by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
It's time to say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012. On any given weekend, Seattle's nightlife scene is jam-packed with parties, live shows, and more. For the Gays, there are three times each year when we allow ourselves to really let go: Pride, Halloween, and New Year's Eve. So, as one could imagine, LGBT-owned and operated businesses have got a full lineup prepared for Saturday night's celebrations. Let's take a look at some of the options:
The Grill on Broadway (314 Broadway E.) management tells Seattle Gay News readers, 'With a million New Year's Eve events and parties in your iCal this year, a fabulous pre-funk event with good friends and great queens is definitely in order.
'The Grill on Broadway isn't your traditional ring-in-the-New-Year, countdown-to-a-champagne-toast type of place, and we didn't want to pretend we were. The Grill is a laid-back neighborhood hotspot where you know you'll bump into a few friends and down a few heavy-pour doubles.'
The Grill's management said they want to give people 'a place to start the biggest night of the year off right. An easygoing but fun event where your NYE group can meet up early, get some light pre-partying fare, dance with some glamorous queens, and be on your way for whatever your New Year's Eve has in store.'
It's the most Mama-licious pre-funk event on The Hill, hosted by the one and only Seattle skyscraper drag queen, Mama Tits! Stop in from 6 to 10:30 p.m. and you'll find NYE-only food and drink specials, prize giveaways, DJ Disco Vinnie laying it down, and of course, Mama Tits and her drag daughter Ursula Major workin' the crowd.
It's a big night, partygoers - kick it off right at The Grill on Broadway.
COCKTAIL LOUNGE COUNTDOWN
For party people looking for a more intimate setting to say 'out with the old and in with the new,' you need look no further than the Lobby Bar (916 E. Pike St.). Riding high off their recent one-year anniversary celebration, the boys at Lobby Bar are throwing a New Year's Eve party they say is perfect for customers who enjoy handcrafted cocktails by some of the friendliest bartenders around.
'Enjoy New Year's and one of our special concoctions while visiting with friends in a relaxed, cosmopolitan setting,' said Curtis Bigelow, co-owner of Lobby Bar.
'The Lobby will be ringing in 2012 with an old-fashioned balloon drop, champagne toast, appetizers, and DJ,' he continued. 'We'll be celebrating a year full of LGBT fundraising, events, and milestones, including our DADT countdown party. We're looking forward to even bigger milestones in the year to come, and plan to do whatever it takes to pass marriage equality in Washington state in 2012!'
If you are feeling extra sexy, you might want to head over to Purr Cocktail Lounge (1518 11th Ave.), where Purr owner Barbie Humphrey invites you to ring in the New Year at what she promises will be 'the best party in town.'
Humphrey and her staff of hot bartenders are promising 'a sexy night with sexy people.'
The Purr Cocktail Lounge countdown will include a cash balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight.
SHOWROOM NEW YEAR'S EVE
If choreographed dancing and champagne is your thing, then you'll want to ring in the New Year at Julia's on Broadway (300 Broadway E.) with Fleurs d'Egypte Dance Company.
'Don your tiaras and bow ties; it's time to celebrate New Year's Eve,' said the folks at Julia's on Broadway. 'Combining two of Seattle's mainstays for the first time, join Fleurs d'Egypte at Julia's on Broadway as they take you on a tour around the world with their international cabaret.'
As one of Seattle's premier international dance companies, Fleurs d'Egypte takes the audience on an alluring voyage that will have everyone shimmying and swaying to an international groove.
'In 60 minutes, you will be transported from your seat to the nightclubs of Egypt, Carnival in Brazil, the Moulin Rouge in Paris, a luau in the South Pacific, and back to the exciting new world of world dance theater,' said Fleurs d'Egypte Dance Co. officials. 'Sit back, sip your champagne, wear your best sparkles and baubles, and enjoy the ride!'
Showtime is 8 p.m. with dinner seating at 7:30. Full dinner menu is available. General admission tickets are $15. VIP tickets are $30 and include a half-bottle of champagne and a table near the stage. Reservations required. Contact Najla at (206) 427-7790.
If ballroom dancing is more your style, you'll find what you're craving at Century Ballroom (915 E. Pine St.). The folks at Century Ballroom have got New Year's Eve down with three rooms of dancing starting at 9:30 p.m.
Salsa dancers will move to the sounds of Tumbao, a six-piece band known for their joyful and energetic performances, and DJ El Travieso De La Salsa in Century Ballroom.
Tango dancers will enjoy DJ Erica Atnip in West Hall, as well as Seattle-based Tangabrazo, a Tango band dedicated to playing music that engages both dancers and listeners.
Dancers of all kinds will enjoy DJ Riz in East Hall. Riz has become a Seattle institution in and of himself. His weekly night at Re-Bar holds the title of the longest-running club night in Seattle history (at least as long as anyone's been counting). Electronic, hip-hop, reggae, drum 'n' bass - you name it, he spins it.
