Mamacita’s Holiday Happy Hour Party list

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so every week our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap.

Yeah, there you are… sitting in your cubical, waiting for the open bar at the holiday party, wishing the canapés are not Costco brand mini quiches and the weird guy from accounting doesn’t corner you into a conversation about how no one properly fills out their reimbursement forms, leaving you thinking, “Good lord, my life is an episode of The Office.” Luckily for you I’m here to help keep your holidays on ice with these local bars to hold your holiday party at or to unwind after hours with your coworkers.

Places you can take your boss or CEO to, and still have a great time:

Rick’s Cabaret
50 W 33rd St. (btw. 5+Bway), (212) 372-0850
I know there are still some of you riding high in your Finance jobs and want to dip your toes into that Hefner style champagne-room pool now and then. You know you’re a supa freak, get it on at Rick’s. Private rooms are also available (wink wink.)

City Lobster
121 West 49th Street (btw. 6th & 7th), 212-354-1717
Plenty of tasty options and all in a clean and upscale restaurant. I recommend the $1 oysters, served all day throughout the restaurant, just make sure El Jefe is not allergic to shellfish.

St Andrews
140 West 46th Street (btw. 6th & Broadway)
Try the haggis, you wont regret it and you’ll get bragging rights afterward for having an iron stomach. Impress your boss with a tasting of fine Scotch and make sure to take note of the subtle oak complexity.

25 W. 56th St. (btw. 5+6th), 212-332-0500
Beacon is a classy and somewhat expensive restaurant, but their burger, pizza and drink special (only at the bar) can appeal to even the average Joe.

Gyu Kaku
805 3rd Ave., 2nd Floor, (212) 702-8816
What’s more fun then playing with fire and meat? Doing it for ½ off at Gyu-Kaku. Perfect spot to indulge your carnivorous cravings in a zen atmosphere.

Third Floor Café
315 Fifth Avenue (btw. 31+32nd), 212-481-3669
All you can eat Korean fried chicken, katsu, beer and wine. Need I say more? Ok, they also surprise you with free entrees like seafood casserole, and a tasting of their signature shots.

Places to go with your friends after the work party or just to celebrate:

Smith’s Bar
701 8th Avenue (on 44th), 212-246-3268
Lots of seating and good pub grub make this a wise Westside option for a large get-together with coworkers. Nightly bands and large TV screens showing all the games will provide a great distraction from your daily drudgery.

Judge Roy Bean

38 W. 56th St. (btw. 5+6th Ave.)
This bar is on the small side, but heavy on the fun side. Take over the jukebox, order some mozzarella sticks and down high octane drinks till the break of dawn.

Wharf Bar and Grill
587 Third Avenue (btw. 38+39th)
Excellent and dirt cheap fish tacos made this one of my favorite happy hours. Special change daily and the upper level bar is ideal for large groups.

Bar 9
807 9th Ave, 212-399-9336
With all the plush sofas, plus the tiki bar in the back, this is a great lounge to host a group party or just to ditch work early for a beer with some of their excellent tater tots.

Places to hide from all your coworkers and even x-wives -no explanation needed:

Port 41
Subway Inn
The Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge

Noticeably absent from this list is Rudy’s bar. It has already been a two time ML best bar winner and now boasts celebrity patrons like Hallie Berry and Ms. Australia. I can’t even get a seat here on a weeknight. I take it all back, it is a horrible, dirty, den of depravity. Don’t go there!!

The Midtown Lunch reader’s poll is up and on that list is also a chance to vote for your favorite bar. Catch up on my full list of dives, pubs and grubs here!


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