Less wine, more food?

December 31, 1993|By Sandra Crockett

People are apparently celebrating New Year's Eve with less drinking and more eating, say some business people who are in a position to observe the social scene.

When it comes to wild, all-night alcohol binges, "New Year's Eve is a meaningless night," says Lou Principio, owner of Hammerjacks. "It is not as it used to be," he says.

Hammerjacks will feature rock group Kix in the concert hall and a New Year's eve dance party in the nightclub. "Over the course of the night, we expect to see well over 1,000 people," the owner says.

The nightclub dance party will be a somewhat bittersweet occasion for Mr. Principio. "This will be the last New Year's Eve ever in the nightclub," he says.

The nightclub is going out of business after tonight although the concert hall will remain open. "People just do not go out and drink like they used to," he says adding that he applauds more responsible drinking behavior.

Maybe people aren't downing the alcohol these days, but they are still eating. Today is a big day for the restaurant business.

"It's an extremely busy day. Absolutely one of the busiest," says Kitty Whittington, a spokeswoman for the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

Over the years, though, Ms. Whittington has noticed a trend in the type of restaurants people attend on New Year's Eve.

More people are choosing to dine and party at a hotel's restaurant, spend the night, wake up, have breakfast then go home.

"I'm finding that people are still coming out, but staying overnight at an hotel," she says.

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