The Wood Fire, located on Front Street downtown, will be hosting its annual New Year’s Eve party Tuesday night. Unlike most parties, the Wood Fire will have 4 different toasts, as the New Year starts in cities around the globe. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)
The Wood Fire, located on Front Street downtown, will be hosting its annual New Year’s Eve party Tuesday night. Unlike most parties, the Wood Fire will have 4 different toasts, as the New Year starts in cities around the globe. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Archived Story

Welcoming the New Year downtown

Published 5:13pm Monday, December 30, 2013

Dowagiac residents who remain undecided on where to usher in the arrival of 2014 have a multitude of local options, right downtown.

A number of local restaurants, including Foodies Fresh Cafe, the Wounded Minnow Saloon and the Wood Fire will be holding New Year’s Eve parties Tuesday night, offering a variety of different activities for visitors until the ball drops at midnight.

For the first time, Foodies will host a New Year’s Eve celebration. The restaurant, which is normally open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will open its doors to customers at 8 p.m. Tuesday night for an evening of celebration, which will include dancing and karaoke.

One of the things that sets this party apart from others is the fact that no alcohol will be served, meaning that customers under the age of 21 can participate as well.

“I’ve spread the word to customers about the party and lot of them said they thought it was a good idea,” said Jacklyn Blatson, the eatery’s floor manager. “We want to provide a safe, family-friendly environment for customers looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve.”

In addition to being an event that children and teens can participate in, a non-alcoholic party also provides an environment for adults who cannot or dislike drinking as well.

“There’s no other parties like this around here,” Blatson said. “The closest one like this is in Kalamazoo, and that’s kind of a long drive to make for a New Year’s Eve party.”

Admission to the party is $5, which will be charged at the door. The party will run from 8 p.m. until midnight.

The Wounded Minnow Saloon is also mixing things up this year with their annual New Year’s Eve party. This year, the establishment will charge $15 at the door for admission into their celebration, which will begin at 8:30 p.m.

“We’re doing something different for this year, because New Years could be a wasteful time and people don’t want to pay for waste,” owner Kyle Belew said.

This year, live entertainment will be provided by DJ Crafty, who starts his set at 9 p.m. In addition, attendees will get the opportunity to purchase “mystery beer” from the bar. For $2, people can select an unmarked bottle of craft brew, with some bottles containing vouchers for free food and other rewards.

“For $2, you get a lot of value,” Belew said. “Some of these beers would normally run for $6 or $7 a piece.”

Alongside its regular menu, the restaurant will also feature a special menu, which include dishes such as a 4-pound snow crab, prime rib and pay-by-the-shrimp cocktails. The restaurant will also run its regular menu for customers. The bar will also have an array of seasonal cocktails, with bartenders serving drinks like the “poinsettia bomb.”

Patrons who have already made dinner reservations for the evening can participate in the New Year’s Eve party, free of charge.

The Wood Fire will be hosting its annual New Year’s Eve party with a twist of its own. Instead of celebrating only the beginning of the New Year in the U.S., the restaurant will feature toasts at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., as the clock strikes midnight in cities across the globe. The party will also feature live entertainment, provided by Anna James.

Sittings begin at 4 p.m., and include four-course dinner packages. The restaurant recommends that patrons make reservations, which costs $90 for couples and $45 for individuals.

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