The Best Bars to Host a Party in New York
As homey as a house party might sound (Coats on the bed! Ice in the tub!), lets be honest: New York apartments that are actually conducive to group cocktailing are few and far between. Throw in unpredictable December weather and even more unpredictable neighbors and you have a recipe for disaster. Upgrade your gathering this year by heading to one of these bars where you and your crew can comfortably imbibe en masse.
If you and your crew are looking to feel like main characters for a night, consider renting a room at Casino. This Southern Italian spot from the team behind Primo's and Mr. Fong's has become a Dimes Square favorite for destination dinners, parties, and date nights. The main dining room, fitting up to 70, is clad with plush red banquettes, white tablecloths, and bright red floors, exuding an air of upscale retro sexiness perfect for both special occasions. The downstairs bar, which accomodates 40, can be accessed through the main dining room and also boasts its own private street entrance, painted entirely red. Put on whatever outfit makes you feel most glamorous, and immerse yourself in an evening filled with strong cocktails and soft jazz.
Based out of a former Oddfellows Ice Cream factory in Bushwick, this flexible and fun space is outfitted with candy apple (cherry?) tables, playful custom cushions, and hand-drawn illustrations from designer-turned-owner Cerise Zelenetz. The nostalgic “not so petit bar à vin naturel” has hosted a range of spirited events, from wine tastings, supper clubs, and chef residencies, to all out dance parties, taking advantage not only of the cute ground floor interior, but also the sizable rooftop - the cherry on top, so to speak - decked out with vintage furniture and abundant greenery. The main room fits up to 40 guests, while the rooftop is perfect for parties of up to 70.
If you're craving an immersive experience of disco and house beats, venture beneath Al Coro in the Meatpacking District to discover Discolo. A collaboration between Chef Melissa Rodriguez and restaurateur Jeff Katz, this subterranean lounge features low-slung ceilings aglow with pulsating multicolored lights that synchronize with the rhythm of the dance floor. When you've grown tired of dancing, seek respite in a separate lounge adorned with plush leather sofas and boucle-upholstered chairs, encircling an onyx bar. With a space for up to 70 party-goers, Discolo invites you to let loose in an intimate yet lively setting.
In the fall of 2023, Gem Wine moved out of its original location on Broome and into the Forsyth Street space which previously housed Flynn McGarry’s debut restaurant, Gem, allowing the wine bar to double its seating capacity and expand food offerings with a full kitchen. The fine dining wunderkind offers more relaxed fare at the Copenhagen-inspired wine bar, an understated and homey space he largely designed himself, with custom cherry wood tables, ceramic fish sconces, and a whimsical collection of nautical accent pieces - in the chef’s own words, “if a Shaker lived at the beach.” If that sounds like a party to you, the space can be booked out for up to 50 guests. (We hope you’ll invite us.)
If your party calls for sexy lighting, sublime drinks, and elevated Japanese bar snacks, then Bar Goto is the spot for you. Despite being located in the heart of downtown Manhattan, the moment you step through its doors, you'll feel transported to a sophisticated Tokyo cocktail haven. The vibe is upscale yet comforting; order a hojicha old fashioned (cognac, aged rum, Kyoto roasted green tea, chocolate bitters) alongside chicken wings slathered in spicy miso sauce and kombu celery. This acclaimed Lower East Side izakaya is the next best thing to a group trip to Japan.
Inspired by jazz kissas, the famed record bars of Tokyo, Eavesdrop is first and foremost a space designed for listening. The cozy, blonde wood-framed bar in Greenpoint boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and a formidable collection of international albums, and although the tunes are often front and center, it’s also an exceptional spot to enjoy craft cocktails, seasonal small plates, and thoughtful conversation. In addition to stools by the bar top, there is also booth and high-top seating in the back, as well as a garden for the warmer months. For an intimate night of audibly-enhanced sipping, Eavesdrop accommodates groups of up to 36 guests.
