Where should I have my birthday drinks?
May 19, 2010 10:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm having birthday drinks in a few weeks and am looking for a lower Manhattan bar that tends to attract a crowd of people in their mid-20s and older. I'm not interested in dive bars, extremely upscale bars or bars with DJs/musical acts. Just a relaxed venue for me and my friends to spend a few hours on a Saturday night. Ideally, the bar should be below 14th St. Any suggestions?
posted by zembla3 to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Just was at Swift for a birthday party a couple of weeks ago and thought it was a perfect spot for something like this. Very relaxed vibe, friendly crowd, not too young.
posted by bethist at 10:14 AM on May 19, 2010


It's on the low-to-mid-range of the divey-to-swank scale, but my brother had a really fun 27th birthday at the Musical Box in the East Village last year. Very laid back, with ample seating (couches and such in the back room) and a back deck. Not crowded at all, even on a Saturday night, and a relaxed, friendly crowd.
posted by lunasol at 10:20 AM on May 19, 2010


Little Branch.
posted by minervous at 10:31 AM on May 19, 2010


I went to a MeFi meetup at Vol de Nuit on West 4th Street and really liked it.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:38 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


The meetups at Revival have always been pretty good too. It's just above 14th, but close to Union Square and thus very accessible.
posted by hermitosis at 10:41 AM on May 19, 2010


Seconding Swift. It's one of my favorite spots in NY.

If your crowd is really into beer and scotch, I suggest dba.
posted by brand-gnu at 10:52 AM on May 19, 2010


Seconding Vol de Nuit -- especially if you have any smokers in your crew (there's a center courtyard where you can sit outside)
posted by ripple at 11:04 AM on May 19, 2010


I like B Flat - they have jazz on Mondays and Wednesdays, but no live music the other nights.
posted by unsub at 11:10 AM on May 19, 2010


The Magician and The Radio Bar are cool, low-key nice-not-too-nice places.

Botantica is also one of my favorites.
posted by The Whelk at 11:57 AM on May 19, 2010


Little Branch gets a little crowded on weekends (opens at 7pm) and late-comers to the party might get stuck outside, waiting in line.
posted by kathryn at 1:09 PM on May 19, 2010


It falls more towards the Dive end than the upscale end of the spectrum, but The Magician is kind of a default birthday party/meetup spot that can be less crowded on a Saturday night than some other options.
posted by andrewraff at 2:04 PM on May 19, 2010


The Room on Sullivan Street, Fat Cat in the West Village, or Drop Off Service on the Lower East Side would be my recommendations.
posted by banananutrament at 3:51 PM on May 19, 2010


Fat Cat can get a little nuts when they have live music, or if its an NYU-heavy crowd on a given night. I would disagree that its a "relaxed venue".

Musical Box in alphabet city sounds like a great spot, right in line with the original request.
posted by ben242 at 5:02 PM on May 19, 2010


I came in to recommend Swift as well, so... I'll just nth it instead. The waitstaff is very pleasant and helpful, and the back room is lovely for a birthday celebration, big or small.
posted by inmediasres at 8:47 PM on May 19, 2010


registering a third for vol de nuit... though all the recommendations make me want to go out to swift next time I'm down there.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:38 PM on May 19, 2010


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