Where To Host A Mitzvah In New York City

This is New York. The are always new venues as well as classics to consider. Here’s a taste:

Let’s Eat

Plein Sud Restaurant’s main dining room is great for smaller to mid-size affairs. The French brasserie-style main dining room can hold up to 90 people for a sit-down dinner and 150 for hors d’oeuvres. The restaurant is located in the Smyth Hotel, which means one-stop shopping for out-of-town guests. Located at 85 West Broadway. Contact: Claudia Gismondi, 212-204-5561 or [email protected]

Opia Restaurant at 130 East 57th Street in Midtown has adjoining rooms which means you can host from 14 to 300 people for a sit-down dinner with dancing, or just serve drinks and passed appetizers. Price per person varies depending on menu and number of guests. Contact: Jimena, 212-688-8448 or [email protected]

Guastavino’s window-filled building under the Queensboro bridge at 409 East 59th Street was named for the distinctive terracotta tiles adorning its arches and vaults. The look is classic New York—these are the same tiles that are in the subway stations and Grand Central Terminal. Contact: 212-980-2711, guastavinos.com

Apella Event Space at Alexandria Center at 450 East 29th Street can hold up to 300 guests for a cocktail reception, 250 seated theater style, and various other setups for smaller events. All food and beverage is exclusively catered by Tom Colicchio’s restaurant and sandwich shop, Riverpark, and ‘wichcraft. Contact: 212-706-4100 or [email protected]

Dance The Night Away

Tenjune occupies a former garage in the Meatpacking District. This subterranean lounge oozes urban cool with zebra prints, a horseshoe-shaped dance floor and a bar covered in leather. Located at 26 Little West 12th Street. Contact: 646-624-2410 or [email protected]

Arena at 135 West 41st Street in Bryant Park has New York’s largest programmable LED lighting system and is home to some of Fashion Week’s swankiest affairs. Great for budding fashionistas to celebrate their milestone. Contact: Gina La Rochelle or Anthony Coppers, 212-278-0988 x103 or [email protected]

Lofty Ideas

The Glasshouses at 545 West 25th Street offer a blank canvas of windowed walls. Choose from a room with 11- or 14-foot ceilings; it’s $7,500 starting price to rent either space, and both hold 150 people for seated dinners or 200 for cocktail receptions. Contact: Yumi Han, 212-242-7800 x19 or [email protected]

Espace at 635 West 42nd is a clean, modern space just steps from Times Square that can hold up to 600 guests for a seated dinner. Teens will be thrilled to discover the wireless Internet access with which they can post real-time updates of the evening. Contact: 212-967-7003 or espaceny.com

The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers at Pier Sixty is a waterfront space that can hold 160 to 900 guests for a cocktail reception and 350 for dinner with dancing. Floor-to-ceiling windows have sweeping views of the Hudson and the lights of New Jersey. An outdoor patio makes this a perfect spot for a warm weather cocktail hour. Contact: Meredith Barsky, 212-336-6146 or [email protected]

Something A Little Different

Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center at 431 East Main Street in Riverhead will take your guests on a private journey through the ruins of the Lost City of Atlantis. The adventure continues in your choice of aquatic-themed rooms. Kids and adults alike will marvel at the petting tanks and shark exhibits. Contact: Johanna Zucaro, 631-208-9200 x220 or [email protected]

Hard Rock Café at 1501 Broadway is ideal for a party that really rocks. Every room in the venue is filled with music memorabilia, and you can rent the café’s indoor/outdoor space overlooking Times Square. Contact: John Pasquale, 212-991-1287 or [email protected]

Deb’s Family Disco at Club Arena at 135 West 41st Street, Bryant Park, is a colorful space known for catering to families. They offer a club, catering, DJ, dancers, performance artists, as well as photography and food, so you can focus on the important stuff, like what to wear. Contact: 212-586-7425 or familydisco.com

The Craft Studio (and its prime UES location) can now be rented out for bar/bat mitzvah parties with a fun and creative feel. The venue has disco balls and high ceilings, and can be transformed to suit any theme, with plenty of space for additional furniture, tables, and decor. Plus, there’s a huge menu of craft stations to select from and space for up 75 people. Contact: Lindsay Peers, 212-831-6626 or [email protected]

New York Hall of Science at 47-01 111th Street, Queens, offers an out-of-this-world setting. Holding your affair in their North Wing gives your guests an opportunity to explore outer space, dance with the stars, and even check out the interactive exhibits. Contact: Jennifer Brunjes, 718-699-0005 x371 or [email protected]

Providence at 311 West 57th Street has a 13,500-square-foot space featuring three levels and four bars to cater to any preferences and tastes. Formerly a church and studio where Sinatra, Hendrix, Streisand, and Stevie Wonder recorded their music, this space provides for a grand party. Features include a state-of-the-art sound system, intelligent lighting, plasma displays, and projection screens, all designed to add personalized special effects to the party. Contact: 212-505-7400 or metronomenyc.com

Let The Games Begin

SPiN New York, which is partly owned by Susan Sarandon, takes ping pong out of the suburban basement and transports it to a sleek and hip setting. Now imagine that setting transformed in a bar/bat mitzvah party for kids, with all the dancing and hoopla, plus something else that you can’t get anywhere else: lots of ping pong fun and games. Contact: 212-982-8802 or [email protected]

