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Wednesday
Jul312013

The 5 best bars to host a party in (or around) Park Slope

Draft Barn [VIA MICHAEL M. ON YELP]

If you've ever tried to gather your friends together for a party at a local bar in the neighborhood, you'll know there's not a lot of options of places to go to. Sure, there's a bar on every block in the Slope. But most of them are pretty packed on the regular, and don't have room for 20-or-more people who want to sing you "Happy Birthday" or eat homemade cupcakes or take pictures with the flash on all night long. 

But throughout the years, I've found a few places bars out there that are pretty perfect for large parties. Here are my top five spots!

Draft Barn (530 3rd Ave, between 7th Ave & 12th St) 

By far, my favorite place to host an event. First of all, the space is gigantic (see photo above). There's more seating than you'll probably be able to fill with your large party (though I went to a goodbye party for a friend once where we impressively almost took up the entire space). Best of all, there's 200 different kinds of beers available. Good luck finding another bar that gives you that much selection! The owners of Draft Barn are super accommodating for large groups (they serve food, for example, but have no problem with you bringing in your own cake/sweet treats). And if you're too lazy to work with them in advance to plan out your event, I've found you can pretty much drop in on a Saturday night with your large group and will have no problem securing space. 

The Fifth Estate (506 5th Avenue, between 12th & 13th St)

Here's what's great about The Fifth Estate. If you can secure a date where there's not a band playing that night, and you don't mind your party being non-exclusive, you can get grab their entire back room, free of charge. That comes with a DJ booth (if you have someone in your life who wants to lead a dance party), a projector screen (for any embarrassing sideshows you might want to project), and a disco ball (because duh). There's also plenty of seating and great room for a dance floor. Oh, and you can bring in food. The only thing is, you have to secure this all with the owner first. So if you're a last-minute person, this probably isn't the place for you. 

Smith's Tavern (440 5th Ave, between 8th St & 6th Ave)

I'm one of those people who loves a dive bar. There's something so comforting about them. Because usally the patrons are so laid back, they don't give a shit what you're up to. That was my experience when I rolled in with a large group to Smith's Tavern one night. We immediately out-numbered Smith's population by 10:1, at least. And with full control over the jukebox, and $2.50 Bud Lights served in frosty mugs, we ended up having a pretty darn good time. One of the more approachable dive bars in the hood, for sure. 

Pacific Standard (82 4th Avenue, between St. Marks and Bergen St)

A cozy, laid-back West Coast microbrew pub down on the north-end of Park Slope, Pacific Standard has a nice-sized back room with plenty of seating and ambiance. Like The Fifth Estate, the space is often used for events (Trivia, readings, etc), so you'll want to check with the owners first before sending out your invitations. But they're great about allowing outside food in (I once had 20 pizzas delivered for a bar crawl I started there). And you kind of can't beat the proximity to Atlantic Avenue, where almost every train line goes. This is the location that your friends in Manhattan will thank you for picking. 

Bar Reis (375 5th Ave, at 6th Ave)

Anyone who has ever gone to a party at Bar Reis will know this is an obvious choice. But between that basement and that killer outdoor patio, you kind of can't go wrong here. The staff is extremely accommodating for large groups. They'll hand over the keys to the music, let you bring in media if needed, and won't even mind if you bring in outside food. But like most large spaces in the neighborhood, this one won't be exclusive, so you have to share with outside guests. Hopefully they'll back off the pool table. 

What other places in the 'hood do you recommend? Hit up the comments and share your secrets! 

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