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December 30, 2010

New Year's Eve 2010: Eleven last-minute parties, including Bourbon Street, The Paradox, Golden West Cafe

PX00175_9.JPGThe Man knows you’re going to drink yourself into a stupor on New Year’s Eve.

Why wouldn’t you?

December 31 is the year's biggest get out of jail free card. The one day of the year when you can drink yourself numb and you won't have to answer for your actions the next day. And why? Because by the time you regain consciousness, it’ll all be in the past.

By Jan. 1, it’ll be a new you, the 2011 you: more responsible, more in shape, optimistic, armed with resolutions to face a new year that, as always, you’re certain will be better than the last. Last night's debauchery? That was the old you.

And because local government knows all this, it has taken a few steps to make sure you party as safely as possible. Just consider the Maryland Transit Administration partnership with MillerCoors to offer free bus, metro, subway and light rail services from 8 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday. 

In addition, the MTA also partnered with Yellow Cab and AAA Mid-Atlantic to comp cab rides under $50 from any city bar to residents’ homes, a service that may not work perfectly, or even very well, but that's just another alternative to the surplus of transportation options available to residents Friday.

Even state legislators want you to have a good time. About 70 years ago, they approved Article 2B of the Annotated Code of Maryland, a law allows only cbars in the city to keep their doors open until 2 a.m. Jan. 2, said Stephan Fogleman, chairman of the city’s Board of Liquor License Commissioners.

And still, all these things have had the desired effect of tempering celebrations, so that residents have fun, but don't go overboard. Fogleman says New Year’s Eve is one of the quietest times of the year in terms of complaints. Maybe this is why Baltimore is 37th among the country's drunkest cities.

With so many bars staying open past 2 a.m., there will be no shortage of options to properly say good riddance to 2010. Here are just 11 of them:

11. The 13th Floor at the Belvedere, 1 E. Chase St.: The annual Top of the World party at the World Trade Center is 100 bucks. For half that, and almost as good a view, there’s this. Admission also buys you a dinner buffet and a champagne toast. Maryland-based band Slagz will perform. Doors open at 9 p.m. and close at 2 a.m. For tickets, call 410-332-1000.

10. Bourbon Street, 316 Guilford Ave.: Organizers are calling this party a carnival; that's because in addition to performances by bands Ballyhoo! and Bandfish, it will feature “stilt walkers, fire breathers, jugglers, go-go dancers and a ringmaster.” And, they boast, it will also have Baltimore’s biggest balloon drop. $20 admission.

9. Washington: In D.C., bars are allowed to stay open only one flimsy extra hour past last call. Pity. Still, if you’re going in that direction, check out the Walkmen at the Westin Hotel, 1400 M. St N.W. Tickets start at $99. Cheaper is U Street Music Hall’s party, where kings of moombahton Nadastrom will spin. Tickets are $10. Doors open at 9 p.m.; the club is at 1115 U Street N.W.

8. Howard County: At Second Chance Saloon, 5888 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia, the Maryland-based, six-member, all-female group Wicked Jezabel, will perform. Tickets are $30, and include a champagne toast. Nottingham’s Tavern, at 8850 Stanford Blvd, and Sonoma’s Bar & Grille, at 7284 Cradlerock Way, will also have parties with live music.

7. Sheraton Baltimore City Center: Thrown inside the Sheraton’s ballroom complex at 101 W. Fayette St., this party features eight themed rooms and music by bands the Reagan Years, the Betty Ford Dropouts, Hyjinx and a finalist from TV show “America’s Got Talent.” Doors open at 9 p.m, close at 3 a.m. Tickets, which start at $99 and include drinks, are sold at

6. Golden West Cafe, 1105 W. 36th St.: The Hampden cafe describes its party this way: “Chicks, dudes, dancing, tequila, pinball, beach balls, late night, no rules.” This no-rules bit should be the whole night’s motto, in fact. In addition to the beach balls, The Matrimonials, the Baltimore four-piece rock band, will perform. Doors open at 10 p.m. There is no cover.

5. Gay-friendly parties: At the Hippo, 1 W. Eager St., vocalist Zna. Queen will perform and DJ Aisle K of the Get Down’s gay party Peer Pressure, will spin. Cover is $10 all night long. At Grand Central, 1001 N. Charles St. it’s $15. Both should close about 4 a.m. South Baltimore’s gay-friendly Rowan Tree, 1633 S. Charles St., is open all night long.

