PJ’S STEAK HOUSE
73-11 Yellowstone Boulevard
While this exquisitely appointed high-end steakhouse is more renowned for its top-notch Porterhouse, among others, we were pleasantly surprised at a recent gathering to learn how delicious some of the restaurant’s other offerings are, and how absolutely spectacular their back room is, a rather elegant private party space which can accommodate between 40 and 60 people, depending. Dining is enclosed somewhat, elevated a step, and there’s ample room for your steam tables and bartending needs, even a check-in table if warranted, And definitely keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to break the bank to have an event here. Your hosts will work keenly within your budget, and at the particular event we attended recently, we just happened to be absolutely floored by how tasty the steam table of Penne Alla Vodka, Chicken Francese, Mashed Potatoes, and oh-my-goodness their Creamed, Creamed, Creamed Spinach were. So please check ’em out for yourself, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
432 Graham Avenue
We’ve always been big fans here of Graham Avenue’s LA LOCANDA, one of the best little neighborhood Italian restaurants we’ve ever been to – and one which has always kept an eye on being not just affordable, but also comfortable and accommodating, and on a level far and above most such establishments. That’s because proprietors Cono and Maria Colombo take as much pride in LA LOCANDA as if they were inviting you into their own home – which in so many ways, they actually are! Well, now that “home” has just a fantastic looking private back room, able to be reserved for birthday parties, anniversary dinners, business luncheons, whatever gathering strikes your fancy. Formerly LA LOCANDA’s backyard, its palazzo-style fixtures give it a uniquely elegant ambience, and the fact that it’s behind the kitchen and off the street keeps it private, intimate, and a great deal quieter than the upbeat energy that characterizes the main dining area. But don’t take our word for it. Get over there, and ask to see the room yourself. We’ve no doubt you’ll start planning your party right then and there – even if you don’t have anything to celebrate just yet!
62-96 Woodhaven Boulevard
From the looks of things along Woodhaven Boulevard, you’d probably have no idea how grand and spacious JOE ABBRACCIAMENTO’S really is. But that’s what happens when you expand your generations-old family restaurant into the movie theater next door (formerly The Drake, by the way). The thing about ABBRACCIAMENTO’S that I always find uncanny – they can host any number of parties simultaneously, all with equal grace, aplomb, and the exemplary customer service they’ve always been known for. What you get here are classic old-world Italian red sauce dishes – delicious manicotti, fantastic meatballs, even the bread and butter is memorable. And the other great thing? The entire staff here – from the waiters to the busboys to even the parking valets all work their darnedest to make sure your get-together goes as smoothly as you’d hoped.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS HALL
69-60 Grand Avenue
Hey, Maspeth-ites! Looking to throw more of a Do-It-Yourself kind of party? On Grand Avenue, just off of 69th street, there’s a place that you can make all your own – decorate however you wish, arrange however you wish, etc. etc. (Well, for four hours, anyway.) The KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS HALL on Grand Avenue will give you four hours for $400, and they’ll even let you use their stereo system if you so desire. Their newly renovated, air-conditioned space can accommodate any kind of gathering – a first communion, a sweet sixteen, an anniversary, a retirement party. All you need to do is reach out to Paul to come and look at it, and make a reservation, and you can reach him on his cellphone at (718) 894-4514.
KIDS FUN HOUSE
67-23 Fresh Pond Road
Along a rather non-descript section of Fresh Pond Road off Metro sits one of the true gems in the area, a place that could only be characterized as an absolute wonderland. KIDS FUN HOUSE is the name, and it couldn’t be a more fitting one. Take just one step inside, and you’ll be amazed at how much space there is in here. High ceilings, clean bright walls, multi-colored tile floors, and oodles and oodles of those primary colors that our kids love oh-so-much. KIDS FUN HOUSE is the brainchild of Agnieszka Dojlidko, who brings together here her experience both as a young Mom and as an event planner when she was managing top-tier bowling establishments like STRIKE on Long Island, or BOWLMOR in Manhattan. Kids parties here are extra special – custom themed as in Princess/Knight; Fairy/Pirate; Mardi Gras, among others. Rates start at $350 for up to 11 children (the birthday boy/girl is free, of course), but there’s also a Basic Party (no costumes) for just $250 for 10 kids. (You get an hour and a half in their private party room, and the run of the place for the rest of the time.) One of the things we find most appealing, though? Your food choices for your parties are either Hot Dogs or Pizza, except this isn’t just any pizza - KIDS FUN HOUSE has their birthdays cooked up by ROSA’S next door! Look, if you want, you can go check them out on their really cool website, www.KidsFunHouse.com, and be suitably impressed. But even better – just check them out in person, will you? We’re pretty confident it will far exceed your expectations.
ASTORIA SPORTS COMPLEX
34-38 38th Street
And speaking of kids, if Astoria happens to be your nabe, then wouldn’t you want your young one’s birthday on the tippy-top of the neighborhood. That’s what ASTORIA SPORTS COMPLEX can do for you – you get to have your birthday on the very top floor of the tower! Given their expertise, ASTORIA SPORTS COMPLEX prides themselves on their two-sport birthday parties – you get to decide what the combination is. Soccer and baseball? Skating and soccer? You name it, they’ve got it. While other party spaces are somewhat limited in scale, ASTORIA SPORTS COMPLEX gives you acres and acres of space (with a dedicated sit-down eating area on an entirely different level). And just to give you an idea of that scale, how about you check out their website, www.ASCsports1.com and see how huge their Super Slide actually is! Anyway, parties at ASC are two and half hours long, and start at $295 for a gathering of 15 kids, but make sure you call way in advance, because they usually get booked pretty early.
70-15 Grand Avenue
And if by chance your young ones are of, shall we say, the “gaming” persuasion – then there’s truly no better venue for them to enjoy said games than in a comfortable and welcoming environment like the PRESS START CAFÉ. Rest assured, this family-owned establishment is one of the highest caliber venues for these kinds of gatherings and it’s the perfect place for birthday parties anywhere from 6 guests up to 20. Pizza (THREE SONS, of course) costs $15 a pie for your party, but can you believe the soda is unlimited! Heck, PRESS START will even send out birthday invitations for you ahead of time, not to mention the fact that the birthday boy/girl gets a free 3-month membership to the place. (Now, that’s a great present in and of itself!)