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Jan 4, 2011 02:52 PM

Bar/lounge recs for a 35th bday party?

Hello, fellow Manhattan Chowhounds, and welcome to my inaugural post! (Yes, perhaps I'm a bit overexcited by this!)

So...I need your help! I'm looking for a good bar/lounge to host a 35th bday party for my husband. The details:

1. It'll be on a Saturday night, starting at about 9pm.
2. There will be about 30-35 people.
3. I'd like to have a spread of apps/small plates available and a cash (full) bar.
4. I'd rather not pay a rental fee, nor for a private bartender.
5. Ideally, I'd love a place that's not crowded but has a lively, fun vibe.

A private-ish room, or sofa area, or upstairs/downstairs lounge, etc., would be great. For example, I love the rear sofa area at Jadis on the LES, but 1) we've been there a hundred times, and 2) they serve only beer and wine and I'd like a full bar.

Too tall an order? I hope not -- why am I paying so much to live in this city if not for the boundless options for exactly this kind of event? (Well...don't answer that!)

Any and all suggestions are most welcome! And appreciated!

42 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

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  1. Essex is a good choice- you an take one of the upstairs loft areas, they play music (but make sure you get the loft area that does not have the dj, too loud)- they also will do a cash bar and set up a bartender (who you would have to tip out) . They has will do platters for you of food

    1 Reply
    1. re: jbone

      Thanks, Jbone!! I'll check out Essex. I'd forgotten that I'd attended a bday in their upstairs loft years ago, actually, and it was fun.

    2. Hi! Years ago I used to frequent Villa Della Pace, down in the Village...somewhat rustic Italian, full bar--I remember thinking the food was good (particularly the antipasti) though I haven't been there in a while. I do remember they had a really nice room downstairs that might be perfect for a party like yours. Might be worth considering. Also, Inoteca on the LES has a nice room downstairs, and a party menu...

      1 Reply
      1. re: piattoparla

        'inoteca on the LES has a room fee ($2,750.00 exclusive of tax and 20% gratuity) and the downstairs room is meant more for a sit down dinner.

        323 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

      2. A friend of mine recently threw a party for her husband at Solas on E. 9th St. She brought her own food in, and we had the upstairs lounge, which has its own bar, all to ourselves. I'm not sure whether she paid a rental fee - she sprung for everyone's drinks, so that may have been enough for Solas. It was a very nice space, comfortable, good music, plenty of room to move. One caveat: do not drink the margaritas, as they are disgusting.

        1. i've been to really nice parties at Mercat and La Palapa, and i think Jane and The Smith also do what you're looking for.

          45 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012

          La Palapa
          77 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003