Many people see New Year’s Eve as an excuse to throw down, party hard and make up for lost time in 2015. There are champagne toasts and swanky parties and all-inclusive dinners.
If that’s not your style, some bars and restaurants are also keeping things low-key and inviting people to come as they are without any pressure to plan in advance or spend big bucks.
As an added bonus this year, Miller Lite announced it’s sponsoring free metro train and bus rides in DC from midnight through 3 a.m. on January 1. So you’ll have no excuse to take an expensive cab or surge-pricing Uber car.
Here are couple of great options for saying goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016 that don’t require tons of cash or hard-to-get reservations. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list, but there are all quality bars that are sure to host a great night without breaking the bank.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon
2007 18th St. NW
This awesome DC whiskey bar is planning a whole evening of events, starting with a rooftop barbecue party from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets for the cookout are $45 a person, which is a good value considering they include all-you-can eat barbecue and select beers and bourbons.
The rest of the bar will be open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a party with no reservations, cover charge or minimum purchase requirements. There will champagne and cocktail flights as well as a bucket list of 2015’s must-try whiskeys.
3118 Georgia Ave, NW
No tickets are required at this festive bash in Columbia Heights, which will have oysters, beer, cider and barbecue. All you need to do is show up. Baltimore’s Union Craft Brewing is supplying a special beer list and oysters are coming from Virginia’s Rappahannock River Oysters. You can also expect cider from Anxo Cider in DC. The bar will also have karaoke, too, as well as drink specials throughout the evening.
480 King St., Alexandria
Head to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia to celebrate with a New Year’s Eve Swine and Shine. Guests can nosh on featured pork $15 dishes like crispy pig tail tots, bao buns and and pig head tacos. Wash them down with homemade moonshines in flavors that include gingerbread, hot pepper and apple pie. The restaurant recommends reservations, but they’re not required.
This gay-friendly bar is hosting a New Year’s Eve party with no cover and a champagne toast and party favors. Specials include $5 of Bud Light until midnight and $3 Nellie beers and house vodka drinks until 10 p.m.
Fado Irish Pub
808 7th St. NW
The Irish certainly know how to drink, and that alone should make Fado an attractive option for anyone who likes to hit the party hard at the end of the year. Fado is charging a modest $10 cover charge after 9 p.m. and that gets you a DJ and a champagne toast at midnight.
Hopefully one of these options will fit the bill for your partying needs. If not, there’s always the tried-and-true option of staying in and having a few drinks with friends. Whatever you choose, have a safe and happy New Year, and here’s to a great year of eating and drinking around DC in 2016.