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Would You Pay $375 To Spend New Year’s At Applebee’s?

Submitted by on December 31, 2013 – 8:28 amOne Comment

The most expensive item on the Applebee’s menu is a steak dinner for $28. But one franchise, in the heart of New York’s Time Square, is charging almost $4oo for the honor of attending their New Year’s Eve festivities.

For years, Applebee’s has been known for their bland casual dining experience more than luxury. Especially since the recession hit, it has emphasized its affordability: its television commercials proudly proclaim two entrees and an appetizer for $20, and lunch combos starting at $6.99. But Marketwatch reports that this one location will boost its price for the special location.

Features will include an all-you-can-eat buffet prepared by “some fairly sophisticated culinary people,”according to Zane Tankel, who operates all of the 38 Applebee’s locations in the five boroughs; a “premium” open bar; and party favors.

But even with all that, revelers would have to eat steak and drink vodka tonics for days to justify the price tag; it is more likely that the restaurant is selling access to unbelievably crowded real estate on the busiest night of the year. Hundreds of thousands of people pour into Time Square on December 31st, often snatching up the best spots to view the Times Square Ball Drop by the afternoon and waiting 6-12 hours for the big event. To make matters worse, there are no public restrooms available in the area.

The restaurant circumspectly admits that it does not offer a view of the ball, saying patrons will be able to “make their way to the streets of Times Square.” It doesn’t mention that they may not be allowed to stay there; MarketWatch points out that the NYPD may tell them to move along, leaving more space for those who came earlier.

Still, for those dead set on being in Time Square at midnight, but looking for a way to avoid six hours in the cold, it might be worth it to pay and take your chances ducking the cops as you head to the street.

For the more price conscious, TGI Friday’s Time Square location is offering a similar package for $225.

[image by PB Praveen]

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