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 (14 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

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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