Help me throw myself a birthday party in NYC
December 6, 2010 11:16 AM   Subscribe

I think I want to throw myself a 30th birthday party in NYC next month. Help me find the perfect venue.

I'm turning 30 on January 20th (a Thursday) and I'd like to host a party for about 40 - 60 of my friends. I'm pretty set on Manhattan, but if you've got a great place in mind that's literally just a stop or two into Brooklyn or Queens, feel free to mention it.

I'm especially looking for people who have had a party like this and liked (or didn't like) their experience with a particular venue.

The ballpark budget I have in mind is around $300 - $400, but if this is wildly out of whack with my expectations, let me know, as I have never done this before. I'm willing to spend more for something really awesome. Here are some of the things I'm looking for in a venue:

- I'm kind of assuming it will end up being a bar or pub, because that's where most birthday parties I go to are (unless they're at someone's apartment). So a bar that rents out either a back room or the whole bar space for a decent price is sort of what I have in mind, but I'm open to awesome suggestions of other locations.

- It would be great if the drinks were reasonably priced, as a lot of my friends are kind of broke at the moment. (I'm not assuming I will be able to arrange any kind of open bar with my limited budget.) So $14 cocktail bars are not going to work very well.

- Also, if they serve some kind of snacky food people can order as they feel like it, that would be great. Alternatively, if they'll let me bring in a bunch of snacks without giving me a hard time about it, that's fine too.

- Knowing my friends, I really can't commit to a particular number of people, and it's likely a lot of people will stop by for a drink or two at some point in the evening and then leave. So the headcount needs to be flexible.

- I'd love it if the venue were more interesting than just a faux-Irish pub, but my other criteria trump this one as it's mainly about hanging out with my friends.

- I'd probably want to start this thing right after work on that Thursday (say 6pm) and not have to kick people out until midnight (or later).
posted by miskatonic to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For your 300-400 bucks you just want a room? (I hope that's the case)
posted by JPD at 11:22 AM on December 6, 2010

Response by poster: Yeah, I'm hoping to get a big private room at a bar, or an equivalent kind of space.
posted by miskatonic at 11:24 AM on December 6, 2010

Best answer: I've been to a bunch (and had mine thrown for me by someone else) at Madame X. I have broke friends and it's a place that seems to be used often, so I would bet a correlation in favor of your situation. They don't do food. I would order a pizza or something like that from nearby and get it delivered. They've prolly done this before and have a list of menus you could order from. They do have Mercy and i would recommend having some mixed or straight -- it helps prevent hangovers. Good luck venue-hunting and Happy pre-30th!
posted by Sweetdefenestration at 1:19 PM on December 6, 2010

> Sweetdefenestration,
I am not sure Madame X is big enough for 60 people. But their pussy galopres are to DIE for.

I went to a very cool snack/drink/dancing place for my friend's bday. Also in the village. I believe it was called lesouk (there is another location in alphabet city, but both might be good for what you're trying to do).
posted by mooselini at 1:33 PM on December 6, 2010

Try the basement party room at THE TRIPLE CROWN. 330 7th Ave. 212-736-1575. Friendly staff and very affordable (not a HUGE space, but I've been to some great parties there).

And you may not even have to rent this, but I had my 30th and several other parties down in the basement bar of THREE OF CUPS. 83 1st Ave. 212-388-0059. I *love* that place.

If you have a significant amount of money to burn and expect a huge crowd, then I recommend TAJ LOUNGE.
posted by jimmymcvee at 4:55 PM on December 6, 2010

Just to add: my guess on Triple Crown is $400/$500, but don't quote me.

And Three of Cups has great food upstairs (Triple Crown's not bad either and they'd let you bring in separate food too, I think).
posted by jimmymcvee at 4:58 PM on December 6, 2010

One more- I've also had parties at Ocean's 8 on Flatbush in Brooklyn. 20-25 minutes from midtown. Q/B/2/3 trains go there. Bar, pool tables, ping pong, arcade. They have a private room or you can rent a section of the place I think. Or just go there during non-peak hours.
308 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 857-5555
posted by jimmymcvee at 5:02 PM on December 6, 2010

I like the downstairs party room at Diablo Royale (Ave A between 11th and 12th)--they don't charge you for the room, but there's a minimum amount for alcohol sales so they can pay the bartender down there.
posted by eve harrington at 6:32 PM on December 6, 2010

If you have a bunch of friends that are broke, I would recommend getting a table at Sutra in the East Village. Le Souk can be a bit pricey and has shut down a few times in the past few years. Sutra has a good vibe most nights, doesn't have a strict dress code (but you won't look out of place really dressed up), less than $10 for a good drink, and good music. It's also not that far from the F train.
posted by msk1985 at 9:04 PM on December 6, 2010

I don't have any suggestions but please post back and let us know where you decided to go and how it worked out!

I would really love to know, seeing as how my friends are also broke and not the type to RSVP anywhere lol

And happy birthday!
posted by lovelygirl at 9:31 AM on December 7, 2010

Response by poster: I have booked the private upstairs bar at Madame X for the party. Instead of a flat fee, it's a bar guarantee, which seems a reasonable way to do it. I'll let you all know how it goes!
posted by miskatonic at 8:48 AM on January 4, 2011

Response by poster: As a followup, my party at Madame X went swimmingly. I actually ended up having about 70 people there, but the capacity of the upstairs bar (including the back room upstairs) is around 100, so it was fine. They let me bring in non-messy food (I just went to Trader Joe's the day of the party and bought a ton of snacks and cookies and things) and then cleaned up after us and packaged the leftovers for me to bring home. I got to DJ the party off my iPhone and control the music volume, which was nice. Bar guarantee for four hours was $1200 (including tips), but we met it easily, so I did not have to pay anything for using the space. Because I was confident of meeting the bar guarantee, I decided to drop a couple hundred bucks on drink tickets to pass out to my friends during the party, which I'm glad I did. The staff were friendly and helpful and liked my taste in music. I'll probably pick Madame X again if I need to have another big party.

Here's photos if you're interested!
posted by miskatonic at 5:25 AM on February 4, 2011

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