So you've always heard that 13 is the unluckiest number of them all. Never stay on the 13th floor of a hotel, avoid driving on Friday the 13th, a dinner party should never have 13 guests ... the list goes on and on. But the number 13 doesn't always have such a negative stigma. After all, a baker's dozen is 13, there are 13 full moons each year, Memphis Tiger basketball legend Forest Arnold wore number 13, and, of course, this great nation of ours started with 13 colonies.
So far, the biggest upside to 2013 is that we proved the Mayans wrong. That whole "end of the world" thing just ended up being some weird scribblings on a rock. So bring on the next sign of the apocalypse! Here's a list of ways to turn your luck around in 2013, starting with New Year's Eve.
LET FOOD SET THE MOOD
The city of burgers and barbecue has lots to offer this New Year's Eve. Of course, tons of restaurants are open that night, but here are some options specific to the occasion.
The Beauty shop in Cooper-Young is offering two seatings for their annual four-course New Year's Eve dinner, featuring live entertainment by Gary Johns and the Boys. Call 272-7111 for reservations. The cost is $65 per person. The Majestic Grille will host a New Year's Eve party featuring their regular menu and a performance by the Paul McKinney Band at 7 p.m. Reservations are required. Call 522-8555 for more information.
Capriccio Grill inside The Peabody hotel is serving a three-course meal at $75 a person with an option to go to the Peabody New Year's Eve party for an additional $30. Call 529-4199 for reservations. Chez Philippe is also offering a New Year's dinner from 6 to 11 p.m. at $140 per person. Call 529-4188 for reservations.
Hog & Hominy in East Memphis is hosting their "Barn Burner" at 10 p.m. While this event is more of a party first and dinner second, there will be a 1 a.m. breakfast buffet and tons of food available throughout the night. Call 207-7396 for more information.
HAVE FAITH IN YOUR TEAM
There are plenty of places to watch the Grizzlies play the Pacers on New Year's Eve, but we recommend catching the 2 p.m. game at Jack Magoo's, the sports bar on Broad Avenue known for their huge flat screens and exotic barbecue and ramen-noodle-flavored beer cocktail (that's right). If college football is more your thing, then head to the Liberty Bowl at 2:30 p.m. to see the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes take on the Iowa State Cardinals. Now in its 54th year, the Liberty Bowl game is the last chance to see Division 1 college football in Memphis until the Tigers take the field for their inaugural season in the Big East next August.
There are also a number of other bowl games on TV, including the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl featuring Vanderbilt facing off against North Carolina State at 11 a.m. and the Sun Bowl with University of Southern California taking on Georgia Tech at noon. Because all these games have early start times, you'll be able to catch any game you want and still make it to whatever evening New Year's events you have planned.
EVERYBODY'S GONNA BE HAPPY
Ray Davies of the Kinks said it best, and with a diverse group of shows happening around the city on New Year's Eve, featuring both local and touring acts, this lineup offers something for everyone. The Hi-Tone Café might be going down in the history books of defunct Memphis venues, but their New Year's parties are always something to behold. This year, the Dirty Streets, Electric Gringo Orchestra, and Heavy Eyes take the stage at the venue on Poplar. The first band is set to go on at 10 p.m. Admission is $5.
If you're planning on being downtown for New Year's Eve, you should definitely stop into The New Daisy to catch songwriters Todd Snider with Cory Branan and Will Kimbrough. That show kicks off at 7 p.m. Admission is $26.
Another downtown concert happens at the Flying Saucer this year, with a live performance by Kings of the Delta. Cover is $15 for the general public and $10 for UFO members. The Flying Saucer in Cordova will feature a live performance by the Impeccable Miscreants. The cover is $5 for the general public and free for UFO members.
Murphy's on Madison is serving up a punk-rock party for New Year's Eve featuring locals Sharp Balloons alongside Buck Biloxi from New Orleans and No Bails from Kalamazoo. That show starts at 10 p.m. Admission is $5.
KEEP YOUR GLASS
What would a New Year's Eve guide to Memphis be without mentioning Beale Street? While just being there should provide enough entertainment, be sure to check out the annual midnight countdown and guitar drop at the Hard Rock Café. Sponsored by Budweiser, this event is always packed and lively, so getting there early is advised.
