You hardly ever need a private room, but once you do, a good one's hard to find. That's where we come in. Maybe you have to plan a holiday party, maybe you have to take some clients out, or maybe you just want to celebrate your birthday around a bunch of people who can definitely tell a taxi how to get you home. Some of these private rooms are on the pricier side, but a few of them won't deplete your checking account. Whatever the situation, here are 19 great bars with private rooms, sorted by capacity. Party on.
If you hang out in Williamsburg, you've probably passed by The Federal Bar a few hundred times. If you've never stopped in, it's a solid spot - and it has a private room that seats up to 10. They also serve American gastropub type food, so invite some people who want eat burgers and drink beer. This isn't really a late-night spot, however, so plan an early-ish exit, then swing by one of the nearby bars where things get rowdy. We're thinking The Commodore or Union Pool.
Terroir has one of the smaller rooms on the list, and it's great if you just want to drink a bunch of wine and eat some meatballs in an intimate setting (it's in the basement). The wine list here is huge, the small plates they serve are surprisingly good, and they don't take themselves too seriously. So if you generally consider yourself too cool for wine bars, this one might be an exception.
If your small company wants to have a quiet dinner, or if you're turning 35 and you don't mind making this fact public, La Compagnie's space might be right for you. It fits up to 18, and it's semi-private. There isn't a door, but it's secluded enough that no one from a less-fun party will intrude. Go with a small group and pretend you're in Paris. The food is (you guessed it) French, and it's moderately priced, but most of your money will probably go towards a few good bottles from their extensive wine list.
Blue Haven is a super casual option for your next birthday. In the rear of the bar, there’s a small room with a few dart boards and a couple of tables - and you can reserve it for your own private hang. This isn't the biggest (or fanciest) room on the list, but if all you want on your birthday is to drink some whiskey and throw some darts with increasingly poor aim, this is the place. Blue Haven is also a sports bar, so if TV’s factor into your decision, they have you covered.
HiFi isn’t the trendiest bar in the East Village, but it is a good place to go with a group. There’s a nice open layout with plenty of seats, and, if you want extra privacy, you can rent out the cozy back room (complete with its own bar). There are readings and comedy shows back here from time to time, but it’s also good for any special occasion when you need guaranteed seating and a guaranteed soundtrack that doesn't feature Miley Cyrus (until you want it to). The location on Avenue A is also central enough that even your flakiest friends will probably show up.
If you want to hang out in a private space with a big group of friends downtown, consider the Winslow. You can book the back room in advance, and there’s no fee, just a minimum spending requirement. Get enough people together, and that minimum won’t be an issue. This place is a civilized pub in the daytime, but, late at night, tends to attract post-college types who aren’t above putting vodka in their Red Bull. So book the back room here for a birthday you might not remember.
The Flatiron Room feels like a saloon on a 19th Century steam boat, and there will probably be live music when you go. On the ground floor, people hang out and drink at tables in a civilized fashion, and up a set of stairs there's a semi-hidden space with a long communal table and a lounge area. If you have money to spend, and you're looking for a bar with a guaranteed grown-up atmosphere, this is the place. And if your clients (or friends) want to choose from hundreds of different whiskeys, you've found the right spot.
Picture the lobby of the hotel where your very rich grandparents stay. That’s the parlor at The Clover Club. Here you’ll find some couches, armchairs, coffee tables, and a chandelier. (There’s also a fireplace and a bar with a few seats.) This place would probably be best for a graduation party, an upscale family gathering, or a boozy corporate event - but if you turn the lights low enough, romantic vibes will probably appear. This is also one of the top cocktail bars in Brooklyn, so if your guests only drink alcohol with hand-carved ice, the Clover Club has you covered.
This is a brewery in Gowanus with a large bar, a big backyard, and a room for private events that fits 50. The space is called Tiny Montgomery, and it's good for just about anything. Invite a bunch of people for a mellow birthday dinner or bring in someone with a banjo and have a dance party. And, if you're wondering, they serve more than just beer. They have wine, liquor, and food as well.
