On the most crowded night of the year in already jam-packed Times Square, the going price for a bit of dignity is $400.
That’s how much the Olive Garden at Times Square is charging per person for dinner on New Year’s Eve, and no, that does not include their famous, beloved breadsticks. Instead you get a buffet meal, open bar, a DJ — and oh yes, access to a restroom.
If you are a healthy female with a bladder who wants to see the ball drop live, it might actually be worth the price.
Otherwise, I think we all know whatever they’re dishing at the buffet table is worth maybe $4 per person. Should you even risk buffet food in that location on that night? That’s something you could debate while you wait for 11:50 to arrive. That’s when you’ll make one more bathroom trip before running outside to see the ball drop, because P.S., you can’t actually see much of anything from inside Olive Garden.
If you think that’s steep, know that hotels in Times Square will be charging far more, as will other restaurants. Bubba Gump Shrimp is charging $799 a head, but hey, they have a better view. Also: shrimp. Or you could shell out $1,699 for a VIP couples table at Ruby Tuesday, but they have no view at all, and you’ll have to spend the rest of your life with the painful memory of paying close to two grand for Ruby Tuesday food.
How are they getting away with charging such prices? Easy. Times Square on New Year’s Eve is no country for women, and definitely not for kids. I think they may have porta-potties, but pushing your way through the crowds to find them would be a punishing journey through hell. And yes, you have to pee at some point, because to see anything, you have to get there early and stand around for hours and hours.
Your living room couch is sounding like the best seat in the house now, isn’t it? Your view of the ball drop will be excellent, and if you plan well, you could be munching on Olive Garden breadsticks at the same time.