There’s no need to leave the Kent city limits to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the style you prefer – whether that style is formal, bar-casual, concert-oriented or playful.
Here’s a sampling of New Year’s Eve events in the Tree City:
Bistro on Main – A free champagne toast and party favors at midnight await Bistro guests. The restaurant’s New Year’s Eve Bash includes the musical duo of Peggy Coyle and Brad Bolton performing from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. in the bar area. Drink specials for the evening include the champagne cocktail and candy cane martini. Dinner specials, offered from 4 to 11 p.m., include roasted beef tenderloin surf and turf, scallops/blood orange ceviche, black grouper with citrus buerre blanc and a cowboy chop (steak) for two. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 330-673-9900.
Kent Lanes/11th Frame Lounge – The South Water Street venue offers several New Year’s Eve party options. The Early Bird Special, from 1 to 3 p.m., is $65 per lane (up to six people) and includes bowling, shoe rental, pizza, munchies, soft drinks, coffee, party hats and favors. Next up are two Family Moonrock Bowling parties, one from 4 to 7 p.m. and the other from 8 to 11 p.m. Cost for each is $90 per lane (up to six people) and includes bowling, shoe rental, full pasta buffet, pizza, munchies, soft drinks, coffee, party hats and favors. There will be a DJ and dancing in the 11th Frame Lounge from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 330-673-1448.
The Kent Stage – Ring in the New Year with a special concert featuring the opening act We Are Public Radio and headliner Red Wanting Blue, which played a sold-out show in November at the House of Blues in Cleveland and performed on the Late Show with David Letterman last summer. Doors open at 8 p.m. and music begins at 9 p.m. On-air personalities from FM radio station 91.3 The Summit, which is presenting the concert, will be attending. The $26 ticket price includes a champagne toast, appetizers and party favors at midnight compliments of 91.3. A full cash bar and a dance floor will be available. Tickets can be purchased now by visiting www.kentstage.org or calling 888-718-4253.
Laziza – While the restaurant is not typically open until midnight, it will be on New Year’s Eve to accommodate late-night diners. “We’re booking up pretty quickly, but we still have a few spots open by reservation,” said owner Michael Awad. In addition to its regular menu that night, Laziza is offering two New Year’s Eve specials. One is a $75 dinner for two that includes an appetizer, bottle of wine and surf and turf. The second special is a $50 dinner for two that includes an appetizer, bottle of wine and entrée choices of shish kabobs, lamb kabobs, chicken kabobs or kafta kabobs. Reservations can be made by calling 330-677-7000.
Pufferbelly Ltd. – Each year on New Year’s Eve the restaurant presents a more formal reflection of this special occasion. The 4 p.m. to midnight menu is modified to include specials such as prime rib, filet mignon, chicken cordon bleu, stuffed scampi and surf and turf. A variety of decadent desserts, like tuxedo torte, is offered. The restaurant is colorfully decorated with balloons and streamers and there is a balloon drop – complete with hats and noisemakers – at midnight. All guests join together for a complimentary champagne toast as the bar televisions are tuned into the New York Times Square ball drop. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 330-673-1771.
Ray's Place – Owner Charlie Thomas said his bar always attracts “a really good crowd” on New Year’s Eve. “We just turn up the jukebox and people have a good time … At midnight we break out party favors and they can have some fun,” he said. Ray’s kitchen is open all evening, offering regular menu items until 10 p.m., then late-night menu items until midnight.
Riverside Wine & Bar – A complimentary champagne toast will be served to New Year’s Eve partiers at midnight while watching the televised Times Square ball drop in New York City. Riverside will be open until 1 a.m. (age 21 and over after 7 p.m.), offering a wine and beer bar, 14 draft beers, bottled beers and wine by the glass, bottle or taste. The “simply savory food menu” includes cheese plates, salami, pepperoni, soups, pasta salads, mixed greens salad, tortilla chips with salsa and cueso, hummus and more.
Water Street Tavern – There’s no cover charge for the tavern’s New Year’s Eve bash that includes free party favors and a free champagne toast at midnight. DJ G will be mixing music videos all night on 20 HDTVs, which will switch to a live simulcast of New York’s Times Square ball drop at midnight. The party runs from 8 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. and is open to ages 21 and over.