Chicago-area restaurants find new way to celebrate the New Year, leave 2020 behind

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Traditional New Year's Eve celebrations are not an option this year so some Chicago area restaurants are thinking outside of the box.

"The word of the year is pivot," said Will Duncan, owner of Fitzgerald's in Berwyn.

"New Year's Eve is a big night in the industry, we're always used to throwing a big party but this year we're not gonna do it," said Duncan.

The staff is assembling cocktail kits complete with the ingredients for a drink called a French 75 and party tiaras.

They plan to stream last year's concert with the band Expo 26 along with the countdown to midnight so people can celebrate at home.

Many are anxious to say goodbye and good riddance to 2020 but with COVID-19 restrictions in place, it will take some creativity.

Candace Jordan offers some New Year's eve options in her Candid Candace column.

"People are really trying and coming up with some clever ideas to find a way to celebrate the end of this horrid year," said Jordan.

One of her suggestions is La Scarola, a fixture in the West loop.

They have tables outside with plenty of heaters. And as an incentive they are offering free drinks in the early evening to thank customers for their loyalty.

It's quite a contrast from a normal New Year's Eve, or most any other night when they are crowded until well into the night.

"Every year we end the year with a big boom, everybody's happy, this year is so much different, the whole year has been just rough and sad." La Scarola owner Armando Vasquez.
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