By Nathan Ham
New Year’s Eve is just three short days away and everyone is gearing up celebrate the arrival of 2019 here in the High Country.
Several local bars, taverns and restaurants have some great food and drink specials as well as musical performances to eat, drink and dance your way through the final day of 2018 into the first day of the New Year. Other restaurants that may not be staying open all the way up until midnight are still doing dinner specials to celebrate the occasion.
The High Country Press has put together a list of just a few of the events happening at local spots across Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk.
Boone Late-Night Events
Café Portofino in Boone will have a late night DJ from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. in addition to their regular dinner hours until 9 p.m. Café Portofino’s specials on Monday include $2 drafts, $3 21st Amendment cans, $4.50 Jager shots and half-off wings. They have been in business since 2000 and in addition to food and drinks, Café Portofino has darts, billiards, big-screen TVs and plenty of room for groups to gather and hang out.
The Lazybirds will be sure to get you dancing and having a great time at Lost Province Brewing Company on New Year’s Eve from 8 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. There will be a special champagne toast at midnight and customers can call ahead for preferred seating. The story of The Lazybirds is one of migration to these aforementioned mountains and of an impressive musical legacy built up over the last two decades. Playing a distinctive brand of jump blues, swing, country blues, classic country and early jazz, the music of The Lazybirds reflects the musical influences of this creatively-fertile region. The Lazybirds tale began when original members Jay Brown and James T. Browne relocated to the western North Carolina Mountains from Alabama. Brown, who sings, plays harmonica, keyboards and is an acclaimed swing guitarist and fellow multi-instrumentalist Browne moved to the mountains in the mid-1990s and formed The Lazybirds in 1996. Asheville native, tenor and resonator guitarist and mandolin player Brad Pope has been with the group for a year, and newcomer Asher Hill now plays the bass.
At The Local in Boone, the regular dinner menu will be available as well as some specials that will include prime rib with creamed kale and rosemary potato wedges and a horseradish butter for the prime rib as well as a crab cake dinner special. There will be dessert specials that will include a mud pie made in house and a gluten free chocolate tort from Stick Boy Bread Co. As for drink specials, there will be a $20 special on champagne bottles. DJ K5K will be there for music at 11 p.m. The bar will be open until 2 a.m. with a $3 cover charge for students and a $5 cover for non-students with
Boone Saloon’s New Years Eve celebration features a pair of bands, Unaka Prong and DownTown Abbey, playing music starting at 10 p.m. and lasting until 2 a.m. The cover charge is $5. There will be a toast at midnight and many other drink specials to choose from at the bar located on King Street in downtown Boone. Boone Saloon has been in business since February 25, 2004.
Boone Dinner Events
Casa Rustica is planning on having Todd Wright’s jazz quartet as a special musical guest on Monday evening. Music and dancing will continue on until at least 12:30 a.m. Reservations are still available for dinner and patrons can choose if they want to stay for the music or not. There will be bar seating available for those that want to come for just the music and drinks. The regular menu will be available as well as nightly specials and wine pairings.
Vidalia Restaurant and Wine Bar still has reservations left for their special New Year’s Eve dinner. The four-course dinner is $65 per person that does not include tax, gratuity or drinks. The first course will be a choice of pumpkin soup or beet salad. The second course will be a choice of pork belly mac n’ cheese or shrimp ceviche toast. The main entrée will be a choice between grilled salmon or braised beef shortrib before finally closing the evening with a choice of flourless chocolate torte or banana pudding for dessert. An additional wine-pairing menu will be available for dinner. Reservations will be accepted from 5-9:30 p.m.
Blowing Rock Late-Night Events
At the Town Tavern, they are ready for some New Year’s Eve fun. Town Tavern is open until 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and until midnight on Sunday. Town Tavern is a sports bar and restaurant located on Main Street in historic downtown Blowing Rock, open each day for lunch, dinner and late-night offerings. There are 19 flat screen TVs around the establishment to watch your favorite game or take advantage of the largest outdoor dining area in the High Country when the weather warms up. Town Tavern opened its doors in 2013 and has become a staple of the Blowing Rock community. Some of their food items include wings, barbecue, burgers, salads, wraps and wonderful appetizers. Town Tavern offers 10 local and regional craft beers on tap and over 30 bottled beer selections in addition to full ABC permits to offer premium spirits.