Tucked beneath an historic 1830s townhouse a couple steps off the cobblestones, Jac’s On Bond is the newest neighborhood hangout from the team behind Ray’s and Pebble Bar. Drawing inspiration from 90s haunts, Jac’s is neither a bar nor a club; it’s an inviting space with amber lighting and cozy booths where one can be guaranteed an expertly-made cocktail, an impressive bite, and a good time. Come for a caprese martini and stay for a round of pool or two; enjoy a menu of craveable, elevated bar snacks by Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske.
Channeling a bit of 1920’s Paris in central Brooklyn, this Court Street favorite self-identifies as the borough’s first natural wine bar, offering sulfite-free, low to no intervention pours and market-driven small plates in the heart of Cobble Hill since 2015. The wine list, curated by wine director Benjamin Foley, leans toward French and progressive American winemakers, but with 500+ bottles there’s arguably something to please every palate (including some knockout affordable options). One side of the main space is dominated by a Brescian marble bar, while the opposite side features custom oak banquettes and alabaster tables, separated by elegant stained glass panels. Furnishings can easily be arranged for casual standing events, comfortably accommodating 30 guests. Alternatively, groups of up to 25 can book the patio, which features a glass lean-to roof - canvas panels and infrared heat lamps can fully enclose the space during the cooler months.
Named after the Chinese American restaurant that previously occupied the space, this breezy tiki bar brings a taste of mid century Miami to Crown Heights without overdoing it on the kitsch factor: It’s a place where you can enjoy excellent daquiris and not too saccharine frozens, plus a dependable lineup of weekend DJs and rotating Caribbean pop-up food offerings. The space recently underwent a full visual refresh inspired by South Beach Deco, adding eclectic vintage furniture, custom porthole windows, and a handsome antique bar with original marquetry to the ground floor. The main bar area accommodates 37 guests, but if the weather cooperates, another 36 can enjoy their outdoor garden.
Located at the corner of Ludlow and Canal, this wine bar from Golden Age Hospitality (the group behind spots like Acme, Le Crocodile, Bar Blondeau) sits at the heart of Dimes Square, offering a variety of bistro staples alongside a tightly curated list of natural wines and well executed classic cocktails. Despite being hip to the latest trends in biodynamic bottling, the food and the vibe are decidedly old school, drawing on the vintage look and feel of tabacs, low key watering holes that dot the streets of Paris, frequently identified by a red diamond-shaped sign. While the upstairs bar is what it’s most known for, the private basement at Le Dive, adorned with retro decor and equipped with a DJ booth, comfortably accommodates up to 45 guests, allowing for a bit more privacy and space for your evening soiree.
Owner Brittany Myrick named this slightly psychedelic Greenpoint natural wine bar after her favorite regulars she encountered while working as the sommelier at Roberta’s. Much like the bottles she stocks, the space is funky, with green velvet seating, a pink terrazzo bar, and Flavin-esque neon lighting. In addition to their wines (including a substantial selection of vermouth and sherry), Lise e Vito also offers a tight menu of draft cocktails and spritz, plus Solid Wiggles jello shots, nonalcoholic options aplenty, and tinned fish - in other words, it's the type of new Greenpoint spot we’re actually excited about. The bar can host events for up to 55 guests.
Manero's of Mulberry is a classic red sauce joint a in the heart of Little Italy paying homage to John Travolta's iconic Saturday Night Fever character. Immerse yourself in the nostalgia of a bygone era as you gather with family, friends, or coworkers to savor the classics—spaghetti and meatballs, rice balls, and more. As the clock strikes midnight, the bar provides the opportunity for some late-night indulgence by serving up individual slices to patrons in need. The drink menu also pays tribute to the powerful women of Studio 54's heyday, which Manero's clearly takes much of its inspiration from. Loosen your inhibitions with a "Bianca Jagger" cocktail, slip out of your wooden booth, and enjoy the shimmering disco ball with a group of up to 150 people.
