BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Downtown Buffalo is getting ready to host crowds again. After a year without an in-person ball drop or New Year’s parties, restaurants and bars like Misuta Chows are pulling out all the stops to prepare for before, during, and after midnight.
Misuta Chows is hosting a New Year’s party kicking off at 5 p.m. They’ll have live music, a DJ later on, a champagne toast, and more, just a short walk for people to warm up from the ball drop.
Bar manager Tristan Lambright said being so close to the ball drop is great for business. “That’s one of the reasons we are including hot chocolate specials, I’m sure it’ll be chilly—it’s Buffalo,” he said. “We absolutely have been used as a nice pit stop or a little safe haven where people will come in and enjoy themselves before and after the ball drop.”
Just around the corner, Big Ditch Brewing is hosting a ticketed party starting at 8 p.m. Tickets include food, drinks, and dessert. “We have little garage doors that open up as the fireworks go off and the guests go out there take a look at them, it’s a fun time. We have a DJ, selfie station, it’s a fun night,” said co-founder Matt Kahn.
They said they are looking forward to bringing people back in person to ring in 2022 safely. Both restaurants are requiring proof of vaccination to attend the festivities.
Since everyone will be vaccinated at both restaurants, guests won’t have to wear a mask, however, all employees will still wear one. “We feel for an event like this, this is about as safe as we can make it,” Kahn said.
“I am really looking forward for the New Year’s camaraderie, to be able to host an environment where people are coming out having a good time and saying goodbye to this last year which I think we all want to put behind us,” Lambright said.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is asking people to be vaccinated and wear a mask at the ball drop, but he said both are on the honors system. He said that if you’re not vaccinated, you should think twice about going to the ball drop.
“We’re not going to get into all kinds of enforcement—checking vaccination cards, talking to people about mask-wearing—we want people to do the right thing,” Brown said.