There are many ways to ring in the New Year. Maybe not normally in Moab, but the quieter central scene is part of the appeal for residents. This year it looks as though Moab locals have the best of both worlds – both intimacy and options.
98 Center, World Famous Woody’s Tavern, The Blu Pig, Club Rio, and last but not least, the Sunset Grill, have all cooked up something special for New Year’s Eve.
The up-and-coming 98 Center will begin celebrating on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 11 a.m., serving New Year’s Eve brunch until 3 p.m. The breakfast menu includes gluten-free waffles, and locally crafted Bloody Marys and artisan mimosas. After 3 p.m., its new menu, “Apres Venture,” kicks off, followed by “extra-fancy winter cocktails” and a New Year’s Eve dinner special.
“We’re not doing anything too late because we know everyone is going to Stonefed later,” says 98 Center co-owner Alex Borichevsky. “So we’re doing a pre-party dinner and we’d love to see everyone dressed up.”
Stonefed, the local jam band, is carrying on the tradition and ringing in the New Year at Woody’s Tavern at 221 S. Main St.
While Stonefed frequently plays Woody’s Tavern throughout the year, locals know that on New Year’s Eve, they’re in for a treat. In previous years, showgoers have been surprised with tributes to Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Blues Brothers, Queen, AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Talking Heads, the Doors and more.
“They practice all year to get something new that people haven’t heard before,” says Woody’s Tavern owner Shari Beck. “That’s what makes it kind of fun – who are they going to be this year?”
Music starts at 9 p.m. and there is a $4 cover. Champagne will be available for purchase.
Club Rio will be celebrating the New Year safely with free shuttles to and from its establishment at 2 S. 100 West, where local DJ Manny will be playing versatile dance music. There will be a cover charge and champagne available for purchase. The shuttle can be reached at 435-259-7062 or 435-259-2654.
The Blu Pig at 811 S. Main St. is offering a New Year’s dinner special for two at $49.95, and local duo Alan and Valerie Brown will be playing folk, country and rock classics from 7 to 10 p.m.
If the bar scene is not for some, another dance floor has opened up this year, and it’s classy.
Sunset Grill owner John Clayton has spent 23 years ringing in the New Year with his wife Laurie at the historic restaurant atop the hill over Moab.
“We go out on the patio and watch everyone celebrate the New Year in their own way,” says Clayton.
This year, they have decided to share their special experience and are going all out.
Clayton says they want to bring a little piece of New York to Moab, and it’s taking form as a five-foot New Year’s Eve ball, lit with over 1,000 lights. The ball will drop for all to see during the final countdown to 2017. Giant numbers will announce the New Year from the rooftop.
Festivities will begin after normal dinner hours, with the last reservation for dinner at 9 p.m. For $15 – all of which will go to charity – guests can enjoy an appetizer bar, a photo booth, party favors, a live Facebook feed via drone helicopter, a dance floor tuned to Frank Sinatra, and a 12-foot outdoor movie screen, featuring a traditional New Year’s film at 10 p.m. and The New York Times’ ball drop at 11:30 p.m.
Dress is casual, but Clayton says he hopes the party serves as the right occasion to bring out that special evening gown.
The Sunset Grill is located at 900 N. Main St. A free shuttle will be provided and can be reached at 435-259-7777.
Zax, the Moab Brewery and Eddie McStiff’s will be closed on New Year’s Eve.
Old and new ways to celebrate the New Year in Moab
We go out on the patio and watch everyone celebrate the New Year in their own way.
What: New Year’s Eve celebrations
When: Saturday, Dec. 31; times vary
Where: 98 Center, World Famous Woody’s Tavern, The Blu Pig, Club Rio and the Sunset Grill