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 on May 3, 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 across New York City. Here’s where to celebrate the 140th 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 third year in a row, festivities start at 3 p.m., as the historic New York City venue rolls out its “Millionaire’s Row” red carpet. Watch the race on flat panel TVs displayed around the lounge while you sip on a Mint Julip, or one of the many other cocktails available. Stick around after the race for the “Best Dressed at the Derby” contest. The “Most Polished Gentleman” will win a one-night stay at the hotel, while the “Most Derby Chic Lady” will receive mad46 bottle service for six. The top three couture hats will also win prizes.
If you’re a sucker for seersucker, you’ll feel right at home at 21 Club for Derby festivities. The swanky spot will open at 3:30 p.m., and for $55 (including tax and gratuity) all inclusive guests receive a selection of Southern bar bites, two classic Maker’s Mark Mint Juleps, as well as the option to take part in fun games. If Mint Julips aren’t for you, the bar is also honoring racing season with specialty cocktails such as their signature ’21’ Triple Crown.
The Brooklyn Derby
What started as a private party at the home of some Southern transplants has turned into a serious Derby celebration. The soiree moved last 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 a corn toss area, a stage and dance floor, a tricycle race track, and a hat-making station. At $80 a ticket, guests are treated to a four-hour long open bar featuring Maker’s Mark mint juleps, beer and wine, Southern-style buffet eats, and an official 140th Annual Kentucky Derby glass. Watch the race on a large projection screen at this appropriately decorated outdoor courtyard. Doors open at 4:00 p.m.
Boulton & Watt
Guests donning their best Derby attire will be able to view race festivities on any of Boulton & Watt’s 7 televisions, while sipping on $6 Mint Juleps, of course. This LES gastropub will be serving their brunch menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which includes $5 mimosas, bloody marys, and sangria. Boulton & Watt will switch to their dinner menu at 5 p.m.
With 9 giant flatscreen TVs, 24 craft beers on tap, and a full menu, the Brickyard Gastropub is the number one sports bar in Midtown to watch the Kentucky Derby. Along with $5 Mint Juleps all day, this 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. A $50 gift certificate will be given out to the person with the best Derby hat.