Once again, it’s come to this: another year down, and another one ready to launch. If you’re looking for a bar to ring it in and set it off, you’ve come to the right place. Except where noted, the following parties are all 21+ and are offering a flute of complimentary champagne to guests at midnight on Friday, Dec. 31.
Wunder Garten (1101 1st NE, www.wundergartendc.com) is offering special drink packages to ring in 2022 — and where the whole evening will play out cleverly, like clockwork. At 6 p.m., they’ll toast to Germany, the country from which the NoMa beer garden took its name, where it will be midnight. An hour later, it’s time to say “Hail to the Queen,” as the U.K. revs up 2022. And so on and so forth until we get to D.C.’s midnight and Wunder Garten institutes its own special ball drop. Admission is free, but EventBrite registration is encouraged.
Hop over a couple of blocks for a hoppy good time at Red Bear Brewing Co. (209 M St. NE, www.redbear.beer), where go-go dancers will be on tap along with a balloon drop and toasts at midnight, plus music by DJ Twink. All that, plus a kick-ass drag show with Chicki Parm, Citrine, Jalah Nicole, and Laronica Vegas, and hosted by the gay-owned and -operated brewery’s resident queen Desiree Dik. Cover is $20 plus Eventbrite fees and tax. Click here for details.
Over in Northwest, you’ll find Dirty Goose (913 U St. NW, www.thedirtygoosedc.com) open until 3 a.m. with DJ Alex Love doing double duty, and you can too: It’s $2 off all doubles, all night long. For the more single-minded, you can sip on $10 signature martinis or $9 sparkling wine splits. Or you can get your caffeine-boosted buzz on with a $9 Jameson Cold Brew cocktail. No cover. Across the street, Nellie’s (900 U St. NW, www.nelliessportsbar.com) is offering a $5 Peroni special and music by DJ Travis. No cover.
Keep on trucking west to Number Nine (1435 P St. NW, www.numberninedc.com), which will be welcoming back the local, indefatigable DJ duo BacK2bACk for a party featuring a “music of the year countdown.” Doors at 5 p.m. No cover.
Around the corner, Trade (1410 14th. St. NW, www.tradebardc.com) will ring in the year with a party hosted by the unforgettably named drag queen Vagenesis, and tunes to get you turnt from DJs Wess and Keenan Orr. Trade’s midnight toast will literally be just that — everyone gets a slice of toast to eat then or save for breakfast. Trade is also presenting “Eye Opener,” a special New Year’s Day Party starting at 2 p.m., hosted by Vernon Wall. No cover for either party.
Over in Adams Morgan, Pitchers (2317 18th St. NW, www.pitchersbardc.com) and A League of Her Own (2319 18th St. NW, www.alohodc.com) will offer all the party goodies — noisemakers, party hats, favors — and no cover, with doors flinging open at 5 p.m.
Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct. NW, www.greenlanterndc.com) will be offering noisemakers, party hats, a balloon drop, prizes, a clothes check, and the pumping beats of DJ Popperz for its Countdown NYE bash. No cover.
DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, www.dc9.club) is offering six hours of premium open bar starting at 10 p.m. The New Year’s Eve GOLD 2022 party will feature hits spun by DJ Matt Bailer until 4 a.m. General admission tickets are $90 in advance or $100 on the day of the party. Add $30 for your own bottle of Baller Bottle Sparkling Wine. Reserve at the club’s Eventbrite page.
Follow the trail of pink flamingos over the rainbow to get to the other side of the Potomac for Virginia’s ultimate, year-ending drag show at Freddie’s Beach Bar (555 S. 23rd St., Arlington, www.freddiesbeachbar.com), starting at 9:30 p.m. and running until just before the midnight toast. Cover is $20. Freddie’s will also offer New Year’s Day Brunch, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., for $24.99.
If you’re a Baltimore denizen, head to the Baltimore Eagle (2022 N. Charles St., www.baltimoreeagle.com) which will ring in the new year with the irrepressible Eureka O’Hara from RuPaul’s Drag Race and HBOMax’s We’re Here. Beats to be provided by DJs ROB, G3, Deezy, and Ryan DoubleYou. General admission is $20 allowing access to all areas of the multi-level club, while $45 throws in an open bar from 9 p.m. to midnight, and $60 gets all that plus no waiting in lines and access to a special VIP bar.
Finally, after you’ve had a fitfully lazy Jan. 1, and are ready to kick off the year in clubby style, head to Soundcheck for Dougie Meyers’ first Avalon Saturdays (1420 K St. NW, www.dougiemeyerpresents.com) party of 2022, featuring DJ Ty Jordan. The fun begins with an open bar from 11 p.m. to midnight. Cover is $25 all night for the 18+ event.
Finally, be sure to check the website or social media posts of all the bars listed above to verify their current COVID admission requirements.
Happy New Year!
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