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Friday, April 27, 2007

It's Your Birthday - vol. 2

It's your birthday and you want to celebrate with 50 of your closest friends. Rolling up to a nightclub is out of the question, even if you are "friends with the owner."

If you feel like throwing a big birthday bash, you are better off finding a venue that can give you an exclusive area to entertain your guests. Here are two venues that are cool without the attitude and rate high on service.

Cocktails for 40-75: Merc Bar (151 Mercer Street)

I used to joke around with restauranteur John McDonald that he was the Mayor of Mercer Street. Not only were his CITY magazine offices located there but two of his establishments - Lure Fish Bar (which used to be Canteen) and, the long-standing SoHo favorite, Merc Bar.

Recently, I checked out his newly renovated event space in Merc Bar called The Red Room. It comes stocked with a premium bar and staffed with a bartender, cocktail server, busser and doorman to ensure only your guests are allowed in and out. They need your guest list (please alphabetize!) in advance. You can bring in your own DJ (as well as the equipment) or just plug in your iPod into the state of the art sound system.

Besides a killer martini selection, they offer catering from Lure Fish Bar. Menu selections include Spicy Tuna Tartare Crisps, Mini Crab Cakes, Wild Mushroom Tartlets, and Grilled Filet Mignon to name a few.

Cash Bar
Room rental fee : $300.00 per hour + tax and 20% gratuity

Open Bar
No room rental fee
$30.00 per person per hour + tax and 20% gratuity

Minimum of 2 hours and 40 guests.

Contact: Jennifer, 646 873 4999 or

Cocktails for 50-100: Kelley and Ping (325 Bowery, 212-475-8600)

I've been to a few birthday parties at this gorgeous loft style event space that is located on the second floor above the restaurant. The room has large windows, exposed brick, a working fireplace, a private bar and restroom.

Staffing is provided at $35/hour per person but is deducted from your room rental fee. Hors d'oeuvres are available from the restaurant below or from an offsite caterer. You can bring in your own DJ but you need to provide the equipment. You can have cash bar or open bar as long as your meet the minimums.

Sunday - Thursday
Room Rental is $500 for 5 hours
$1500 food and beverage minimum + tax and 20% gratuity

Friday and Saturday
Room Rental is $500 for 5 hours
$2000 food and beverage minimum + tax and 20% gratuity

Contact: Miche Griffen, 212-979-7866 ext 201 or

When booking these venues, tell them Notes On A Party sent you so they'll know you are an insider. As always, pass this along to friends, colleagues and family. And, please feel free to leave a comment about your favorite birthday spots around the city.

Interested in great restaurants to host a birthday dinner? Check out It's Your Birthday, vol. 1.

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