It will be a night for feasting and fireworks in Portsmouth on New Year’s Eve.

At the new Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club, it will be full-on glitz and glamour with dancing, champagne and caviar.

Michael Labrie, who co-owns the venue with his brother, Peter, said people can dance the night away, twirling in front of the main stage where some tables have been removed for their “Fiesta de Ano Nuevo.”

Labrie said he was inspired by seeing an earlier event on the first floor of the century-old building, which also houses the Museum of New Art.

“I was just floored at what a tremendous space it was for dancing,” Labrie said of what at one time was a YMCA gymnasium.

Grammy-winning Latin jazz and salsa musician Eddie Palmieri and His La Perfecta Big Band will play, martinis will be served and executive chef Nathan Varney will oversee the food.

Appetizers will include poached shrimp and crab claws. There will be buffets with butter poached lobster etouffee and gumbo and a carving station with prime rib. For dessert, there will be beignets, Labrie Farm maple bread pudding, chocolate fudge cheesecake and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Tickets for Friday’s event at the upscale Congress Street venue are selling from $375 to $425, depending upon where revelers decide they want to be seated in the multi-floor club.

Labrie explained the reasons behind their price points: “This exceptional band will be playing for three hours. It’s like going to two concerts in one night. And that’s just a piece of the ticket price,” Labrie said.


Over on Commercial Alley, John Akar and co-owner Chef Gregg Sessler are preparing a four-course tapas-style meal for the New Year’s Eve menu at Cava Tapas & Wine Bar.

“We’ve always done it for $95 a head for the past 13 years,” Akar said.

Another restaurant offering a four-course dinner is Raleigh Wine Bar + Eatery on State Street.

Proprietor Nimi Idnani said Chef Jeremy Glover spends days preparing his dishes, which she describes as a combination of new American and traditional French cuisine.

There will be two sittings on Friday, at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Cost is $120 a person for dinner and champagne.Ristorante Massimo on Penhallow Street is a spot known for its “engagement table,” where many marriage proposals have been made. It’s been booked for New Year’s Eve for some time now, but there are still a few romantic spots where other hopeful lovers can get down on one knee.

Amanda McSharry is co-owner of The Sailmaker’s House on Court Street and the Water Street Inn in Kittery, Maine. Rooms 8 and 10 at the Sailmaker’s House have views that will allow guests to see the fireworks show being put on by Pro Portsmouth at 8:15 p.m. over South Mill Pond.

ProPortsmouth wasn’t able to put on a First Night in 2020, and while there will be fireworks above and ice sculpture in Market Square this year, there won’t be any indoor First Night performances in 2021. Barbara Massar, executive director of Pro Portsmouth, said she had to make that call in July.