnight. $10 at the door. 21+.

Misty’s Hideaway

1522 Eubank NE • 271-9839

live music | toast

DJ Centex spins new- and old-school dance for you traditionalists. There’s a $15 cover at the door, and get this, parties of six or more can call 315-4798 for free limo rides to and from the bar! See if you can convince the chauffeur to pull into a drive thru. Head over to the Hideaway around 8 p.m. 21+.

O’Niell’s Pub

4310 Central SE • 255-6782

live music | no cover

The folks over at O’Niell’s didn’t have the all details set in stone, so this one’s a surprise. If this year is like last year, be prepared to party Celtic-style. Show up hungry and ready to drink around 5 p.m. 21+.

One Up Elevated Lounge

301 Central NE • 242-1966

live music | toast | party favors | drink specials | no cover

If the drink specials, live music by DJ SPM and the Architects of Rhythm, the brand new dance floor overlooking Downtown Central, free Champagne toast and $2,500 in prizes isn’t enough for you, then you are a terrible, terrible person and deserve to sit this New Year’s out while all the other thankful adults enjoy the party. That’s right. Open 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. 21+.

San Felipe’s Casino Hollywood

I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Exit 252 • (877) 529-2946

live music | no cover | buffet | kid-friendly

Casino Hollywood opens its doors at 1 p.m. for Fiesta 2009. Be prepared for $4.99 buffets, mariachi-strolling by Alama de Jesus Avalos and an 8 p.m. performance by local fave The Westwind Band in the Celebrity Showroom. This event is kid-friendly.

Sandia Resort and Casino

Tramway and I-25, Exit 234 • 796-7500

live music

Four events going on at Sandia. In the Bien Shur restaurant, enjoy a four-course meal for $75 per person, including complimentary entrance into the Bien Shur Lounge and Patio. If you skip the meal, it’s $30 to get into the Lounge and Patio, where Kari and Todd will perform from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Over in the Tlur Pa Lounge, you can catch entertainment by Funky Town from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. ($25 cover). And if all these cover charges have you worried, there’s free entertainment in the hotel lobby starting at 7 p.m. with a cash bar available. 21+.

Savoy Bar & Grill

10601 Montgomery NE • 224-9135

live music

Savoy is offering a New Year’s five-course wine dinner ($65 per person, served at 5:30, 6, 8 and 8:30 p.m.) along with normal seatings for its regular menu. For a more laid-back affair, adjourn to the lounge for the poptastic tunes of Matt Jones starting at 8 p.m. 21+.


3500 Central SE • 255-8781

live music  |  toast  |  party favors | no cover

Start your evening early with 5 p.m. dinner specials and mystery entertainment. You’ll get your Champagne toast at midnight and party favors if you behave. 21+.

Sci-Fi Channel

This is for all you stay-at-home party animals. Tune into the "Twilight Zone" marathon and implode under all the megatons of entertainment.


8900 Central SE • 275-1616

live music  |  party favors

A $5 cover gets you into the club. We’re not sure what will get you out. Doors open at 5 p.m. 21+.

The Source

1111 Carlisle SE • 991-0839

live music  |  yoga  |  kid-friendly

New Year’s without booze?! This year, how about you replace vomiting on your friends, vomiting on your family and vomiting on your date with peace, joy and community? Welcome to New Year’s, Source-style. Join other sober innocents at 7 p.m. for community hatha yoga, followed by 8 p.m. music, vegetarian food and dance. There will be
puja (ritual) and meditation at 11 p.m. And the evening closes out with a midnight New Year’s kirtan (devotional chanting) with Dharmashakti. Tickets are $30 for individuals, $50 for couples. Children under 13 are $5.

Uptown Sports Bar & Grill

6601 Uptown NE • 884-4714

live music | party favors | toast | buffet

Test your willpower at the special buffet. The night starts at 9 p.m. with music by a live DJ and ends with a refreshing toast. 21+.

Whisque Mesquite Grill & Bar

4201 Montaño NW • 898-3132

live music  |  toast

Missing Stateside performs your favorite classic rock while you plow through a top-notch, three-course meal. It’s $45 per person or $80 per couple on this one. 21+.

Wiley’s Pub (formerly Joker’s Pub)

2509 San Mateo NE • 884-4151

live music | toast

So far this is the only event hell-bent on promoting those little party hats. There’s a $15 cover with reservation, or $25 at the door. Show up around 8 p.m. 21+.


3009 Central NE • 254-9462

live music | toast

Enjoy a prix-fixe dinner in the Cellar Bar with live music by the jazzy Kari Simmons and Mary Birch at 5:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. The special menu will include passed appetizers during the reception and three courses once everyone is seated. Dinner will run you $68 per person. At 10 p.m., the Cellar will open to the public with a $5 cover, and the band Slick Reynolds will perform its brand of blues, R&B and funk from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. 21+.
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