New Year’s Eve is generally amateur night across the country. Plenty of people who don’t go out and drink too often are out and about, and going out can be an absolute chore. Naturally, many bars and restaurants hike their prices to take advantage of the crowds, resulting in an even more miserable time.

But if you’re going to Times Square on New Year’s Eve, for the love of god, don’t decide to ring in the new year at one of the many chain restaurants that dot the area. Why not? Because not only will the food suck, but the cost will be through the roof for no discernable reason. And when I say “through the roof”, I mean *through the roof* – expect to pay at least $400 per person.


And it’s not like these are high quality restaurants offering insane food and beverage options – think Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesday, and Bubba Gump Shrimp. This report from the New York Post boggles my mind.

Dinner at the Olive Garden in Times Square on New Year’s Eve will set you back $400, and that’s not even the highest price among the chain restaurants that crowd the Crossroads of the World.


The Olive Garden fest includes a DJ, open bar and buffet meal — but no breadsticks, a staple of the “You’re Family” eatery.

$400 for an open bar, a DJ, and an Olive Garden buffet! Without breadsticks! Or, according to the restaurant’s manager, a view of the ball dropping in Times Square.

“It’s a limited view,” said Michael Garver, a manager of the eatery at 47th Street and Broadway.

Isn’t that the purpose of going to Times Square on New Year’s Eve – to watch the ball drop? If you’re going to be there and not see the ball drop…what’s the damn point?

The Post also notes that Bubba Gump Shrimp will be charging a whopping $799 each (with a better few of the ball drop) on New Year’s Eve, while Ruby Tuesday’s tickets range in price from $349 to $1,699 with no view of the ball dropping from inside the restaurant.

Only “if guests are fortunate enough to make it outside” can they watch the world-famous countdown to midnight, said Paul Warshaw, the COO of, the company in charge of the party at Ruby Tuesday and other Times Square venues.

“So Fred, how was your New Year’s Eve?”
“It was awesome, man. The wife and I went to Times Square, paid $800 to eat pasta and drink wine at Olive Garden, and missed the ball dropping”

Just buy a bottle or two of wine, liquor, or craft beer and stay at home. You’ll have a better time.

[New York Post]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.