4. The Paradox, 1310 Russell St.: While city bars are rejoicing over being able to stay open past 2 a.m., that’s already commonplace at the Dox, which stays open until dawn most weekends. On New Year’s, one promoter said, "We going till the sun comes up." Doors open at 9 p.m. Cover is $15 before midnight.

3. Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place: All Power Plant Live venues will be open past 2 a.m. But only at Rams Head will Baltimore rock ‘n’ rollers J. Roddy Walston and the Business and goofy rapper Mickey Free perform. Tickets are $20.

2. The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St.: The Charles Village bar has a little bit for everyone: Upstairs, DJ James Nasty of the Moustache party will be spinning until at least 2 a.m. And it’s free. Downstairs, the bar’s owner Craig Boarman plans on playing his signature Lady Gaga-Madonna-Prince mash-ups until Simon Phoenix and Cullen Stalin of the TaxLo party take over at midnight. Admission is free after 1 a.m.

1. New Year’s Eve Spectacular: At the Inner Harbor, the annual party kicks off at 9 p.m. with the Motorettes performing at the amphitheater. Expects mobs; admissions is free. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will be on hand for what the city is calling the largest fireworks display in the region, which starts at the stroke of midnight. More information at : 1-877-BALTIMORE or

 The list of bars that are open past 2 a.m. is here, and is still growing (More names to be added today and tomorrow throughout the day).

Other New Year's Eve events are on FindLocal's guide.

Photo: Fireworks at the Inner Harbor, 2009 (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 12:03 PM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Live!, Local music, New Year's Eve 2010


"December 31 is the year's biggest get out of jail free card."********

Disclaimer: Don't actually go to jail.

**DISCLAIMER** - If you get drunk, and you drive, you will go to Jail, and you will not get out free. Please people stay off the friggin roads if you drunk!

This is an Erik Maza specialty!
steaming (pile of) traffic-bait

Other places with open bar I've heard about:
Little Havana - $90
Langermanns - $75
Hollywood Burger Bistro: $50
Big Night Baltimore - $130
Mother's Downtown Countdown - $119

Erik, you're a real jerk. Your column reads as though you are endorsing people to get drunk NYE - "why wouldn't you?"

First only responsible, self-controlled people DON'T get drink. They celebrate but with self-control.

Second, those same responsible people know they have to get home too by driving.

Erik, if you had any common sense, your column should endorse partiers to behave responsibly and with self-control. Since you lack any type of common sense, allow me to endorse partiers to ring in 2011 with self-control so not to ruin the night for themselves but not ruin it for your fellow partiers too.

Please don't drink and attempt to drive. If you do, happy new year in jail.

Arrive Alive in 2011.


Mark, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Stop reading into things. It's a blog about where to go on NYE. Moron!

Come celebrate New Year's and support a great cause too at Alexander's Tavern in Fells point.

$100 ticket from 9am-1pm includes:
-All you can drink Top Shelf!
-Gourmet buffet
-DJ dance floor downstairs
-Access to the upstaris bar.

Please visit for details!! or email


Come celebrate New Year's at Don't Know Tavern in South Baltimore.

$60 ticket from 9am-1pm includes:
-All you can drink Top Shelf!
-Gourmet buffet

Please email or call 410-539-0231 for details.


Mark: you are reading a blog that depicts a glass of beer in the logo, what exactly did you expect? I don't go onto cat lovers forums and post about how much I hate cats. You're the jerk, jerk.

@anon;), Billy Madison speaks to the masses again!

And yeah, Mark, stop acting like you represent the collective integrity of Baltimore. The whole point of this is that it's possible to indulge AND be responsible. You act like those are mutually exclusive endeavors. Stick to your shirley temples and don't pretend to account for the rest of us. And have a happy new year... far away from the rest of us.

9 am to 1 pm? Odd New Years Celebration at Don't Know in South Baltimore

@Anonymous-it's a private party til 1pm then it opens back up to the public at 1am til 4or 5am.

Same deal with No Idea, then No Idea stays open all night and all morning long.

til 1am, sorry! happy new year's everone!

@DaveF couldn't have said it better: It is possible to indulge and be responsible. Don't drink and drive, take public transportation, get designated drivers, get a taxi, etc. Michael Dresser even has a helpful blood alcohol level calculator over at Getting There.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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