Food & Drink

Your Complete Guide to Celebrating New Year's Eve in Louisville

Published On 12/28/2016 Published On 12/28/2016
Louis's "The Ton"

Louis’s the Ton

Butchertown

Cover: Free
Otis Junior is reason enough to be at Louis’s the Ton for New Year’s Eve. Their NYE celebration doubles as a Second Anniversary party. There’ll be an entire champagne cocktail menu. In addition to Otis Junior, Dead Room Cult, and Ryan Marsh with special guests, Bonez, will also be performing.

Big Bar

The Highlands

Cover: Free
Big Bar “No Cover New Year’s Bash” will feature sounds by DJ Persh, party favors, and a live feed of Times Square. Buy your champs by the glass with $8 Mumm Napa Splits or by the bottle with $45 bottles of Pierre-Joulet.

Galaxie

Galaxie Bar

NuLu

Cover: Free
The same crew behind those Bonnaroo Silent Discos is bringing the party to Galaxie Bar on New Year’s Eve. This event is sponsored by Red Bull, Campari, and Wild Turkey, so you know the cocktails are about to be on point.

Teddy Bear’s Bar

Old Louisville

Cover: Free
Balloon drop, champagne toast, and no cover – what more could you ask for?

Holy Grale

The Holy Grale

The Highlands

Cover: Free
Pray in the New Year over a mug of brew at the Holy Grale. Just one catch -- they’ll be operating on Belgian time. Official toast to happen at 6 p.m., open until 8 p.m. with a special Belgian beer bottle menu and Belgische Feast dinner.

Monnik Beer Co.

Schnitzelburg

Cover: Free
Monnik beer is debuting their first bottle release. Their old ale has been aging for over a year and it’s ready to come out and party. There’ll only be 150 bottles of this beer on the wall, so get there early to take one down at 5 p.m. One bottle per customer. DJ slick goes on at 10pm.

Mag Bar

Mag Bar

Old Louisville

Cover: Free
Wild West heavy metal band, Stagecoach Inferno, will be leading the stampede into 2017 at Mag Bar. Also on the lineup: Dick Titty Blood Punch, Boner City, and Blind Scryer.

Chill BAR

The Highlands

Cover: Free
Why wait until after dark to start partying? Chill BAR is opening their doors at 2:00pm. and partying right on up to 4am. Free party favors and complimentary champagne toast at midnight. The jams by VJ AJ McKay will only stop for the live stream of the Times Square ball drop, followed by a light show and confetti cannons. CONFETTI CANNONS!

Lou Year’s Eve

Downtown

Cover: $8 in advance, $10 at the door, $5 for children 6-12, free for children 5 and under
This is the first ever New Year’s Eve party by the city. The schedule of events runs all day and goes from family-friendly to grown folks business depending on the venue. You can expect food trucks, events at the museums, a parade, and artists and entertainers working the crowd.

Haymarket Whiskey Bar

Haymarket Whiskey Bar

Downtown

Cover: $10
Haymarket Whiskey Bar is going to cram in ALL of the music for New Year’s Eve. DJs Sam Sneed and DJA, plus live music from Discount Gums, Domdi, and Bonez. Magnolia Photo Booth Company will be onsite for all your end-of-year photo keepsakes. Sponsored by Four Roses and Rhinegeist.

Kaiju

Germantown

Cover: $10
Kaiju always has something interesting going on. Their New Year’s Eve celebration is going to give you a taste of Japan with eats from the El Lobo Bailando food truck out front. Local legend, Vern will host an evening of live performances by Black Birds of Paradise and Pleasure Boys, plus music from State Champion and Doctor Girlfriend. ATOMO and friends will takeover for the late-night dance party. And, you guessed it, champagne toast at midnight.

Diamond Pub and Billiards

Diamond Pub and Billiards

St. Matthews

Cover: $10
Diamond’s is going to have a lot going on, live music -- Shane Dawson Band and Wicked Sensation -- free pool, $3 Jack Daniels shots, champagne toast, and a buffet from 8pm to 11pm. It’s easy to eat $10 worth of food and make back the cost of your admission ticket.

Diamond Pub Concert Hall

Neon Night NYE Glow Party at Diamond Pub Concert Hall

Phoenix Hill

Cover: $10 - $30
Billing itself as the “#1 NYE Party in Louisville 2 Years Strong,” the Neon Night NYE Glow Party is in its third year. You’ll get all the NYE must-haves -- the balloon drop, the champagne toast, and the drink specials – along with a light show, ping pong tables, and pool tables. VIP tickets are $30 for a bottle service, a lounge area with a view, and personal security.

