Sure, you may think of Applebee’s as an affordable casual-dining chain, famed for its whiskey-flavored steaks and two-for-$20 dinner specials (and also for its memorable part in the Will Ferrell pic, “Talladega Nights”). But once a year, Applebee’s goes high-end. The chain’s franchise-owned restaurant in the heart of New York’s Times Square offers a $375-a-person New Year’s Eve bash that’s billed as “a night to remember.” (Those under 12 can get in for $250.)
But this isn’t your standard Applebee’s bill of fare, the franchisee notes. The party, which starts at 8 p.m. and wraps up at midnight, features an extensive buffet, a “premium” open bar, a house DJ, a dance floor, plus party favors galore. And for those eager to see the ball drop, the restaurant lets patrons “make their way to the streets of Times Square.” As for the vittles themselves, be prepared for “a ton of food” (steak and shrimp included) prepared by “some fairly sophisticated culinary people,” says Zane Tankel, who heads up all 38 Applebee’s restaurants in the New York metro area. Add in the décor and “you wouldn’t know you were at an Applebee’s for that one night,” Tankel says
1. “Fairly sophisticated” is an amazing statement from the restaurant's owner. “Oh yeah, the cooks are okay. Fairly sophisticated, if you will.”
2. It's 100% free to visit Time's Square on New Year's Eve. And the 'Bee's offers no guarantee you'll even see the ball drop. This is quite the deal!
Of course, if Applebee's doesn't strike your fancy, across the street stands a deuling TGI Friday's. It has its own NYE special, and it's a bargain! Only $299.
And thus concludes your daily reminder that New York City is a giant vacuum cleaner, constantly aimed at the tourist's wallet.