Story and photos by Maria Christoforidis
Turkey, football and shopping are just a few ingredients of the perfect, traditional Thanksgiving. But is it a surprise that Thanksgiving Eve has become one of the biggest party nights of the year?
Anticipating Thanksgiving Eve crowds, many bars and clubs make special arrangements – a special cocktail, extended happy hours and open bar deals The Pearl Bar & Lounge in Bayside, Queens, offered a Thank You Cherry Mix Special: Red Alize with cranberry juice and vodka.
“The drink specials attracted a lot of females and big groups of girls,” said the bartender, John Sotiriadis. For many people, the sight, sound and, of course, taste of freely flowing liquor helps to soften the idea of the loud, pestering relatives the next day.
Nightclub owners often spend more money than usual to promote their venues. Bryant Aburto, a local deejay known as DJ Nyce, finds he can raise his fee for the evening because of the demand on Thanksgiving Eve.
“In the hottest spots, you’re looking at $100 a person if you want to get in without your name on the list,” he said. “It’s one of the craziest nights to work, and I know these guys are rackin’ in the big bucks.”
Most clubs open their doors around 8 p.m., earlier than usual, and offer Thanksgiving buffets. Many sell out quickly, and hopefuls waiting on line outside, hoping they’ll somehow get in, are a common sight.
“M2 (Mansion) in NYC has a decent crowd every week,” says Rafael Pena, 28, who often works as a bouncer at Manhattan nightclubs. “On Thanksgiving Eve, doors were shut by 1:30am. Even if you had a ticket, you couldn’t get in there.”
Among the biggest customers are college students. As they return home for the holidays, they anticipate the Wednesday night chance to let loose and celebrate with old friends and relatives. Sophia Kamvisios, a 21-year-old college student from Queens and a frequent club goer, said it’s a night for great parties. “There’s no school or work the next day,” she said. “And, personally, I believe it is such a big party night because Thanksgiving Eve falls on a Wednesday. Who wouldn’t want to go out and party with their friends in the middle of the week when they can? It’s a great night to reconnect with everyone.”