Party bars

Book one of these spots and kick off the holiday season in style.

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  • Photograph: Dale May; Makeup artist: Jen Myles using Makeup Forever; Makeup designer: Ashley Ryan; Hair designer: Charles LaPointe; Costume designer: Tobin Ost; Associate costume

    The Vault at Pfaff's

  • Photograph: Nitzan Krimsky

    The Brooklyneer

    The Brooklyneer

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Saint Vitus

    Saint Vitus

  • Photograph: Gabriela Herman

    The Garden at Studio Square

  • Photograph: Jeffrey Gurwin

    Ten Bells

    Ten Bells

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Local 61

    61 Local

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    The Tippler

    The Tippler

  • Photograph: Hannah Mattix

    The Fulton

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    White Star

    White Star

Photograph: Dale May; Makeup artist: Jen Myles using Makeup Forever; Makeup designer: Ashley Ryan; Hair designer: Charles LaPointe; Costume designer: Tobin Ost; Associate costume

The Vault at Pfaff's

The Brooklyneer
Good for:
Devoted locavores
Reserve the platform section in the rear for your crew of up to 20 at this West Village bar, which bills itself as an homage to Kings County's eating and drinking scene. (It's free to book, but you'll need to have more than ten people in your crew.) Throw back craft beers like a crisp Kelso pilsner ($7) or a Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA ($7); the Applejack Old-Fashioned ($12) also serves as a fine winter warmer. Party platters are available, including Ovenly bacon caramel popcorn ($4 per serving), Mile End hot dogs (20 half dogs for $60) and spicy meatballs paired with mozzarella from Caputo's in Carroll Gardens (30 for $60). 220 W Houston St between Sixth Ave and Varick St (646-692-4911, brooklyneer.com)

Saint Vitus
Good for:
Music lovers
Run by the team behind neighborhood favorite Anella, this Greenpoint dive bar and performance space slings local brews (Kelso, Sixpoint, Ommegang) behind a 30-foot mahogany bar. Private-party pricing is dependant on the days and the booked bands, but the 2,500-square-foot space offers plenty of room to spread out: The back room can be yours for a minimum tab of $1,000 (price varies by day) when reserved two weeks in advance. Steamed buns ($3), such as the fragrant pulled pork with green chili and barbecued tofu, offer some much-needed padding after you down a couple of the bar's cut-rate bourbon shots. Well liquor and beers are $2 off when ordering as part of a group. 1120 Manhattan Ave between Box and Clay Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (saintvitusbar.com)

Duet 35
Good for:
Closet divas and divos
Rally a group of friends and brush up on your rendition of "This Is How We Do It" before a night spent at this Koreatown parlor, which boasts 16 private rooms and a playlist that's 18,000 songs strong. Rates are a reasonable $4 to $9 per person an hour, and Duet even has a large room that can fit up to 30 people (be sure to reserve at least 48 hours in advance) and features a 50-inch projection screen. Beers are cheap ($4 a pint) and mixed drinks are just $5 to $9. 53 W 35th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, second floor (646-473-0826, karaokeduet.com)

The Garden at Studio Square
Good for:
Anyone not ready to admit it's winter
This sleek Long Island City beer garden is ideal for a daytime holiday bash; choose from more than 20 taps, including local favorite Captain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale and the powerful Hofbru Oktoberfest. Groups larger than 25 can cash in on a number of drink specials (arranged in advance), including $15 pitchers of the beer of the week or $5 mixed drinks. Pair the sturdy beers with belly-warming grub like chicken schnitzel fingers ($6) and a range of Schaller & Weber hot dogs ($8)—we like the one wrapped in bacon and topped with bean chili, avocado salsa and tangy chipotle cream. 35-33 36th St between 34th and 35th Aves, Long Island City, Queens (718-383-1001, studiosquarenyc.com)