In addition to the guitar drop, there are a number of parties on Beale Street featuring live performers. The Eric Hughes band plays King's Palace Café, the Plantation All Stars play at the Beale Street Tap Room, and James Govan and the Boogie Blues Band perform at Rum Boogie Café.
Nearby on the Main Street Mall, Blind Bear is throwing a New Year's shindig from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and featuring the music of DJ BCON and DJ MLW. Admission is $13.
If the crowds on Beale Street aren't your idea of a good time, there's plenty more going on in the way of nightlife, including the annual Masquerade Ball at Celtic Crossing. Listen to the music of DJ Tree and enjoy $4 shots, with proceeds benefiting the Humane Society.
For a trip back in time, you'll want to check out the Junior League of Memphis' 9th Anniversary Gala, aka M-town Countdown, at the Pink Palace Museum. Guests are urged (but not required) to dress in their finest 1920s attire. In addition to a live performance by Az Izz, heavy hors d'oeuvres and desserts will be served. Tickets start at $150 with VIP passes available. Call 360-3620 for more information.
TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Although the city offers tons of options for your year-end celebrations, sometimes the best way to start off a new year is to shake things up a little. Here are a few ideas for throwing your own party this New Year's Eve. First off, everyone knows that no New Year's Eve party is complete without champagne. Joe's Wine and Liquor general manager Michael Hughes recommends the following:
Laurent-Perrier Brut NV Champagne, $40.99
Argyle Winery Brut 2008 Willamette Valley, $27.99
Gloria Ferrer Vineyards Blanc de Blancs 2007 Carneros, $24.99
Roederer Estate Brut Rosé NV Anderson Valley, $26.99
If you're looking for something with a little more kick, Hughes recommends having the following mixed drinks on hand:
2 oz. WL Weller Bourbon
1.5 oz. Byrrh QuinQuina
2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters
3 dashes Ginger Bitters
Spritz of St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram (use a clean, small spray bottle for this)
Clove-Studded orange peel
Combine the first four ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Stir for 45 seconds to chill, combine, and dilute. Pour into a chilled martini or double rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel. Spritz the Dram over the top of the drink.
1 oz. Prichard's Crystal Rum
1 oz. Imbue Dry Vermouth
1 oz. Salers Aperitif LaBounoux Gentiane
Combine first three ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Stir for 45 seconds to chill, combine, and dilute. Pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Twist the lemon peel over the top of the glass and wipe it along the rim. Drop in the peel.
Now that you've got the important stuff covered, pick up some sparklers (fireworks are illegal in Shelby County) from Fireworks City in Lakeland or rent a holiday classic from Black Lodge Video and you'll have a holiday party to remember, without heading into the new year with a dent in your wallet.
ROLL THE DICE
If you're the betting sort, head on down to Tunica this New Year's Eve. Harrah's Tunica is hosting a party at the Field House Sports Bar, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., with music by the Mudflap Kings. Admission is $15, and the $50 VIP pass gets you into a private seating area plus complimentary beer, wine, and a gift bag. At Horseshoe, there's live music throughout the day capped off with a midnight countdown and champagne toast.
Over in West Memphis, Southland Park is holding their 5th annual "Big Top Bash" with live entertainment in the Juke Joint, free carnival games and prizes, and a Ferris wheel in the parking lot, among other carnival rides. The "Big Top Bash" gets started at 8 p.m.
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
You've had an amazing start to your new year, but why stop now? Keep the good times rolling with these New Year's Day events.
If you find yourself in Tunica, Mississippi, on January 1st (or if you never left the night before), head to The Fitz at 11 a.m. for your chance to win a share of $13,000. Winners of $100 will be selected each hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., while one winner at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. receives $1,300.
If you're back in Memphis, get a group together and meet at The Peabody on New Year's Day at 1 p.m. to take part in the "Glide and Dine" — a Segway tour around Memphis that ends with a traditional New Year's Day meal at Grawemeyer's on South Main. Cost is $79 per person and space is limited. Call 529-4108 to reserve your spot.