You don’t necessarily have to wear a big hat or a seersucker suit to these parties – but why not? The “fastest two minutes in sports” takes place May 4, and if nothing else, the Kentucky Derby is an excuse to enjoy a Mint Julep. We may not be in Louisville, but the best Kentucky Derby parties are taking place in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Here’s where to celebrate the 139th Run for the Roses.
Step out of the city and directly into Louisville. Recently re-opened for the season, mad46 will host their annual rooftop Kentucky Derby Bash at the Roosevelt Hotel. Topping our list for the second year in a row, festivities take place from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., as the historic New York City venue rolls out a “Millionaire’s Row” red carpet. Sip on cocktails like the Oaks Lilly, Bourbon Punch and of course Mint Juleps, served in traditional copper cups. The event will be shown on flat panel televisions, as guests are awarded prizes for stylish attire and the best hats.
This party will be a bit more “down home.” There will be a day-long party leading up to the race, with Kentucky-style beer cheese provided by Floyd Eats. From 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., a DJ will be spinning – and hats will be available for purchase. Square dancing (no experience required) will begin at 3:00 p.m. Prizes given out for Sharpest Dressed Man and Best Hat. Karaoke to take place post-race. Mint Juleps will be $6 all day long.
21 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019
If you’re a sucker for seersucker, you’ll feel right at home at Bar ‘21’ for Derby festivities. The swanky spot will open at 2:30 p.m., offering roasted pecans for imbibers all day long. The main event will start at 3:30 p.m. and for $45 all inclusive guests receive a selection of passed hors d’ oeuvres, 2 Woodford Reserve mint juleps, including tax and gratuity. For 2 hours, Executive Chef John Greeley will pass Kentucky-inspired bar bites including Mini Hot Browns, Cornmeal Crusted Fried Oysters with Remoulade, and Mini Derby Pecan Pies.
The Brooklyn Derby at the Brooklyn Winery
What started as a private party at the home of some Southern transplants has turned into a serious Derby celebration. The soiree moves this year from Brooklyn Winery to new venue, Greenwood Park. This 13,000 square foot South Slope beer garden will turn into a bourbon garden, with Bocce ball courts, corn toss, a dance floor, a hat-making station. At $77 a ticket, guests are treated to a four-hour long open bar (including those Mint Juleps), buffet-style eats and Southern style games like cornhole. Watch the race on a large projection screen at this appropriately decorated outdoor courtyard. Doors open at 4:00 p.m.
Boulton & Watt
Guests will be able to view race festivities on any of the 7 televisions usually hidden throughout this newly-opened LES gastropub. Mint Juleps and Pimm’s Cups will be on tap, as well as Deviled Eggs and Boulton & Watt’s famous pickles. There will also be a hat competition for a prize. Boulton & Watt will also feature their new brunch menu from 10:30 am to 3:45 pm and their dinner menu from 5:00 pm on. The Kentucky Derby party will start at 2:00 pm.
Shot specials, pitchers of mint juleps and bourbon glazed barbecue wings — just three of the reasons to celebrate Derby Day in the garden at Studio Square. Prizes will be awarded not just for the best bonnet at the Queens beer garden, and there will be a live DJ all day and all night. Party starts at noon.
Along with $5 Mint Juleps all day, this Hell’s Kitchen gastropub will be serving Kentucky Derby-themed appetizers and dessert. We’re looking forward to the Kentucky Burgoo with cornbread: Three-meat, traditional stew (pork, beef or chicken) with potato, corn, Lima beans and tomato served in bowl with a piece of house made Southern-style, savory cornbread. Prizes are given out for best racetrack attire. The race is shown on all nine of the venue’s large flatscreens.