Chai’s celebrated the new year — and their last night in business — with a Masquerade Party on Friday night. The outdoor patio rapidly filled up with creatively masked ladies and gents sporting feathers, sequins, and beads. A giant corral crammed with balloons awaited midnight, while up on stage, Whiskey n’ Ramblin’ kept guests moving on the dance floor.

The outdoor and indoor bars were both packed, yet the bartenders kept their cool as they doled out shots and cocktails. We spoke one bartender about the restaurant’s closing, and found out that Chai’s will remain open under the same ownership, yet will undergo changes. They’re even toying with the idea of a wine and dessert bar. The newly revamped nightspot should be unveiled in about six weeks.

Until then, we had New Year’s Eve to enjoy. When the clock struck midnight, enthusiastic patrons clinked their glasses and toasted among the sea of colored balloons. Judging from the event’s success, we’re betting that the new hotspot will draw a crowd in 2011.

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