Bay Area prepares for big New Year's bashes

This holiday season is turning out to be a great one for business according to restaurant workers in San Francisco. They tell KTVU it's much busier than the same period last year.

With New Year's Eve just days away, restaurants and bars are gearing up for one of their busiest nights of the year. Having been in business since 1908, John's Grill at Union Square is prepared for the 500 plus dinner reservations that have already been made for New Year's Eve. Extra staff will be on hand to prepare offerings from its special menu.

Manager Chris Renteria pointed to a few of the most popular items, "Sam Spade's lamb chops, but we do have prime rib."  He said the restaurant doubled the amount of food and alcohol it normally stocks. Walk-in's are welcomed on New Year's Eve, but workers say there's no telling how long you may have to wait. "It's pretty much somewhere where people can come have comfort food and at the same time have that history." said Renteria.

From the historic to the new, Berber on Broadway in the Russian Hill neighborhood opened its doors last December. The restaurant-supper club serves up Mediterranean cuisine with live entertainment in an intimate setting.

"It's very unique. We have belly dancers, aerialists. We have contortionists," said Ericka Oldenski, Berber's wine director. Admission to the New Year's Eve celebration here starts at $35 dollars a person for the DJ dance party and the ball drop. It will cost $95 per person for dinner only. Supper with various types of live performances range from $125 to $150 per person.

"The second dinner show is almost sold out and the first dinner show, we still have a few seats available. The front dining room,  there is still availability," said Oldenski.

People who want to attend San Francisco's  annual fireworks show along the Embarcadero are encouraged to take public transit. Muni is offering free rides on New Year's Eve from 8pm to 5am.

BART is not free but has extended its services to 3am on New Year's Day. To avoid overcrowding, some train lines will not be stopping at the Embarcadero station. But those lines will stop at the Montgomery station which is a short walk to the Embarcadero."Listen to the train operator announcements. Once you're ready to head back home, there will be people at street level who will be directing you the  correct station," said Jim Allison, a BART spokesman.

To avoid long lines, Bart is advising passengers to load money into their clipper cards ahead of time. As for restaurants, make reservations.