Play Dance Bar

Butchertown

Cover: $20
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8 contestant, Kim Chi, is blowing in from the Windy City to strut her stuff on stage with the Play Mates at Play Dance Bar. Plus, DJ SleepyT is going to keep you up all-night long on the dance floor.

8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen

8UP Elevated Drinkery and Kitchen

Downtown

Cover: $20
Cover gets you a drink ticket and a Chandon (read: champagne) toast at midnight beneath a cascade of balloons (read: balloon drop). DJs Alex Bell and Sam Sneed, plus a special men by Chef Jacob Coronado. Admission waived for diners and hotel guests. RSVP at 502.631.4180.

Dream Team & Big Don MJ Ent. Present “The Black Experience”

Fern Valley

Popular party crews Dream Team and Big Don MJ Ent. are pairing up to take over the Fern Valley Hotel and Conference Center. Three rooms, so whatever you want to get down to, they’ll have it from that new-new to old school to reggae and soca. B96.5’s Tropikana will also be in attendance.

Headliners Music Hall

Tiki Surf Party at Headliner’s Music Hall

Lexington Road

Cover: $20 in advance, $25 at the door
91.9 WFPK is throwing a Tiki Surf Party for New Year’s Eve at Headliner’s Music Hall. A selection of their DJs will take turns on the turntables throughout the night. Jaxon Lee Swain and surf rock band, Inertia, are going to get down live. Limbo contest and balloon drop.

Lola

Lola

Butchertown

Cover: $25 + tax  & gratuity
DJ PYRAMYDZ -- Craig Pfunder of VHS OR BETA -- will be moving the crowd at Lola, Butchertown Grocery’s upstairs bar. Regular menu available until the champagne toast at midnight. Watch the countdown on a larger projector with a cocktail from the cash bar in hand. Party starts at 6 p.m. RSVP at 502-749-6323.

DC Enterprise Black & White Party at the Hyatt Regency

Downtown

Cover: $40 - $60
Aimed at the 30 and over crowd, DC Enterprise will have live music by Carri McMullan and the UnXpected in one room and DJs in the other. Complimentary coat check and party favors. Midnight breakfast buffet for VIP ticket holders. And you already know, it’s dress to impress. Leave the sneakers at home.

DJ Empty Beats

DJ Empty Beats at the Galt House Hotel

Downtown

Cover: $55
The ever popular DJ Empty Beats is ushering in the New Year at the Magic 101.3 Blackout Affair. Bring cash for the bar. Appetizer “buffet,” party favors, and champagne toast at midnight included.

Passalino’s

Downtown

Cover: $55 - $900
Passalino’s might make you LOL at their $900 VIP table price, but the $55 early bird tickets and $75 night of tickets are far more reasonable. Open bar all-night, apps, and champs. DJ Ace will be followed by DJ Q.

21c Museum Hotel

Museum Row

Cover: $59
Mitcher’s Whiskeys and Against the Grain are offering up the libations at 21c Museum Hotel’s New Year’s Eve bash. Your cover gets you two dranks and a party favor. DJ Matt Coxx will share entertainment duty with live performers.

Proof on Main

Proof on Main

Museum Row

Cover: $65 - $78 per person
Executive Chef, Mike Wajda, is preparing a celebratory feast for New Year’s Eve at Proof on Main, a “four-course table d’hote menu featuring savory holiday specials.” Dine at Proof, party in the Atrium at 21c Museum Hotel, stay the night in a suite, and partake in their “Hangover Brunch” the next day. That’s how you bring in 2017 properly.

The Manhattan Project

Clifton

Cover: $65 - $85 + tax & gratuity
The Manhattan Project is partnering with Baxter’s to curate your entire New Year’s Eve night. Start with a four-course dinner and cocktail pairings, then hop the provided transportation to party down at Baxter’s with Cover Me Badd and DJ Stubbs (get just dinner for $65 and just the party for $15).

Courtesy of LouVino

LouVino

The Highlands & Douglass Hills

Cover: $70 + tax & gratuity, additional $30 for wine pairings
Executive Chef Tavis Rockwell will be serving up the best of season for LouVino’s New Year’s Eve four-course dinner. And of course, the wine pairings will be well-worth the bump in price. Reservations are a must.