The Vault at Pfaff's
Good for:
Creative intellectuals
This subterranean bar and event space once served a circle of artists and East Village bohemians in the 1850s. (Walt Whitman—a supposed former regular—even penned a poem about it called "The Two Vaults.") The venue can be rented out entirely or in sections, with packages beginning at a $3,000-minimum tab: The 30-person Fieldstone Room is decked out with plush sofas where you and your guests can sip classic cocktails such as an Aviation mixed with genever ($16), and snack on roasted duck sliders and golden-fried oysters with habanero sauce, which can be ordered as part of a 24-piece tray for $120. 643 Broadway at Bleecker St (212-253-5421, vaultatpfaffs.com)

Ten Bells
Good for:
A close group of friends
This LES wine bar specializes in organic and natural vino from around the world and boasts one of the city's best private spaces: a table hidden in the back that seats up to two dozen. You can reserve the room for a group wine dinner, but you must call at least a week ahead for availability. Wines—predominately French and Spanish—rotate daily, with 10 to 20 available by the glass ($7--$12) that highlight the owners' interest in small, semiobscure producers like Pierre Overnoy from France's Arbois region. Choose from a variety of Pan-European dishes, including seasonal oysters (until 7pm $1, after 7pm $2.50), and even an entire suckling pig (market price). 247 Broome St between Ludlow and Orchard Sts (212-228-4450, thetenbells.typepad.com)

61 Local
Good for:
Brew hounds
Plan a 50-person fete on the second-floor mezzanine of this Cobble Hill craft-beer shrine: The space—decked out with hardwood floors, four large windows, exposed brick and wooden beams—can be rented for $200 per hour (not including drinks), and comes with your own dedicated server. A 20-person meat-and-cheese board is available for an additional $180 and includes seasonal fruit, salted almonds and a bread plate filled with selections from nearby bakeries Bien Cuit and SCRATCHbread. The bites pair nicely with pours like cold-weather-friendly Dead Reckoning Porter ($6) from Tregs Brewing Company and a ripe Ommegang Abbey Ale ($7). 61 Bergen St between Boerum Pl and Smith St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (347-763-6624, 61local.com)

The Tippler
Good for:
Highbrow drinkers
This Meatpacking District cocktail lounge located under the Chelsea Market features a semiprivate area that fits up to 40 revelers. An open-bar package is offered with tiered pricing ($30 per person for the first hour, $25 for the second, $20 for third) and includes all-you-can-drink wine, beer and your choice of five of the Tippling Bros' signature cocktails, such as the spicy Dizzy Oaxacan mixed with mescal, Averna, grapefruit, lemon, ginger beer and chilies. A menu of small plates is also available; sample the crispy house-made potato chips ($3) and a deviled-egg toast flecked with fried prosciutto ($7). 425 W 15th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-206-0000, thetippler.com)

The Fulton
Good for:
The randy corporate crowd
Go public with that long-simmering office fling in the back room of this Financial District gastropub: Two private spaces are available, each styled like an old New York taproom with a dark mahogany bar and large antique mirror, and each can hold up to 100 of your guests. Packages vary in price, with options for open bar and passed appetizers like tuna tartare and kobe beef sliders topped with bubbling Gruyre cheese. The cocktails ($9 and up) are fruit-driven, including the refreshing Wall Street Spritz, mixed with muddled blackberries, mango juice and Mot & Chandon. 121 Fulton St between Nassau and William Sts (646-545-6647, thefultonnyc.com)

White Star
Good for:
Non-scenesters
Stride through this cozy Lower East Side cocktail lounge and head straight for the square, clandestine room in the back, which holds up to 20 merrymakers. Sprawl on one of the sofas and tip back owner John Byrd's specialty cocktails, which range from classics like the Blood and Sand ($12) to the tart M. Remontel (white tequila, Crme Yvette, St. Germain and lime juice, $12). The space can be reserved in advance with a two-drink minimum per person, and smaller parties can nab one of the six-person booths in the main bar area. 21 Essex St between Canal and Hester Sts (646-657-9821)

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