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Sep 17, 2008 07:50 PM

Near Empire State Bldg... Smoking Allowed?

I am planning an event in mid-October for my staff... about 10 people. I would like to do an evening Empire State Building thing (we always do something touristy as most people don't actually live in NYC and several are visiting from other cities) with a dinner to follow.

My staff is made up of pretty hard drinking party types that also smoke. I know there are some places that have patio areas or gardens that allow smoking... is there anything near the ESB that allows smoking? Fancy or hip isn't important. Good booze and fun is the key for our group.

We would also be willing to travel beyond that area for a fun place that won't frown on smokers.

Thanks for any suggestions...


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  1. Does it have to be the ESB? I find the observatory deck at the Top of the Rock to be far superior, and afterwards, you're in the vicinity of more interesting restaurant options. What about the Sea Grill at Rock Center? The food isn't the greatest in the world but in the summer, you can sit outside where the ice rink usually is in the winter. Not sure what their smoking policy is or how long the outdoor tables last.

    1. Doesn't have to be near ESB... I was just thinking that was a touristy thing we hadn't done yet... last company meeting I took them on one of the cruises and it was actually really nice... nice over-view of NYC and we could smoke and buy booze. So now I'm thinking, something that isn't a cruise that is also touristy and deals with the need for booze, food and smokes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Stephanie_Lynn

        Top of the Rock and Sea Grill are both in Rockefeller Center, which is pretty tourist, and deals with the food and booze problems, and most likely the smokes. :)

      2. I've never been, but I've heard there's a restaurant with a view in the UN building with smoking permitted. I can't imagine the food is very good.

        1. The Hotel Metro on 35th between 5th and 6th has a rooftop bar w/a great view of the ESB, I believe they serve food, definitely booze and smokes. 230 Fifth Ave. is another bar that has a huge rooftop bar, very B&T crowd, great view of the ESB, more pricey drinks and not sure if they do food.

          The other place to go is Carnegie Bar on 58th right off of 7th Ave., it's a cigar bar, they serve light food, good drinks and has music. It's our "rainy day/cold weather" winter place.

          2 Replies
          1. re: owlwoman

            Other than the handful of specialist cigar bars in the city (and one cigarette bar), the rule is no smoking indoors, but that "up to 25% of seating in outdoor areas of restaurants with no roof or ceiling enclosure may be designated smoking areas."

            Just because a venue has outdoor seating, there's no guarantee that smoking is permitted. Call ahead and check, and also confirm that you can reserve a table in the smoking area. Otherwise, plan to smoke on the street between courses.

            1. re: Wilfrid

              There are definitely smokers at the Hotel Metro. I believe the La Quinta also has a rooftop bar where one can smoke.