Eateries prepare for New Year’s Eve

Holiday is often a busy night

Dan Taddei, owner of the Allegro Restaurant, prepares a dish. The restaurant offers a special menu on New Year’s Eve. / Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec

Local restaurants are ready for what some call their busiest night of the year — New Year’s Eve.

“It is our biggest night of the year by far. We take what we can take; we have to refuse a lot of people. It is great way to end the year and a great way to start off the new year. We have some people who have been coming here since we opened over 40 years ago,” said Dan Taddei, owner of the Allegro Restaurant, Altoona. “It has been so traditional to have, even if I don’t feel like doing it, I still want to do it. I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t do it. We have a special menu — our regular menu cut in half.”

“It is our biggest night of the year,” said Frank Finelli, owner of Finelli’s Italian Villa, Altoona.

“It is bigger than Mother’s Day and bigger than Valentine’s Day. We will have a full house; we don’t need to advertise it.”

New Year’s Eve has changed over the years

“New Year’s Eve is nothing like years ago when people would drink and do a lot of whooping and hollering. Now, people like to go out and have a nice dinner to ring in the new year,” Finelli said. “We will have a special New Year’s menu. “We will start at five o’clock and continue until it is over. There may be some stragglers until midnight.”

Independent restaurants that stay open on New Year’s Day often increase profits by 40 to 50 percent compared to average days, according to data from CAKE — a Sysco-owned technology company which specializes in point of sale and guest management technology for independent restaurants.

OpenTable, a restaurant reservation service, found in 2015, restaurants served more than three times as many meals on New Year’s Eve, compared to the average day.

New Year’s Eve is also important for other local restaurants.

“It is one of our busiest days of the year. It probably ranks third behind Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day,” said Georgette Clark, manager of Jethro’s, Altoona.

Traditions Restaurant in Martinsburg was closed for New Year’s Eve last year because it fell on a Sunday. They will be open this New Year’s Eve.

“It might be a fairly good evening, it is a good night but not our best, it is not as big as Valentine’s Day,” said Arley Hooder, general manager. “We will have our regular menu on New Year’s Eve with steaks and all of our dinners available. We will have our pork and sauerkraut all day on New Year’s Day.”

The Creekside Inn in East Freedom is under the new ownership of Frank and Lezly Lingenfelter.

“We have some reservations, we expect to be pretty busy. We will feature the traditional pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes, the good luck dinner. We also will offer USDA grade prime rib and steaks,”Frank Lingenfelter said.

Lingenfelter said some changes have been made at the restaurant since they took over the business in April.

“We didn’t open for Thanksgiving or Christmas to give our employees the time off. Typically their buffet was pretty busy. The month of December has been strong for us, business is up because of our food sales,” Lingenfelter said.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.