The clink of champagne flutes, kisses on cheeks, and fluttering confetti create one image: New Year’s Eve! Across Wyoming a variety of bars, from upscale hotel spaces to rustic saloons, are celebrating this New Year’s Eve big. For all the best in craft beer and cocktails, check out the 9 best bars to ring in the new year in the state.
In the town named for the Buffalo Bill Cody, the Irma is a permanent relic of the idyllic West and favorite watering hole of cowboys past and present. This renowned building served as a headquarters for visiting dignitaries and well-funded outfitting expeditions, embedding itself into the memories of its many famous guests as much as its entwined itself in the state’s history. For NYE, the venue erupts in a party atmosphere, with loads of food & drink specials (lobster, prime rib and halibut!) and entertainment galore that celebrate the excesses of its most famous patrons. The ball drop downtown is icing on this New Year’s cake.
The annual New Year’s parade in Jackson Hole involves a torchlight parade from mountaintop to town square. Once the glowworm descends the mountain, and snakes through the ski plaza, the enlivened crowd translates its turning-a-new-leaf enthusiasm to food & drink. Teton Village boasts a handful of impressive bars (and restaurants) to sate that New Year’s cravings, including establishments at the nearby Four Seasons Hotel. But the Spur Restaurant is a great melding of that Western-Modern aesthetic. A cornucopia of draughts, cans, cocktails, and local brews hit all the right notes for an orchestra of year-end enjoyment.
Encased in the frontier luxury and ambiance of the Wort Hotel, this stylish spot is a singular NYE experience. The bar/restaurant menu is four-star, with a host of classy drinks and food to both fuel and flavor a festive evening (the burgers, and three varieties of margaritas, are scrumptious). The property’s “12 Days of Christmas” celebration culminates in singing, a house band and an official countdown-to-midnight. Small bites, live music (this year, the Chanman Roots Band) and a toast at the stroke of 12 are all complementary.
Recently restructured and remodeled, the Wonder Bar has reopened as a modern but welcoming gathering place. Renowned in its former heyday, this revamped brew haven now sports two floors, each with a distinct culinary vibe and service ambiance. The lower is a hip, cocktail-slangin’ restaurant-bar, with an extensive comfort menu including brunch, steaks, sandwiches, and salads. Carrying a similarly casual vibe, but lower-lit and more relaxed, the upper level is an exclusive-feeling lounge, with delicious cocktails and a streamlined, classy bar menu (salads, pizza and tacos). Families, fun-seekers, and vacationers alike all flock here, and rightfully so. Come New Year’s Eve, this fun, cool and detail-oriented watering hole steers its expertise and renewed know-how toward a host of specials and fun bar games.
This historic saloon couldn’t be more appropriately named. First, it’s obviously Western: lots of dark woods and trinkets of frontier nostalgia. Second, it’s welcomingly dive-y without being dingy. In other words, it’s respectably down to earth. Third, the staff and overarching theme are refreshingly tongue-in-cheek. There’s a perfect balance of professionalism and never taking anything too seriously. While the drinks, atmosphere, and live music are exceptionally attractive any time of year (especially après ski), New Year’s Eve is particularly and memorably raucous. After the evening’s live band and drink specials, counting down to midnight never seemed so perfectly Wyomingite.
There’re few more beautiful places to celebrate a new year than in the snow-blanketed ruggedness of the Wyoming mountains. The Grand Targhee Resort is named for both the Grand Teton Range in which it is envyingly nestled, and Chief Targhee, the Bannock leader renowned for his strength of character and determination. As such, this property successfully embodies the wilderness and history of a region that attracts millions a year. Among its many assets, the food and beverage program is top-notch, evident in the Trap Bar. A perfect après ski spirit & grilled-food hangout, this ski resort institution is all about fun come New Year’s. The 14-tap draught system and gastropub snacks never fail to complement (and improve!) the festive live band. This year, it’s the Rock Creek Band.
The Pink Garter is an institution of sorts. It’s always been popular, throughout it’s relatively remarkable 50-year history. It’s an eclectic venue, hosting live music and live theater. Within these storied walls, the Rose has grown into a respected rustic-chic gastropub, with an admirable craft drink program and attractively casual-hip ambiance. It’s always fun here, and for New Year’s, this passion towards libations and conviviality erupts into celebration. Happy hour(s) specials abound, and yummy bar food add a bit of crunch and salt to complement. Be adventurous and try an absinthe frappe or any of the dozens of spirits, from tequila to brandy.
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If the real “Old West” is desired, this is the fantasy mansion to relive the heyday. The property is authentic through-and-through, and genuinely transports visitors to the past. A thoroughfare for all the outlaw cowboy celebrities of the day, this property housed and endured the habits and bullet-holes from the likes of Calamity Jane and Butch Cassidy. Not only is the decor unchanged, and the rooms eerily time-appropriate, but each abode is unique. Visitors can relive history, in style, in rooms suited to their individual tastes. The Saloon is perfect, straight out of a Wyatt Earp film, and the drinks list and specials really ignite the festivities, come New Year’s Eve. And holiday or not, there’s always decent, foot-stomping live bluegrass music.
The Occidental tourist. The elaborate bar at the historic Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming. Host in the past to Wild West royalty from Butch Cassidy to Calamity Jane. Today packed with fascinating memorabilia and really friendly staff. So tie up your horse and mosy on in! #wyoming #occidental #buffalo #wildwest
This small, respectably dive-y watering hole has friendly bartenders and affordable libations. Hardwood paneling and comfortable, 1970s-style bar seating creates a relaxed vibe in which time melts away. The imitation warthog-bust gazes above the mirrored backsplash, framing a stack of all the requisite spirits, expensive vintages and wells alike. This New Year’s Eve, enjoy a lot of fun people and honestly-stiff drinks.