There will be a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, and dancing in all three venues will end at 1:30 a.m.
A STRONG DRINK
Anyone in need of strong drink (and strong men) should head over to C.C. Attle's (1701 E. Olive Way) for that famous C.C.'s pour. The new location looks fabulous, the men are plentiful, and the atmosphere is always welcoming. New Year's Eve is sure to be a blast at C.C. Attle's.
Wildrose (1021 E. Pike St.) has got you ladies covered. Wildrose is Seattle's premier Lesbian bar and is legendary in the local LGBT nightlife scene. There's always something going on at the Rose. New Year's Eve is sure to pop off Wildrose style with music, drinks, and friends.
If you're into sports (or the guys who play them), then Madison Pub (1315 E. Madison St.) is your one-stop bar for all things fun this New Year's Eve. More commonly referred to as Mad Pub, the bar has a strong following, and with its darts, pool, video games, jukebox, pinball, Lotto, and more, it's easy to see why. The drinks are cold, the guys are hot, and New Year's Eve will be no exception. Ring in the new year at your friendly neighborhood Gay sports bar: Madison Pub!
Looking to stay on the fringes of New Year's Eve? Try Pony (1221 E. Madison St.) for Seattle's most popular Gay dive bar that is a tribute to the great West Village and Castro bars of the 1970s. One of the very few stand-alone bars on Capitol Hill, Pony occupies a 1930s-era vintage gas station building that has been transformed into a beloved hangout. Pony New Year's Eve is sure to be a unique experience.
The Elite (1520 E. Olive Way) is always good for a strong drink, hot guys playing pool, and a welcoming attitude from the bar staff. Plus, they've got a great upstairs loft that is perfect for hanging out with friends.
Diesel (1413 14th Ave.) has been fueling Seattle's bear scene for less than a year, but has made quite the splash. This bar is more naughty than nice, and when I tell you that this is where the bears are, I mean it. If you've got a taste for the hairier things in life, then Diesel is your bar for New Year's Eve!
If you're the type who wants to mix your holiday with some leather (and no lace), then the Seattle Eagle (314 E. Pike St.) is calling your name this New Year's Eve. Always dark, always up to no good, this bar is not for the faint of heart. And that is what's so pleasing about Seattle Eagle - it is unapologetically Gay, New Year's Eve and all.
Not everything is popping off on the Hill for New Year's Eve. Changes in Wallingford (2103 N. 45th St.), Seattle's Gay Cheers, has got a wonderful party planned for the holiday. 'Come greet in the New Year at Changes,' invite bar officials. 'Celebrate the end of the year with a unique night you will never forget. Changes in Wallingford will host a Champagne toast at midnight with a stunning performance by the one and only incomparable drag queen Aunt Flo.'
NEW YEAR'S EVE A GO-GO
If you crave the sweet thumpa-thumpa of a dance beat and the glitz and glamour of a drag performance, then Seattle Gay nightlife staples R Place, Re-bar, the Cuff, and Neighbours Seattle have got you covered.
R Place (619 E. Pine St.) manager Floyd Lovelady wants you to 'shave your balls for this. It's the party of the year!'
'Celebrate the New Year at R Place with R Place's resident DJ and Seattle's sexiest go-go boys,' said Lovelady. 'DJ Flow will be spinning the year's best top 40 and R&B hits from all your favorite pop stars, including Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and Rihanna, to rap music's Nicki Minaj and Jay Z.'
R Place is home to the city's hottest go-go boys and, this year, the New Year's Eve party will feature five of them, placed all around the club. At midnight, revelers can enjoy a complimentary champagne toast and cash balloon drop. The party is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and rage on until 2 a.m., and $15 gets you in. Get there early to avoid waiting in line.
The Cuff Seattle (1533 13th Ave.) is throwing a New Year's Eve party - Cuff style. A $10 cover will get you in with dancing all night long, strong drinks, and some kickass DJs. DJ Almond Brown opens the party at 9 p.m. with guest DJ Jerry Griffith headlining the rest of the night.
Re-Bar (1114 Howell St.) will be going strong from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. New Year's Eve with a very special version of their Sunday dance night, Cherry! DJ Mathematix and DJ Amateur Youth will be bringing the sexy beats - you bring the sexy vibe, and BAM! It's New Year's Eve!
Neighbours Seattle's (1509 Broadway) New Year's 2012 party will kick off at 8 p.m. with the party going strong with after-hours dancing until 4 a.m.
'As Neighbours Nightclub celebrates its 30-year anniversary, we are proud to have Seattle's legendary DJ Randy Schalger take our guests on a musical journey into 2012,' said Neighbours Seattle General Manager Steve Tracy. 'Along with Randy, special events hostess Gaysha Starr and six of Neighbours' hottest drag queen entertainers - Bianca, Jada, Kalika, Penelope, Tanya, and drag king Caesar Hart - will lead the countdown with a special medley of 2011's biggest hits!'
Champagne, party favors, and other surprises will be offered through the night.
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