Reading Gawker's list of the five types of New Year's Eve parties, I realize I'm a stalwart member of group four: the people who go to bed at 11 p.m.
I'm not against celebrating New Year's. I like the picking/drinking champagne aspect of it, I just don't like dropping what seems to be a $100 minimum to go out. The other possibility -- a house party with strangers -- is just too depressing on New Year's.
This year is different. This year, I rounded up a few places that don't have covers. Granted, it's not many, but if you give them your New Year's business this year, other places will follow and we can put a stop to the "Well, a $75 cover is a lot but they do give me one free champagne toast" line of thinking.
Grinders declares its party to be "KC's biggest ball drop." I don't know about that but I do know there will be food and drink specials all night long. Grinder's isn't saying what these specials are, but with no cover, I'm not complaining.
The party will invariably spill out into Grinder's huge outdoor patio area where smoking -- for better or worse -- is allowed. (Note the party is at Grinder's, not next door at the newly opened Grinder's West.)
In Westport, your best bet is Boozefish Wine Bar. Open from 6 p.m. until 1:30 a.m., Boozefish serves a special menu, various wine flights and its unique wine list, which includes a lot of champagnes and sparklings. For the non-
wino wine drinker, there is a large selection of imported beer, too.
In southern Johnson County, Saint's Pub + Patio, the first and only gastropub of Johnson County, has a DJ named Cynsere. And if you're a female accompanied by at least four other females, you get a free bottle of champagne. -- Owen Morris