The space downstairs at The Wren looks like the private bar you'll never have in your dream house. It also fits up to 60, and we're thinking you should have your after-party there the next time you premiere a film. Or if you're getting married, have an engagement party there. (That's a thing, right?) Everyone will think the space is attractive, and there will likely be a crowd in the bar up top, so your party down below will feel like your own private nightclub. This is a pricier option, but if you have the means, it's a great private room.
The Ten Bells is a very nice looking wine bar on the Lower East Side, and they have two private rooms where you can sit down with 35 people (or stand up with 60). If you need to plan an event on the LES, but you want it to be a little more grown-up, this is a good choice. For food, they serve some tapas that won't blow your mind, but you come here for the wine anyways. A lot of it is natural, organic, or biodynamic - so wine geeks can do their thing.
The Penrose is a zoo of a bar on the Upper East Side. The overall vibe of the place is tavern-inside-a-West-Elm, and, judging by the crowds, that's exactly what the Upper East Side wants. But if you walk all the way to the back, you’ll find the Spencer Room, with its own private bar and plenty of seating. It's pricey, but a good choice to keep in mind if you have a corporate budget. Alternatively, if you happen to have lots of cash or enough friends to fill it for a birthday, you can have a pretty great time.
If you need somewhere quaint and in Brooklyn (and just a little bit fancy), look into St. Mazie. Most of the action (including live music) happens in the bar upstairs and in the backyard, but down below there's a dining space that you can rent out for parties. This is less for casual get-togethers, and more for bigger functions, and we could see it working for a Brooklyn-themed wedding reception or as the headquarters of a secret society.
If you want to do your birthday right in Brooklyn, this is where you do it. Granted, it would be a pretty big birthday party. Rye’s private room is smaller than its ground-floor restaurant, but the Bar Below Rye can still fit up to 75 people. It’s a long, dark room decorated like an old-school pub, and whoever’s behind the bar will be able to make an excellent old fashioned, guaranteed. A large budget will come in handy when renting out this space, but if you want to celebrate getting older and more responsible by buying everyone you know a few rounds of Manhattans, we say go for it.
The third-floor event space at The Dead Rabbit is called the Occasional Room, and it’s a good option for corporate events or very special occasions. The room is decorated exactly like the rest of the 19th-century-themed bar, and it fits up to 65 people. This is also one of the best cocktail bars in the city, so you know you're going to get good drinks, and the FiDi location is convenient for both those that work in finance and those that just got out of central booking and want to celebrate.
This is, arguably, the best overall deal on the list. At Loreley, all you need is 25 people and (for no charge) you can reserve the downstairs party room. Surely you must know 25 people who want to celebrate your birthday in the basement of a Lower East Side beer garden. If someone’s on the fence, just tell them there are two TV’s, a sound system, and a private bar. Of course you’ll have to pay for food and drink, but where else can you spend your birthday watching your two favorite movies simultaneously while your roommate DJ’s (and everyone eats bratwurst)?
Draught 55 is a multi-level bar with several different rooms, some of which can be rented out to private parties. The atrium fits up to 100 people, but you might be in the market for something more like the cellar bar. It’s an intimate basement space with its own private bar, and it’s a good middle-of-the-road option for a work event. If your boss is making you arrange a company party that has to be in Midtown, this is not your worst option.
There are four rooms at Dear Irving, and every room has a different theme. So you could technically rent out Dear Irving and have four different costume parties. That would run you around $3,500 per hour, however, so the practical alternative is to rent a single room, such as the one inspired by Marie Antoinette. It’s all the way in the back, and you can reserve it for a swanky birthday or a classy bachelorette party. Dear Irving is located in Gramercy, so it's a good middle ground for uptown and downtown people, and it’s an ideal option if you have money to spend and you care about interior design.
This is a winery in Williamsburg that also happens to have a great wine bar and a couple of event spaces. Objectively, this is a very attractive place - and if you want to get married at a vineyard in Napa, but can’t get people to fly that far, this is where you go instead. But getting married at Brooklyn Winery is strictly optional. You can also have a small party in the intimate parlor space (or a larger one in the atrium). Whichever you choose, your party will be mellow, and classy, and, yes, very Instagrammable.