2016 is almost over. Most of us are ready to move on. Move very far on. But time marches at the same pace. So it’s not 2021. We need to get through 2017 first. And we might as well celebrate something, anything before moving on to the next year. Here’s our picks for 6 parties, 6 concerts and 6 dinners to ring in 2017. If you’re an older BYT reader/fan/hater/attendee/whatever, you may remember our NYE parties. We don’t do those anymore. Now we have good events in good museums. Our next is Saturday, January 7 at the Hirshhorn. That’s our #1 NYE pick for an event that’s not on NYE. Moving on.
If these 6, 6, 6 options aren’t satisfying, check out our Agenda. There are more options on our Agenda page. If you’re a promoter, feel free to add your event there.
It’s been an evil year. Here are 6 parties, 6 concerts and 6 dinners to welcome 2017. We hope it’s less evil. It’ll probably be much more evil.
If you care more about the setting than the entertainment, here’s your best bet. Get dressed up, look across the Potomac and toast in the new year in a building named after a president.
We recommend this party each year. It’s great for the person that wants a large house party vibe without having to ruin a perfectly nice house. All three levels of the Rock & Roll Hotel are open, there’s an open bar, a photo booth that’s become mandatory for every D.C. party, buffet (If you’re the person that is going to this because of the buffet, please, please, please reach out. I’ve never met anyone that decides on a NYE party or any open bar party due to the buffet), two balloon drops and DJ sets from Basscamp, Lightwaves, Bête Noire and more. This party has sold-out every year since the venue’s inception and it’ll most likely sell-out this year. Tickets are currently $85, $100 day of and a pretty good deal for the indecisive H Street partier.
We’re including this as one pick because if you’re a beer aficionado, you’ll be happy regardless. If you’re staying closer to Logan Circle, head to ChurchKey. If you’re staying near Navy Yard, go to Bluejacket. Both places include an open bar (25 different beers at Bluejacket, 50 at ChurchKey but you can’t try more than 25 beers so they’re equally good to us), both parties are $115 and feature passed bites. We’re in a great beer city. That shouldn’t change in the new year. Welcome it by drinking the best of the best at one of the places that makes D.C. a great beer city.
Drink the District’s party makes the list for the people that care more about cocktails than craft beer. Another reason we like it is its location, The Mead Center for American Theater, better known as the home to Arena Stage. We had our 2015 Capital Pride party at the space. Will this party be as gay and great as ours? No. No NYE party will be that good. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up and have some nice drinks with some strangers.
If you’re on the fence between a fancy dinner and a fancy party celebrating a bygone era, head to Beuchert’s. Their A Very Peaky New Years party is a $140 all inclusive food and drink celebration in 1920s style. Featuring rib roasts, a raw bar and cocktails from Joseph Magnus Distillery.
This is our hotel party pick for NYE. It checks all the boxes for a massive event: black tie (or not), two ballrooms, table service and a stay (if you want a room). You’ll know if this is for you because there’s a highlight video from last year’s NYE. If you like what you see, you’ll like this year’s edition.
Cool bands, cool DJs, cool space theme, and the coolest part: FREE with RSVP. Who doesn’t like that?
If you’re looking for non-douchey options for NYE, check out our Least Douchey Bars in D.C. feature. It’s great for the person looking for low key. FYI, we’re not vouching for every non-douchey bar on NYE. NYE is a trainwreck. Good bars are not exempt.
9:30 tends to have great NYE shows (last year’s St. Paul and the Broken Bones was our top picks for many reasons). This year is no different. And it’s already sold out.
If you’re set on welcoming 2017 on U Street, a few blocks away from 9:30 Club is one of the best NYE deals. Just like last year, U Hall is hosting Nadastrom with a $10 cover. Tickets will be available at the door. Good luck finding a better deal in a real venue.
The Old 97’s are an American treasure. They’re one of the few bands that are releasing relevant rock and roll music more than 20 years after they formed. Their most recent, 2014’s Most Messed Up, was everything great about the band. A little bit rock, a little bit country, most songs about drinking, love, love of drinking, and drinking because you’re no longer in love. Their live shows are a celebration of life. We’ll need more celebrating next year.
Peaches O’Dell & Her Orchestra return for another classy-ish NYE show. The $30 ticket includes entry to the backstage DJ Dredd party too. If you’re more interested in wishing you were ringing in 1937 than 2017, head to Black Cat.
Fools Gold fans should like this one. You know what you’re getting at Little Miss Whiskey’s NYE. The $95 ticket price includes a top shelf open bar and a 23+ age limit. Those two years may keep things better, longer.
If you’re hungry and love wolves and casinos, here you go! The very pretty boys ring in the new year at the very new casino. This ticket is not cheap. Beauty is not cheap.
Tail Up Goat was one of our most anticipated restaurants of 2016. It lived up to the hype. As of this posting, there is one reservation left for their special NYE tasting menu. It’s early, 5 p.m., but that’s not the worst thing on the most annoying night in all of nightlife.
We raved about this Navy Yard restaurant when it opened in the summer. It made a good showing on our 2016 D.C. Food Round-Up too. And unlike most of the restaurants that were raved about in that piece, this one has ample reservations still available.
When recently attended a media dinner at Sally’s Middle Name. We loved it. So did the D.C. dining community. When we asked the pros where they had their favorite dishes of 2016, Sally’s was highlighted the most often. Sally’s Middle Name closes at 9 p.m. on NYE which is great if you want a satisfying dinner and want to avoid H St at midnight.
Iron Gate is an older favorite that consistently has our attention. It’s another beloved restaurant that made multiple appearances in our 2016 Round Up. For the holiday they’re offering two separate tasting dinners. Early diners will enjoy a four course tasting menu. For the later crowd they’ll have a six course tasting menu. Both offer wine pairings and both are by Chef Anthony Chittum. Sure, it’s not cheap but Iron Gate isn’t a cheap place. Why not splurge at the end? Or the beginning?
We’re including this because we had our favorite drinks at Espita Mescalera. They’re saying goodbye to 2016 with a six course tasting menu with an optional $50 drink pairing. Get the drink pairing. Beverage Director and partner Megan Barnes is one of the reasons we love this place. If you’re not too tired/full/drunk/happy/sad to stick around, they have a party at 10 p.m. Tickets are an additional $50 per person and the party will feature an open bar.
Our final pick goes to the José Andrés restaurant that helped put the chef on the map and in our hearts, Jaleo. Andrés tends to be in the news for the good work he does around the world and in the District. This year was a little different. It seems like 2017 will be just as hectic for the chef. The best way to show solidarity is to frequent his businesses. We’re fans. We have been for the last 10 years. We’ll be fans for the next 10. Presidents will come and go but Andrés won’t.