CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Thousands of Eastern Iowans will ring in the New Year Monday in downtown Cedar Rapids. Some restaurants and bars are already prepared to take on the big crowds.
"We are taking a lot of reservations. We will be fully prepared and staffed because we have a lot of people coming," said Greg Garza, Head Server, at White Star Ale House in downtown Cedar Rapids.
As of Saturday afternoon, Garza said there were still reservations available. He recommends making a reservation for New Year's Eve, especially if you have a large group. "We're trying to get as prepared as possible," he said.
Downstairs in the same building is the Liquid Lounge, a bar that opened just two months ago. Kirby Patten, the owner, said tables are filling up fast. "I think we have two left," he said. While the bar doesn't serve food, people have been reserving tables so they have a guaranteed chair for the night.
This will be the Liquid Lounge's first New Year's Eve, but that doesn't mean they are not prepared. "We have a beer bath girl right at the front of the door so you can just buy beer from her. We have 5 bartenders, 2 cocktail waitresses, 3 bouncers and a DJ," Patten said.
The Liquid Lounge will be charging a five dollar cover fee at the door on Monday night. They are also offering bottle service and free champagne at midnight.
This will be White Star's second New Year's Eve being open. Garza described last year as a good kind of chaos. "Downtown in general is coming back and with New Year's Eve and all the new businesses opening up, it seems like everyone gets really excited and wants to be downtown," he said.
Over the past year, more businesses have sprouted downtown which has brought excited to both Garza and Patten. "We encourage everybody to come downtown. We want to see downtown grow and become successful and what it used to be. With all the new places down here, we think it has helped us and everybody else," said Garza. They anticipate more people will come check out the variety of bars and restaurants on Monday night.