My recommendations for New Year’s Eve downtown

New Year’s Eve is not normally one of my favorite holidays. Congested downtown streets, parking fees and cover charges that have been jacked up to the moon, long lines to get drinks, crowded bars where there’s no room to move around, drunk assholes who yell and scream and start fights and think that’s what “partying” is all about. Normally I won’t go near Beale Street or any of the surrounding “party bars” on New Year’s Eve.

Well, here are two options for people who want to avoid all that mess, who just want to have a laid-back, chilled-out, fun time with their friends and people who love Downtown Memphis.

First of all, I heard that the Majestic Grille was doing something for New Year’s, and I e-mailed Deni, one of the owners, asking for details. Here’s what she sent in response:

New Year’s Eve at the Majestic Grille

Tired of going to restaurants on New Year’s Eve

and paying too much for the same old food?

Then come to the Majestic Grille where we will

be serving our regular menu at regular prices to

our wonderful regulars!

In addition to our menu, Patrick will be

creating some fantastic specials…just in case

you want to spice things up a little.

Champagne will be flowing, spirits will be

high and the Majestic Grille will welcome

In the New Year in our laid back, classy way!

Come as you are and join us for New Year’s Eve.

Make reservations by calling 901-522-8555

Or visit our website at

In her e-mail to me, she agreed that she and Patrick hate to see restaurant owners overcharge for New Year’s. Therefore, they want to provide a casual but classy environment where you can come as you are, grab a burger and head to Beale, OR dress up, order some specials, a bottle or three of champagne and blow it out. They also gave me a hint as to what they’re thinking for one of the specials… Gorgonzola encrusted Ribeye with a port wine reduction.

Here’s a second party option for that evening. Sleep Out Louie’s is having a NYE party with two bands – Bobby Durango, Crash Kole, and Smokin’ Lemon from 6 to 9, and Pam & Terry from 10 to 2.

Sleep Out’s tends to be a friendly locals’ bar, rather than a tourist/party bar, and it’s far enough removed from Beale that they won’t draw a whole lot of rowdy drunks who stumble upon it by accident. And although Sleep Out’s is more laid back, if you’ve read my posts over the past year, you know that we have a whole lot of fun there. I don’t think there’s a cover but I’m not 100% positive – I’ll check with Josh (aka Smokin’ Lemon) on that.

So come on down and check out Sleep Out’s, or the Majestic, or both on New Year’s Eve. Since New Year’s Eve occurs on a Sunday this year, I’ll probably do a very extended Sunday brunch at SOL, and then wander over to the Majestic at some point during the evening. First New Year’s Eve in several years that I’m looking forward to… should be a good time.