By Deirdre Haggerty

On May 5, 2018 horse racing fans and hat fashionistas will tune in to watch the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby. If you aren’t throwing your own Mint Julep and champagne party, then participate in the festivities at one of the following. The best bars in New York City to watch the Kentucky Derby include a sampling of the amenities found at the Churchill Downs and more, right in your backyard.

21 Club
21 W. 52nd St.
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-7200
https://www.21club.com/web/onyc/21_club.jsp

Sadly, ‘21’ has been closed through the end of March. However, the “most famous speakeasy” in America should be up and running just in time for the Kentucky Derby. The horseracing atmosphere begins with an outdoor greeting from jockey statues. Past parties include southern-style hors D’ oeuvres, Mint Juleps and the club’s signature “Triple Crown” cocktail. Just make sure to make your reservation early.

Maison Premiere
298 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(347) 335-0446
www.maisonpremiere.com

With a purposeful antiquated ambiance that resembles old-fashioned hotel lobbies, Maison Premiere is the ideal watering hole to watch the Kentucky Derby. Located in Williamsburg, enjoy oysters, festive Mint Julep cocktails, live music and a radio broadcast of the event around the horseshoe bar.

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Brass Monkey
55 Little W. 12th St.
New York, NY 10014
(844) 344-1200
www.brassmonkeynyc.com

Dive into Brass Monkey’s comfort food such as “twice-fried Kentucky fried chicken” and their take on a classic, the frozen mint julep, as the Derby airs on the venue’s big screens. With over 100 selections of beer plus Jack Daniels’ cocktails on the menu, every customer will leave satisfied (even if your horse doesn’t place).

Saxon + Parole
316 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(212) 254-0350
www.saxonandparole.com

Saxon + Parole is named for the black racehorse, Saxon, who won the 1874 Belmont Stakes, and Parole, his stablemate who earned more money than any racehorse in America. Join the mailing list for details and tickets for their third annual Kentucky Derby party. Expect old-fashioned betting, classic southern appetizers and standard cocktails and more.

Sweetwater Social
643 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(212) 253-0477
www.drinksweetwater.com

Reservations are required for the Kentucky Derby affair at Sweetwater Social. Wear your best attire and win a prize for “Best Hat or Best Dressed.” Enjoy punch, Mint Julep beverages and southern-inspired fare. Last year patrons were also treated to a live blue grass band.

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