No matter what bar owners and professional alcoholics say, New Year’s Eve for non-millionaires like you and me is overrated.

In all of my decades of partying (that’s right – “decades”), I can count on one hand the number of semi-decent end-of-the-year shindigs I’ve been to. Actually, I can count two: that one house party about five years ago when I won a crucial game of beer pong, and that one in the late-1990s when two buddies and I tipped three cases of Mickey’s Big Mouth Malt Liquor and then tipped a Volkswagen Rabbit onto its roof. Ah, good times.

When I was younger and didn’t get any invitations to ring in the new year (thanks, jerks), I’d flip on the tube and watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve or some other lame, contrived celebration. I admit: I’d feel left out, even though I knew the pixilated bonhomie was feigned – all of the televised events are alcohol-free. No offense, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but how much fun could a booze-less “party” be? Answer: Not much.

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I eventually grew up and began to pity Dick’s revelers – probably the only thing more pathetic than an aspiring model/CNN news reader is a crowd of aspiring models/CNN news readers. Now no longer compelled to participate in the canned fun, I could care less what they and their kind do this weekend. Really.

Yet as bah-humbug as I am about New Year’s Eve, I do value Fort Worth’s nightlife and, even more, the hundreds of small business owners who’ll be vying for your dollars between now and early Jan. 1. If I were younger and drank out of enjoyment instead of necessity, I would be partial to the Torch’s Masquerade Party. Not only ’cause being anonymous is fun (see: Last Call), but because the Torch has joined with the Residence Inn down the street to offer a package deal that includes a room, free transportation to and from the club, and a gift at the Torch for folks who present their room cards. The price: $149. Admission to the Torch is free.

Whatever you do, please remember to tip – not tip over – your bartenders. (I crack myself up.)

Go West, Young Blade

As first acknowledged in this paper, Blade’s Prime Chop House shut down two weeks ago, but for fans of the swanky restaurant-bar worried that they didn’t spend enough money on top-shelf booze and awesome steaks to keep the joint afloat, Last Call says chill: You’re not to blame. At least that’s according to operating manager Blade Haddock, who says business was booming. The reason they closed, he says, was essentially that when they signed the contract on their corner spot about two years ago in the Houston Street Mall, the landlord was going in a Blade’s-friendly direction. But when ownership changed recently, another, less Blade’s-friendly path materialized. Bada-bing, bada-boom – no Blade’s.

There is hope. Between you and me, word on the street is that a Blade’s West might be in the works. Could you imagine? With the Torch, Shamrock Pub, Bronx Zoo, J&J’s Hideaway, 6th Street Grill, Wreck Room, Fred’s Texas Café, the new Black Dog Tavern, the new 7th Haven, the Blue Grotto (né Saloui’s Stage Bar & Deli), and the forthcoming Jack’s Off the Wall (on the White Settlement lot between University and Henderson where Pedro’s Trailer Park used to sit), the nightlife around the Camp Bowie-University intersection would be officially hot. Not like Chili’s-Applebee’s-chain-pub hot. Like, Deep-Ellum-eat-your-heart-out hot. Stay tuned to Last Call for updates.

Contact Last Call at

The Torch
711 Barden St, Fort Worth.

Residence Inn
2500 Museum Way (across from Montgomery Plaza), Fort Worth. 817-885-8250.

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