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New Year's Eve celebrations to shift outdoors due to omicron concerns

Omicron variant
Posted at 4:33 PM, Dec 29, 2021

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Setbacks from the omicron surge are prompting many restaurants to review their New Year's Eve strategy.

From Old School Square to Atlantic Avenue, outdoor celebrations are the theme this New Year's Eve and some business owners are fine-tuning their plans as they make their way through this latest wave of COVID -19 cases.

A new year will be met with a new restaurant in downtown Delray Beach. The finishing touches are in place at Throw Social.

After months of construction, the latest lounge just opened its doors for the first time this week, launching with a luau-themed New Year's Eve celebration.

The tropical tiki bar takes entertainment to the next level with social darts and axe throwing. Built during the pandemic, Throw Social was designed to stay flexible.

Since outdoor seating is still in high demand, owner Ginger Flesher-Sonnier constructed a retractable overhang in the back patio along with a massive outdoor stage for live music. The cabanas can also be converted to create more space

"People want to be outdoors and socializing and flow mingling, if you will," Flesher-Sonnier said. "Actually, that's one of the reasons that we loved this venue in particular is that it had so much outdoor space, and we think it's the thing of the future."

So far, New Year's Eve guests have been asking for outside seats

"Yes, we're actually seeing all of our outside tickets selling out. We haven't sold any inside tickets yet. So we have some lounge spaces indoors that people just aren't interested in. They want to be out here," Flesher-Sonnier said.

Two blocks away, Old School Square on Atlantic Avenue will be another New Year's Eve destination.

A community-wide celebration hosted by the city of Delray Beach return, complete with fireworks to light up the night sky at 9 p.m.

In Delray Beach, late night revelers looking for a midnight toast can celebrate even later. All the restaurants are open later. Usually they close at 2 a.m., but they're staying open till 4 a.m. for new year's.

"We do recommend people to come out at their comfort level if they want to wear a mask, feel free to wear masks. It's not mandatory right now around the area especially outside, but we do welcome everyone to come out," said Danielle Beardsley with Delray Beach Parks & Recreation.