The English Grill at The Brown Hotel

Downtown

Cover: $75 for three course, $125 for five course, plus tax & gratuity; alcohol not included
Get fancy with chef de cuisine, Andrew Welenken, at the English Grill. Choose from an earlier three-course dinner seating at 5:30pm or the later five-course dinner seating at 8:30pm. Call 502-583-1234 to RSVP.

Tony and the Tan Lines at The Mellwood Arts Center

Clifton

Cover: $80
Tony and the Tan Lines are always a good time. Dance away 2016 with them and DJ K-Dogg at the Mellwood Arts Center. Your admission ticket gets you cocktails, late night bites, and the obligatory champagne toast.

Decca

Decca

NuLu

Cover: $85 + tax & gratuity
Decca Executive Chef and Top Chef contestant, Annie Pettry and her team are giving 2016 a three-course send off – champagne toast included. Optional wine pairings – extra. RSVP in advance to save your seat at the table. Call: 502.749.8128.

Butchertown Grocery

Butchertown Grocery

Butchertown

Cover: $85 + tax & gratuity
Your favorite chef’s favorite chef, Chef Bobby Benjamin, is doing a four-course prix fixe menu for New Year’s eve at Butchertown Grocery from 9pm until 10pm. You’ll also get access to the party upstairs at Lola for the price of dinner. Wine pairings will run you an extra $40. Reserve your spot by calling 502.749.6323.

Bristol Bar & Grille

Downtown

Cover: $95 + tax & gratuity
Still haven’t gotten a taste of that good old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon? The Bristol’s four-course New Orleans style four-course dinner with Pappy Van Winkle flight could be your last chance. You’ll get one pour from Pappy Van Winkle’s 12,15, 20, and 23-year batch. The Bristol will also be hosting several events in conjunction with city’s Lou Year’s Eve celebration. Check the schedule for more details.

Radiotronic | Levee at the River House

Levee at the River House

River Road

Cover: $125 + tax & gratuity
Go all in at the Levee with All-You-Can-Drink well, wine, and domestic beers and an All-You-Can-Eat best of River House buffet. Entertainment provided by the band Radiotronic.

Neon NYE Party at the Galt House Hotel

Downtown

Cover: $125 - $200
Fight the forward movement of time and bring in 2017 by taking a trip back to the 80s. Music by 80s tribute band, Bueller (Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…) and DJ Havok. There’ll a themed buffet, champagne toast, balloon drop, and party favors. Admission does not cover drinks, so bring cash for the bar. Or spend $200 for 4 drink tickets, brunch the next day, and valet parking. Or spend $10 and attend the NYE Neon Night Party at Diamond Pub Concert Hall.

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1. Louis's "The Ton" 1601 Story Ave, Louisville, KY 40206 (Clifton)

Louis’s The Ton is Butchertown’s self-proclaimed public house located in the space once occupied by The Point. Their beer list -- nearly 150 selections -- covers local, craft, domestic, and imported. Their cocktail list reflects the modern culture of craft beverages. And they provide entertainment through the arts: live music, art exhibitions, and local film screenings. The Ton is a place for high-quality beverage, to be enjoyed alongside their high-quality entertainment, without a cover.

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2. Big Bar 1202 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 (Highlands)

Here for all of your happy hour needs, Big Bar offers deals every night of the week from 4 to 8pm. The small neighborhood bar in the Highlands also features Margarita Mondays, followed by all day happy hour on Tuesdays, karaoke Wednesdays, “Basic Bitch” Thursdays, and Sunday Best for cheap brunch cocktails (and by brunch, we mean mimosas and Bloody Marys from 2pm to 8pm). The bar is small, but its spirit is big, welcoming nightclub-sized crowds into the upbeat corner space on Bardstown.

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3. galaxie 732 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Nulu)

This interplanetary themed cocktail bar in NuLu is known for their herbaceous cocktails and "wakataka" flatbread tacos. Also worth checking out are Galaxie's signature spicy margaritas; garnished with Lunazul tequila, citrus and pepper flakes, they're a great bright and refreshing summer time drink. A small plates menu of Mexican street food options accents the hip space and neon decor.

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4. Holy Grale 1034 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 (Highlands)

This converted century-old church now works full-service as an artisanal pub specializing in beer and food pairings. The space is equal parts ingenious adaptation and gorgeous design and the menu is always changing, as are the beers. Be sure not to miss the choir loft and the beer garden, and if the Scotch quail eggs are on the menu, order them immediately.