Near the intersection of Lafayette and Fulton, Margot’s cobalt facades beckons guests into its perhaps surprisingly minimal light wood and concrete interior. The women-led, seasonally-driven neighborhood restaurant comes from an established crew of New York hospitality professionals, whose commendable resumes include opening beloved zero-waste natural wine bar Rhodora, and revamping Eleven Madison Park’s bar program with an emphasis on sustainability and culinary-driven beverages. That same energy is carried over to Margot, where you can enjoy an ever changing menu of French-leaning share plates alongside expertly curated natural wine and creative cocktails. The annex space upstairs affords comfortable space for 30, while the main dining room can accommodate up to 70 guests.
Located on historic Great Jones Street, The Nines is Golden Hospitality's latest addition to the NoHo scene: a sexy old-school piano lounge pairing an uptown-slash-European sense of elegance with downtown charm. Wall-to-wall cheetah carpets brush against plush red banquettes. Vintage Murano glass chandeliers cast a dim glow throughout the space. A mahogany bar, presides over the front room, with luxurious red velvet curtains hiding an enchanting music parlor behind where resident artists, spanning genres from jazz to classical, serenade up to 70 guests at a time.
Located at the landmarked 70 Pine Street, Overstory is a contemporary cocktail bar from the team behind Chef James Kent’s Two Michelin starred Saga. A travertine guides guests from the restaurant on the 63rd floor to the bar on the 64th, a sleek and understated space with blonde woods and minimal ambient lighting, with prime views of the surrounding city through the windows and wraparound terrace. Aside from the impressive digs, the thoughtfully composed yet easy to drink cocktails (including impressive nonalcoholic offerings) by bar director Harrison Ginsberg and attentive service earned Overstory a spot on the 2023 World’s 50 Best Bars List. If you’re seeking a spot to sip in the height of luxury with up to 60 guests, this is undoubtedly your best bet.
Nestled within the historic Chelsea Hotel, The Piano Room exudes an old-school artistic charm, illuminated by the warm glow of vintage lamps. A Baby Grand takes center stage amid a space that has famously seen the likes of Bob Dylan, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Patti Smith, to name a few. Mismatched custom chairs and plush sofas provide ample space for lounging for up to 75 guests. The piano room has its own private entrance and fun-filled Solarium attached, making it the perfect timeless escape for a classy cocktail soiree.
For a true blend of old-school and modern New York, consider celebrating at Pebble Bar, a sprawling four-storey project in Rockefeller Center. Previously a bar called Hurley's, the space was once a retreat for TV's late-night hosts, earning the moniker "Studio 1-H" from Saturday Night Live cast and crew members, and incorporating a secret entrance for Johnny Carson. If you're looking for a more exclusive area to mingle with your crew, check out Johnny's, the fourth-floor private event space paying homage to Carson. Accessible only by elevator, Johnny's features an intimate corner bar with a view of 6th Avenue, a versatile space for live music, screenings, and more.
Tucked within the Frederick Hotel lobby is Primo's, a sleek, art deco-inspired bar and lounge. Launched in 2018 by managing partner Aisa Blue Shelley (of Mr. Fong's, Casino, and Casetta fame), Primo's has become a cornerstone of Tribeca's nightlife. The main dining room houses plush velvet banquettes, complemented by a mix of Italian tiles and wood-paneled walls, creating a playful yet refined ambiance. The main bar and lounge is attached to a private backroom complete with its discreet street entrance, ideal for engagements that stretch into the wee hours. Gather your crew, indulge in extra dirty martinis and some off-menu midnight pasta, available only after, you guessed it, midnight. Primo's can accommodate groups of up to 60.
A fixture of the downtown scene since the late 1980s, Temple Bar was properly rejuvenated in 2021 by the Attaboy team. The interior is loosely art deco-inspired, with dim lighting, a checkered black and white tile floor and a sprawling wooden bar that lines the front room. Guests can enjoy complimentary popcorn alongside an extensive selection of top-notch drinks, with a particular emphasis on martinis. Securing a seat without a reservation can be a challenge, but for those in search of a guaranteed sexy evening in the heart of Nolita, Temple Bar is available for half and full buyouts, accomodating 50 and 100 respectively.