Call it what you want: For us Jews, Christmas Eve—also known as Schmoozapalooza and the Matzo Ball—is one of the biggest party nights of the year, when a significant chunk of the single population is focused more on flirting and flinging than sleigh bells ringing. Lucky for us, there’s a whole crop of parties slated for December 24th, and it’s not too early to make your plans now.
This is the first time in 16 years Chicago won’t have a Retro Eve party, but don’t you fret: Some of the same Judes (Jewish dudes) from holidays past are putting their efforts into Rockmitzvah at—where else?—Rockit Bar & Grill. There’s a VIP cocktail reception with passed apps from 9 to 10:30 p.m., plus drink specials (Hanukkah Harrys for $10) and half-off food. There’s no cover charge, but we’ll bet our gelt there will be a line, so plan to show up when the party starts at 7 p.m. Bonus: The Hebrew Hammer, a.k.a. Rockit co-owner Brad Young, makes a guest DJ appearance you don’t want to miss. Trust me.
Brothers Jerrod and R. J. Melman of hot spot Hub 51 have renamed December 24th “Hubukkah,” in honor of their night-before-Christmas Hanukkah bash. Expect an even longer wait than at Rockit; on Black Wednesday, the line was a block long. DJ Koncept spins upstairs, and there’s no cover charge, but the real deal is the Manischewitz sangria: $8 a glass, $32 for a pitcher. The party runs from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.
Manischewitz must be making a comeback—news that’s sure to make my dad happy. The dubiously potable kosher wine is on special for $1 on Christmas Eve at The Fifty/50, part of the bar’s party called—wait for it—The Manischewitz Incident. Drink specials abound, including a $30 open-bar package and the so-called “dreidel shots,” made with a mixture of potato vodka and Goldschlager—a combo that will presumably make your head spin. Or make running into the ex you met on JDate a little less awkward.
Over at Stone Lotus, Heeb magazine hosts its second Heebonism bash. Eleven City Diner provides the apps (mini latkes, mini reubens, knishes), and a hosted cocktail reception runs from 10 to 11 p.m. Resident DJ Jesse Seely spins, and the party goes until 4 a.m., long after other night owls (Santa, the Hub 51 guys) have called it a night. Thanks to the recession, there’s no cover.
A new entry this year is The Juju Ball (get it?) at the infamous cougar bar Martini Park. Incentives include one hour of open bar hosted by Snow Queen vodka from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., passed apps, specialty drinks, and live music. Last year’s December 24th bash at Martini Park (organized by different promoters) attracted about 700 Juppies (Jewish urban professionals), so expect a circus of single folks kvetching about the long line and the $20 to $25 cover—especially since other parties aren’t charging for entry.
Know of a Christmas Eve bash I don’t? Post the details below.