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Hello 2013, How Shall We Greet Thee? Many options in Wicker Park, Bucktown

By Alisa Hauser | December 29, 2012 1:18pm

WICKER PARK — The good news is that there's a fresh year around the corner and no shortage of ways you can celebrate its arrival.

There is no bad news — only options. Here's a round-up of events and specials for different kinds of fun seekers and budgets.  If we missed your happenings, add 'em as a comment and include a link, address and cost.

You like to eat well:

Taxim Restaurant at 1558 N. Milwaukee Ave. is putting out all the stops, with a $95 package deal offering an a la carte menu, live Rebetika music, dancing, champagne toast, cake and traditional pomegranate smashing. An earlier 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., $65 seating offers a five-course prix-fixe dinner with wine pairings for an additional $22.  Call 773-252-1588 for reservations.

 Wanda Jackson, a rockabilly pioneer whose music combines early rock 'n' roll, country and gospel headlines the Double Door Dec. 31.
Wanda Jackson, a rockabilly pioneer whose music combines early rock 'n' roll, country and gospel headlines the Double Door Dec. 31.
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Club Lucky at 1824 W. Wabansia Ave. is having its 22nd Annual NYE party and plunking down $30 will get you a seat at the table. The merriment includes a live performance by the Downtown Charlie Brown Blues Band, a bottle of champagne for every couple, hats and noisemakers. Strings from 500 helium-filled balloons will tickle your scalps as you chow down on la carte dining off the menu or a chef's special surprise. Online reservations are not accepted. Call 773-227-2300.

Storefront Company at 1941 W. North Ave. offers seatings from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Menu standouts include pheasant and lamb, though there's vegetarian options available upon request. First seating is $62 (wine pairings, add $34) and second seating is $78 (wine pairings, add $52). Call 773-661-2609 for reservations.

You like to imbibe:

The Anthem at 1725 W. Division St. is proudly touting a 'No Cover New Years,' though in addition to the pay-nothing free karaoke, party favors and "beer toast" at midnight, there's three packages that offer a lot of grease (sliders, waffle fries) and brews for your bucks, especially if you're traveling with a posse. Check out the deets here.

The Crocodile at 1540 N. Milwaukee Ave. makes no bones about the plan for Dec. 31. A sign on the window advertises, "Live hard, play hard, create mayhem." DJs Jonny Fonseca, Rude Gentleman and more will entertain the crowd and all levels, including the basement dance dungeon will be open to revelers from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.  Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door.  Email tickets@crocodilechicago.com to purchase in advance.

Northside Bar & Grill at 1635 N. Damen Ave. is a neighborhood staple that recently underwent a remodeling. Celebrate its newish digs with a $79 open bar package from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. which includes appetizers, party favors, champagne toast and music. Purchase tickets online or call 773-384-3555.

You like to be entertained:

Gorilla Tango Theater at 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave. will play host to a 'Happy Nude Year' Burlesque Spectacular. The $60 ticket includes cabaret-style entertainment mixed with mingling from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., two drinks and a countdown to the New Year. Purchase tickets online or by calling 773-598-4549.

Double Door at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. welcomes Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly, who's rocking up a storm at 75! Jackson will be joined by Soul Summit DJs, Burlesque le Mustache and more. Doors at 9:30 p.m., show at 10 p.m.  Tickets range from $55 (general admission) to $100 (VIP- free drinks all night, champagne toast at midnight) to $125 (all the perks of VIP plus private seating behind the bar). Purchase tickets online or stop by the box office.

Davenports Piano Bar & Cabaret at 1383 N. Milwaukee Ave. brings a 'Trigger Gospel Revival' to its cozy quarters just south of the Milwaukee Ave. and Wood St. intersection. The revival starts at 10:30 p.m, however there's a pre-revival staff show at 8:30 p.m., too. $20 cover, two drink minimum. Call 773-278-1830 for reservations.

You like to be part of the entertainment:

Not-for-profit arts organization Heaven Gallery at 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. (above Lubinski's Furniture) will host its first annual Speakeasy Benefit. Festivities include a balloon drop, live music, champagne toast and photo booth with Al Capone. Hors d'oeuvres and open bar will fuel your  adventure back in time. The fun runs 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. $50 suggested donation. $25 students. Purchase tickets here.

Piece Pizzeria and Brewery at 1927 W. North Ave. offers live band karoake, so you can sing your heart out before or after enjoying bottomless Piece beer and all-you-can-eat pizza.  Call 773-772-4422 for tickets.

You want to create:

Bucktown storefront Arts N Spirits at 1921 N. Damen Ave. encourages 'painting parties' all year long and the eve of the new year is no exception. Guests will enjoy appetizers as they paint champagne glasses onto canvas. Drinking is BYOB, so bring your own bottle. $50.

You don't like 'the hype' but want to avoid cover charges and go somewhere:

Green Eye Lounge at 2403 W. Homer St. (at Western Ave.) is an unassuming bar known for easy accessibility by rail (it's practically under the Western "L" Blue line), road (plenty of meter-free street parking) and bus (the CTA Western bus has a stop right outside the bar).  A message posted to Green Eye's Facebook page says everything you need to know: "As always, we jam econo on NYE. No cover, a beer and shot special, and a champagne toast around midnight. Come on by."

Bar Bar Black Sheep at 1415 N. Milwaukee Ave. is having a special drink package ($70), and the special people that do that will be wearing bracelets, but otherwise a sign on the door advises you to "just come in and join the party."  BBBS hours are 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Call 773-951-4635 for more information.