Nearby at Six Pence Pub, there will be a special midnight champagne toast and they will be staying open until around 12:30 a.m. The pub will feature their regular dinner menu as well as tasty drinks and a fine selection of craft and seasonal beers on tap. Six Pence Pub serves some of the finest food and ale in the High Country. There are a variety of appetizers, traditional American and British comfort foods and are open for lunch, dinner and late nights out on the town.
Blowing Rock Dinner Events
Over at the Green Park Inn, they will celebrate their New Year’s Eve tradition of lowering of the green horse with a five-course dinner beginning at 8:30 p.m. Reservations for dinner are required and are $90 per person. The dinner menu begins with a Cuban roast pork tostada followed by linguini with Tuscan seared pullet chicken, a roasted beet salad, a main course of surf & turf and a caramel flan with Astor dark chocolate truffles. Instead of a traditional ball drop, the Green Park Inn always drops a paper machete green horse and balloons that drop from the ceiling for this festive event. Music will be provided by Steve Frank’s High Standards and reservations are going fast for the classic New Year’s Eve event. The Divide Tavern will be open as well with drinks and light snacks. 2019 will mark the 128th year for the Green Park Inn. The Green Park Inn, which originally opened in 1891, is one of the last remaining grand manor hotels and is the second oldest operating hotel in North Carolina.
Savannah’s Oyster House is offering all-you-can-eat crab legs as part of their New Year’s celebration. They will be open until 9 p.m. on Monday night. Savannah’s Oyster House offers beer and wine specials to go with a tasty dinner menu stuffed full of appetizers, seafood plates and sandwiches. Savannah’s Oyster House serves great food in a laid back, Low Country atmosphere, giving people a chance to enjoy a unique dining experience where there is something for everyone.
Banner Elk Late-Night Events
At Bayou Smokehouse and Grill, patrons will bring in the New Year with noisemakers and a champagne toast at midnight. Dinner will be available until midnight and drinks will be served until 2 a.m. Bayou Smokehouse and Grill offers a wide variety of beers and menu options that will be sure to give you a taste of some delicious Texas-Louisiana family recipes in a casual, comfortable dining atmosphere.
Elevations Restaurant will be offering a great limited menu on New Year’s Eve with party favors and a champagne celebration from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. Live music will be provided by the Buick MacKane Band with a $15 cover charge after 10 p.m. The regular business hours for Elevations are from 11 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, 8 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday. Elevations first opened on June 1 and offer upscale dining and entertainment while serving delicious foods such as filets, trout, crab cakes, calamari fries and bison burgers. The restaurant features a full liquor bar and serves a selection of craft beers on tap. Elevations is located in the Lowes Grocery Stores area next to McDonald’s at 3990 N.C. Highway 105 South.
The Banner Elk Café invites everyone to come out to their special ball drop party. A DJ will be there from 10 p.m. on playing the hits of the 80s, 90s and today. TV’s will be tuned into the ball drop from all parts of the world in the tavern, which will be open until 1 a.m. with complimentary party favors and a champagne toast. There is no cover charge and everybody after 10 p.m. must be 21 years of age or older. The Banner Elk Café recently added on the 1,900-square-foot addition for the tavern area.
Banner Elk Dinner Events
Elsewhere in Banner Elk, Louisiana Purchase Food and Spirits will be celebrating their 35th New Year’s Eve in business. Located in downtown Banner Elk, guests will have a wide variety of dinner options to choose from with their special winter menu in place in addition to several other features. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. and guests are invited out to enjoy the great atmosphere and a long list of wine and beer selections. Reservations can be made by calling 828-963-5087 or 828-898-5656.
At Stonewalls in downtown Banner Elk, they are seating people from 5-10 p.m. and will have live music from 6-8 p.m. Reservations are still available and they will be featuring a special holiday menu. Stonewalls has been locally owned and operated since 1985 and has plenty of tasty menu items to offer during their normal business hours that include steaks, seafood, chicken and ribs among other items. Stonewalls offers many wine and beer selections as well.