USTA Tennis Center’s President’s Dining & Lounge overlooks Arthur Ashe Stadium, giving tennis fans the wow factor. Located in Flushing Meadow Park, the stadium is home to the U.S. Open and the largest outdoor tennis-only venue in the world. Up to 300 guests can be entertained with dinner and dancing. Prices start at $11,000 to rent the space. Contact: Jennifer Matthews, 718-595-2420 or [email protected]

Yankee Stadium at East 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx is a dream come true for baseball aficionados. The Legends Suite Club extends from home plate down each baseline for unparalleled views of the ball field. Or try the Great Moments room, which is adorned with images of historic plays in Yankees history. Contact: 646-977-8400 or [email protected]

Dave & Buster’s at 234 West 42nd Street, 3rd Floor. Everyone can let their inner child out at this 31,500-square-foot gaming venue. D&B can hold parties for as few as 10 or as many as 1,200. Contact: Benjamin Maddy, 646-495-2011 or [email protected]

Lucky Strike Lanes at 624-660 West 42nd Street. They’ll have fun to spare at Lucky Strike Lanes. Hold your party in the main bowling area or rent the ultra-private Luxe room for fetes up to 200 people. Contact: Matt Miller, 646-829-0180

Wine and Dine, brought to you by former New York Knicks star Clyde Frazier, is a perfect spot for basketball-loving bar and bat mitzvah kids. This 10,000-square-foot restaurant, located at 485 Tenth Avenue, features a free throw court in addition to the typical dining room and bar and lounge spaces. 42 TV screens, a nine-screen video wall, and treats by a Latin-focused culinary team rounds out the entertainment offerings. Contact: Walter C. Rauscher, 212-842-1110 or [email protected]

Bowlmor Lanes Union Square/Greenwich Village Country Club at 110 University Place is the only indoor spot in New York where you can play mini golf, bocce ball, bowl, drink, and hit the dance floor all in one night. Contact: 212-255-8188 or bowlmor.com

Chic Choices

The Liberty Theater at 233 West 41st Street in Times Square was originally built in 1904 and for many years was home to some of New York’s finest theatrical productions before undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation in 2007. It’s now a restaurant and event space that can accommodate parties of almost any scale. Contact: William Curran, 212-997-1015 or [email protected]

The Edison Ballroom, the former Times Square Supper Club, retains its Art Deco style in a space that can hold up to 600 people. Use their kitchen staff or bring in your own. Prices range from $100 to $180 per person. Contact: Sean Campbell, 212-201-7650 or [email protected]

Broad Street Ballroom at 41 Broad Street retains all the elegance from its original use as a banking hall. The 5,700-square-foot ballroom is wrapped in a 220-foot mural chronicling the history of commerce by sea. Features include a state-of-the-art AV system perfect for showing a photo montage and seating for up to 300 guests. Contact: 646-624-2524 x360 or [email protected]

Harmonie Club at 4 East 60th Street is the second oldest social club in New York City, dating back to 1852. Its posh Beaux Arts design outside and traditional wood paneling inside make this locale a classic choice. Contact: 212-355-7400

Eventi offers a sleek and chic setting in a scene-defining neighborhood located at 851 Avenue of the Americas. Popular features include the Big Screen Plaza, a giant multi-media art screen, to display footage or branded logos, distinctive catering, a large veranda terrace, a sit-down dinner for 250, and much more. Contact: Lisa Benoit, [email protected]

Bryant Park Grill at 25 West 40th Street is situated behind the New York Public Library and overlooks Bryant Park with an attractive, modern interior. The space can hold up to 150 guests for an evening of dinner and dancing. Contact: Walter Rauscher, 212-206-8815 x106 or [email protected]

Angel Orensanz Foundation at 172 Norfolk Street was built in 1849 and is the oldest surviving synagogue building in New York. They don’t build them like this anymore—the interior was designed to resemble Paris’ Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the sanctuary was designed to resemble the Sistine Chapel. It can hold up to 250 for a sit-down dinner with a dance floor (for 300 guests, add $500). The price ranges from $15,800 to $17,800 Monday through Thursday and $19,800 to $21,800 Friday through Sunday. Catering not included. Contact: Maria Neri, 212-529-7194 or [email protected]

Stage 6, Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 15 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, is located in a major movie production studio. The modern ballroom has walls of paned glass offering dramatic views of lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges, and the Empire State Building. The venue can hold from 150 to 600 people for dinner and dancing. All catering must be done through Abigail Kirsch Productions with prices ranging from $150 to $250 per person. Contact: 718-237-1919 or steinerstudios.com

A Good Deal

DOROT, Inc., at 171 West 85th Street, offers the Susan Resnick Fisher Auditorium, a beautifully renovated party space that holds up to 60 people and is available on evenings, weekends and some holidays. Add a DJ, some pizza, and you’re all set. Perfect for a kids-only dance party. The room rental charge is a bargain at $200 an hour. Contact: Judith Logan, 917-441-3753 or [email protected]

Mitzvah Magazine would like to thank Amy Katz Events, Mario Stewart Events, Heidi Green Photography, and Shirley Serure Photography for helping us to identify some of this year’s most popular venues.