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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ringing in 2021 on New Years Eve? – Only if You Have Enough Cash

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By Ellen Cans

The Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t necessarily mean New Year’s won’t be fun.  You just have to have cash on hand to be part of the fun.

It used to be that people would pack into Times Square to ring in the New Year while watching the giant ball drop.  This year things will be different.  Those lucky enough to have money to spend will have the opportunity to celebrate in style.   People are booking intimate gathers with fancy delicacies in NYC, there are bookings for heated glass houses on the East River, and restaurants are doing their best to lure in high rolling patrons.

As reported by the NY Post, in order to accommodate more guests, restaurant are offering pre-prepped DYI meal kits along with a Zoom link on which patrons can party all night from home.  The virtual meetings will include DJs spinning music, comedy shows or mentalists to watch, and mixology sessions, says Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.  “Restaurants are trying to be as creative and innovative as possible … for the COVID-19 New Year,” Rigie said.  Restaurants have special pickup menus and packages for the evening, as well as caviar-only services which can cost thousands of dollars alone.

The Watermark at Pier 15 downtown is offering 22 glasshouses with a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline.  The spots are already 75 percent booked for New Years, with prices ranging from $500 to $2,000, depending on the size of the table.  The heated glass houses are being booked for two time slots — one from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and another from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., spokeswoman Dianna DelPrete told The Post.  Reservations include a bottle of Moet Champagne, snacks including shrimp, crab spring rolls, boneless wings and guacamole and chips, complete with hats and noise-makers.  Over-sized television screens will display old Christmas movies and there will be a mock ball drop. DelPrete adds that the fun will end by 10, in compliance with coronavirus restrictions.

Most restaurants will be following the pandemic-driven restrictions to close at 10 p.m., and to limit the number of outdoor only seats.  So the pressure will be on for owners as well as diners.  “It’s a dire situation,” said Rigie. “People feel like the ball’s dropping on top of their head.”  On New Year’s, many establishments usually aspire to make up financially for any rough seasons, but this year the chances of that seem difficult at best.


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