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Restaurants plan to party like it's ... 2009
Local options abound for ringing in new year
WEBnew years 1 jd
Travis Ahearn pours a beverage at one of three bars inside Good Ol' Days in Cumming, Ahearn, who owns the pub, said there is no cover charge for tonight's New Year's Eve celebration. - photo by Jim Dean

Among the possible local New Year's Eve destinations:

* Norman's Landing, 365 Peachtree Pkwy.; (770) 886-0100

* The Ridge, on Turner Road, off of Bald Ridge Marina Road; (770) 886-9003

* Good Ol' Days Café, 419 Atlanta Road in Cumming; (770) 205-9453

* Spondivits II, 599 Atlanta Road in Cumming; (770) 844-9060

* Cinco Mexican Cantina, 5755 N. Vickery St. in Vickery Village; (678) 341-6962

* Tam's Backstage, 251 Ingram Ave. in Cumming; (678) 455-8310



Going out tonight? Authorities remind folks to use caution and common sense.

New Year's Eve revelers need look no further than Forsyth County for festive options to ring in 2009.

Many restaurants throughout the county are offering special celebrations tonight.

"We have got all kinds of goodies coming at us," said Bill Norman, owner of Norman's Landing restaurant on Peachtree Parkway, Exit 13 off Ga. 400.

"We're doing Cuban tilapia, grouper, mac and cheese, black-eyed peas, collards and crab and lobster bisque. All kinds of stuff. And we got a couple special drinks, but nothing too out of sight."

Norman's will be serving dinner till 9:30 or 10 p.m., with the bar staying open till midnight.

"We'll be open long enough to ring in the new year," Norman said.

To the north off Ga. 400 at Exit 15, The Ridge is readying for another big night.

Owner Steve Campbell said it will be the "same as last year," with live entertainment from Tom Wolf.

"It's all kinds of music from the '60s to today," Campbell said.

The $59.95 cost includes party goods, free champagne at midnight, filet mignon and seafood of choice. There will be dancing till 2 a.m.

Campbell said a few tables remain for tonight at the restaurant off Bald Ridge Marina Road

"There's going to be some music, some dancing and a lot of fun," he said.

In Cumming, Travis Ahearn and his crew at Good Ol' Days Café were readying to ring in 2009.

"We're the biggest and best place in town to go," said Ahearn, owner. "And we never have a cover charge. Why charge somebody to come hang out with us?"

In addition to a couple hundred anticipated guests, Ahearn said Project 96.1 radio station will broadcast from the hilltop Cumming pub.

The evening will feature food, champagne and musical performances by Dirt and Haksers Kash.

Down the street, Spondivits restaurant plans the same celebration it has for more than a decade, said manager Melanie Battles.

"We'll have noisemakers, hats ... entertainment and a good local crowd," she said. "We have a full house every year."

Entertainment is provided by local DJ Pervy and the restaurant's full menu will be available for the celebration, along with champagne.

Cinco Mexican Cantina will be serving up a spicy celebration with its unique Mexican cuisine and entertainment from local guitar and keyboardist Mike Cono.

"It's going to be a great atmosphere," said manager Marcelo Canales. "Mike Cono is very well known in the area and this is a beautiful restaurant to spend New Years Eve in.  It's excellent service and excellent food. You can't beat it."

The Cumming Playhouse and Tam's Backstage are working in tandem to present a show and New Year's bash.

From 8 to 10 p.m., the Estes Brothers Band will perform a New Year's Eve Classic Southern Rock concert in the Cumming Playhouse.

"It'll be a great concert," said Playhouse Director Linda Heard. "The people here in this area love them because they've seen them grow up. It's kind of like a homecoming every time they play."

Guests are welcome to spend the rest of the evening at Tam's Backstage for a late dinner or snack and some champagne.

Brian Tam, who manages Tam's Backstage, said the four-year New Year's dining tradition is just as much fun for him as his guests.

"We get to visit our regular guests and people that are in the community and it's like having them over at your house," he said.