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5. Magnolia Bar & Grill 1398 S 2nd St, Louisville, KY 40208

Located within historic Old Louisville, Magnolia Bar and Grill is a dimly lit dive with pool tables, a pinball machine, and a punk-heavy jukebox. The walls are dotted with old-fashioned beer signs, and an old fan provides some relief when the crowds get big. Friendly bartenders make already cheap pints and pours even better, but stop by the ATM beforehand as Magnolia is cash-only.

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6. Monnik Beer Co. 1036 E Burnett Ave, Louisville, KY 40217

This Schnitzelburg craft brewery and restaurants hosts local craft beers and affordably priced hipster pub grub. Beer is the star here, including libations you can sample in 5oz pours and a few creative beer cocktails, which elevate your basic brew with rye, apple brandy and other spirits. A solid food menu pairs well for the hoppy appetite you'll surely work up, and satisfies with an on-point classic burger and the eclectic War Fries dish, a pile of house-cut fries paired with Dutch mayo, peanut sauce, and chopped onions.

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7. Teddybear's Bar And Grill 1148 Garvin Pl, Louisville, KY 40203 (Old Louisville)

This Louisville gay bar is a total hole in the wall, and we mean that in the best possible way. Load up on cheap drinks and hobnob with a rowdy crowd while you get your dance on to 80s' club bangers.

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8. Chill BAR Highlands 1117 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 (Highlands)

It's difficult to make your way down Bardstown Road without stopping into Chill Bar, an always-friendly (and -- you guessed it -- chill) Highlands gay bar with smiling crowds spilling onto its popular outdoor patio, an area that makes you feel as if you're sipping cocktails on a friend's front porch. Inside, guests can be found chatting with the welcoming bartenders, dancing and singing karaoke in later hours, and drinking strong classics (Old Fashioned, Rob Roy, gin martini) that are nearly always on special thanks to plentiful happy hour deals.

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9. Haymarket Whiskey Bar 331 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Downtown)

Haymarket Whiskey Bar has more than 100 bourbons and almost 200 whiskeys, as well as live music four-plus nights a week. If the extensive liquor selection isn't enticing enough, visit for the décor alone: '80s memorabilia, Star Wars posters, old pinball machines, and a gorgeous green glass bar.

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10. Kaiju 1004 E. Oak St, Louisville, KY 40204 (Germantown)

This Germantown "dive" bar is actually relatively cleaned up, and the Japanimation-themed art demonstrates how much fun the staff has, and how confident they are with doing things their way. Dirty rock shows in the back add to the charm.

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11. Diamonds Pub & Billiards 630 Barret Ave, Louisville, KY 40204

Come here are you can enjoy a beer, the game, and a sea of billiard tables.

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12. Play 1101 E Washington St, Louisville, KY 40206 (Butchertown)

This Butchertown drag club features multiple bars, a performance stage, a massive dance floor, and an outdoor area to sip cocktails. DJ sets here are packed with sexy, energetic house with soulful vocals and layered beats, and though Play’s cocktails are standard for a nightclub, they’re all you’ll need for a killer night out with friends or your SO. Plenty of space means you won’t feel cramped, whether you’re there for a show or to dance your troubles away.

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13. 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen 350 West Chestnut St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Downtown)

Whether you’re looking for breakfast, for a sleek dining experience, or craft cocktails at an open-air rooftop bar, 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen has got you covered. Located on the 8th floor of the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, the rooftop restaurant and bar provides hotel guests and Louisville residents alike with progressive American fare, craft cocktails, and some seriously stunning views of the surrounding area. And with a bar program concentrated mainly on bourbon (the list is extensive) and bourbon-based cocktails, 8UP is a solid stop for elevated (literally) New American cuisine and quality drink.

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14. Lola @ Butchertown Grocery 1076 E Washington St, Louisville, KY 40206 (Butchertown)

Lola, situated in Butchertown Grocery’s upstairs bar, is a clandestine watering hole dimly lit by candles and dotted with plush velvet couches and booths that rest against red fabric-lined walls. Lola’s food ethos is “what we crave while drinking,” meaning you’ll be offered such comforting bites as spinach artichoke dip with house-made chips, portobello fries with wasabi sambal aioli, and even beignets for pastry-lovers. Cocktails here sport an air of amusement and irreverence, like the Bit of Tongue, mixed with Aperol, grapefruit shrub, sparkling wine, copper, and absinthe, and The Sun Smells Too Loud, with Watershed Bourbon Barrel Gin, Aperol, lemon, Crème de Mûre, and sparkling wine.

