“Where should I have my birthday in NYC?”

22 Mar

You’ve surely noticed by now that young people in NYC have their birthday parties at bars. And when you’re new to town, picking one can be just as daunting as the thought of 25 people in your apartment.

When you Google “Where should I have my birthday in NYC?” and the like, you’ll get lots of answers — however, many trendy spots’ event spaces come with hefty minimums, a guarantee that you’ll have a certain number of guests and so forth.

The cozy front-of-house nook at Stone Creek.

Before you pick a birthday bar, ask these questions:

• Does the bar have a private room I can reserve? If so, how much does it cost, and can I afford that?
• Are there food/drink minimums of any kind?
• What is the average drink price for beer, wine, cocktails? Will these prices seem below, at or above average for my guests?
• If the reserved area is integrated with the rest of the bar, will my guests still feel comfortable if the bar gets crowded?
• How loud is it in there? Will guests be able to converse comfortably?
• Can we get a group discount or special happy hour of some kind?
• Will a gratuity be included, even if everyone pays for themselves? If so, for how much?
• Can guests bring food or drink of their own?
• Are there cake-cutting services, utensils or plates that can be provided? Candles? Party gear?
• Is there a coat check or coat rack?

Recently I held an event at Stone Creek Bar & Lounge. It fit my criteria of being nearby, not overcrowded or overhyped, free/no fee or minimum (I reserved the cozy front area) and spacious enough to host about 20 people.

I was so impressed that I was compelled to write and thank the owner. This is such a simple thing, but especially appreciated in a go-go-go place like New York City, where venues see thousands of patrons on a regular basis. If the wait staff goes above and beyond to make your evening special, I encourage you to do the same after you’ve had your party.

If you’ve had your birthday at a NYC bar, please tell us where and what it was like in the comments, and let us know what tips you have!

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One Response to ““Where should I have my birthday in NYC?””

  1. Bill Gaines 04/06 at 12:27 pm #

    Hi there. I just wanted to thank you so much for writing this. It served as an inspiration for our new website, http://MyNYCBirthday.com, and we love reading your blog.

    Thanks again!

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