Ideas for an affordable holiday gathering or happy hour venue?
I'm looking for ideas for a private party or happy hour for up to about 40 people. I run a new small business and would like to hold a small holiday gathering for my clients and business contacts. I'd love a place where I can maybe offer wine (and maybe beer) and appetizers or an inexpensive buffet meal. I'm happy to bring in outside food, too. Or perhaps a place that will allow me to bring food (or serve food) and then offer happy hour specials. I'm open to a restaurant, bar, or even a gallery space. My budget is very small, but my crowd would be mostly food writers, journalists, foodies, so I could also offer that access in trade to the venue. Any ideas?
In terms of location, I'm totally flexible. Ideal would be on the West side, anywhere between Chelsea and the UWS (Hell's Kitchen, Midtown West, etc.). But If you have other ideas elsewhere in the city, I'm open to them.