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15. Proof on Main 702 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202 (Downtown)

Located in The 21c Museum Hotel Louisville, a boutique hotel and art museum, Proof on Main serves up gourmet meals from Chef Levon Wallace, including a unique and scrumptious burger made out of bison and topped with a Jezebel sauce that gives it a fruity, earthy flavor, plus Tillamook cheddar and applewood-smoked bacon. You'll want to throw in a side of the crispy cauliflower, and top it all off with the s'mores dessert. This trendy spot houses the Proof Bar, too, which offers an enormous bourbon list (we're talking upwards of 50 varieties).

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16. The Manhattan Project 2101 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206 (Clifton)

Instead of constructing atomic bombs, this upscale sports bar specializes in crafting Manhattan cocktails, offering an impressive selection of bourbon inside an Americana space in Clifton. As you gaze up at the big game on flat-screens beside an exposed-brick wall painted with a sweeping American flag mural, you can pair your Manhattan with inventive twists on classic comfort foods, like a grilled cheese with pork belly, Brie, and apple-onion marmalade, or at brunch, fried chicken & waffle tacos (yes, you read that right).

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17. Louvino 1606 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205 (Highlands)

As the name would suggest, this chic Highlands restaurant is wine-focused, offering a variety of global wine flights, each named for a famous Louisvillian (from Muhammad Ali to Jennifer Lawrence), alongside a small-plates menu that continues the Kentucky theme with smoked Gouda hot-brown mac & cheese and fried-chicken tacos served with garlic mash, cheddar, and pepper gravy. Not to mention, there's a killer brunch with live jazz and shareable dishes like pancake tacos and stuffed French toast.

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18. English Grill 335 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202 (Downtown)

You're coming to this revered Southern restaurant in the elegant Brown Hotel for Louisville’s iconic dish, the Hot Brown, considering this gloriously cheesy turkey-bacon-Mornay sandwich was born here way back in 1926. It was then that Fred K. Schmidt created the Hot Brown as a midnight snack for hotel patrons, and it's still beloved by diners at the English Grill today, who make reservations at this lavish setting to taste the Louisville tradition, as well as refined plates like grilled wild boar chop and slow-roasted wild salmon.

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19. Decca 812 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206 (Nulu)

Situated in a historic NuLu building from the 1870s, Decca offers a gorgeous setup. Two stylish dining rooms serve refined seafood plates, an outdoor patio acts as a relaxing oasis from East Market, and a brick-and-limestone cellar is home to craft cocktails and live music. Our recommendation? Come for a dinner of pan-fried shrimp or crispy rainbow trout (and the cast-iron apple cake for dessert) before dancing the night away in the basement hideaway with a Waysider (bourbon, mint, lime, ginger beer) and live jazz. If you're here on Friday or Saturday, be prepared for house DJs instead.

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20. Butchertown Grocery 1076 E Washington St, Louisville, KY 40206 (Butchertown)

This industrial-chic and proudly Kentuckian spot backed by the unlikely pairing of a local Louisville lawyer and My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan serves American fare with down-home charm. Come in for stylish takes on American classics, like the country pate and bourbon-spiked fries, or the oysters with bourbon mignonette. When you're finished eating, head to the secret late-night bar and performance venue upstairs, Lola, where acts hand-picked by Mr. Hallahan himself keep the party going into the wee hours of the night.

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21. Bristol Bar and Grille 1321 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204 (Highlands)

For decades, this friendly Louisville staple has been feeding the Highlands with a buffet-style brunch featuring Southern classics like chicken & waffles and cheesy grits, as well as its famous green chile wontons at lunch and dinner: fried wonton skins filled with cheese and chiles, and topped with house-made guacamole. Other favorites at this casual sit-down include Bristol's hot brown, blackened chicken linguine, and the simple yet perfected burger on a toasted English muffin -- all of which you can and should pair with its global wine flights.

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22. Levee at the River House 3015 River Rd, Louisville, KY 40207

An undertaking by chef John Varanese, Levee at the River House is a bar, music venue, and small bites restaurant attached to River House Restaurant and Raw Bar (another Varanese venture). The view on the patio is simply breathtaking, so grab a spot outside to enjoy your frozen craft cocktails alongside eats like sliders, tacos and flatbreads.